Many of us will have heard about iron deficiency – or anaemia – at some point in our lives. Most commonly affecting women due to blood loss from menstruation, as well as vegetarians and vegans due to cutting out meat and other animal products, it is important to ensure your iron levels are maintained as it plays a major role in supporting oxygen flow around the body.
For vegans in particular, you may want to consider taking iron supplements. In this article, discover everything you need to know about iron, from which vegan iron-rich foods to eat, to the range of vegan iron supplements that you can add to your routine.
What Is Iron?
Iron is an essential mineral that our body needs to produce red blood cells, which are vital for carrying oxygen around our body.
How Much Iron Do We Need?
It’s important to ensure you’re getting enough iron through your diet or by using iron supplements to avoid the symptoms of iron deficiency.
- 8.7mg a day for men over 18
- 14.8mg a day for women aged 19 to 50
- 8.7mg a day for women over 50
Signs of Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency is pretty common. It can lead to a condition called anaemia, which is often caused by blood loss or pregnancy, meaning that iron deficiency tends to be more common in people who menstruate.
Some signs and symptoms of low iron levels include:
- Lack of energy
- Heart palpitations
- Pale skin
If you believe your iron levels are low, speak to your GP to request a blood test. You may also wish to discuss which iron supplements are best for you.
What Vegan Sources are High in Iron?
Since red meat, poultry, and eggs are some of the key iron-rich foods, vegetarians and vegans may be concerned about not getting enough iron in their diet.
If you follow a plant-based diet, you can rest assured that there are plenty of vegan foods that are high in iron.
Here are some fantastic vegan sources of iron that you can add to your diet:
- Legumes, like lentils, chickpeas, and beans
- Cashew nuts
- Chia seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Leafy greens, such as kale and spinach
- Dried fruits, including apricots, figs, and raisins
- Breakfast cereals fortified with iron
Can Vitamin C Support Iron Intake?
Yes, it’s important to ensure that you are getting enough vitamin C in your diet, as it supports your body’s ability to absorb iron. Some vegan sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, orange juice, peppers, kiwi, and broccoli. This is why you’ll often find that iron supplements contain added vitamin C.
Discover the benefits of vitamin C in this article:
Vegan Iron Supplements
With plenty of vegan foods high in iron, you should be able to maintain good levels of iron through a healthy, balanced diet. However, you may wish to introduce vegan iron supplements to support and maintain optimal health.
Vitamin Code Raw Iron
Vitamin Code Raw Iron capsules deliver 22mg of whole food iron and feature a unique blend of 23 whole food nutrients from fruits, vegetables, and natural food cofactors. These vegan iron tablets also contain added vitamin C, B12 and folate to promote iron absorption.