Iron is a mineral that helps carry oxygen around our blood. If you suffer from anaemia, are pregnant or you want an iron-rich diet to support a vegan diet, it is important to know which foods have the most iron and how you can include them in your daily routine.
Veganism is becoming more popular as a way of life and as a protest against animal cruelty. Being a vegan seeks to exclude the exploitation of and cruelty to animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. A vegan diet is a plant based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat and fish and any food that derives from animals such as eggs, dairy products and honey. Veganism doesn’t just stop at food. Vegans don’t use products such as leather or any products that are tested on animals.
Iron in the vegan diet
The recommended daily amount for iron is between 8.7mg – 14.8mg a day depending on factors such as menstruation. You need to consume more iron if you are menstruating and you need an additional 15mg a day for those who are pregnant. Discover why iron is important during pregnancy and discover what iron can do for you and your baby.
You don’t need to rely on meat to maintain your iron levels, iron is present in a large variety of foods such as legumes where you can consume soy beans, beans and chickpeas. Dried fruits and nuts contain high levels of iron and you can consume products such as cashews and sunflower seeds. Another food group that is also rich in iron and can give you the daily iron intake that you need is cereals. Include these foods rich in iron into your recipes and snacks for a diet rich in iron. You can also opt for iron supplements but it is recommended to consult your doctor before you purchase iron tablets.
Discover which legumes contain the most iron and learn how to create a menu rich in iron to benefit you and your support of animals. Make sure you take note of your calorie intake. Of course counting calories isn’t the most important thing, but you will thank yourself in the long run. In addition, consuming foods rich in iron without thinking about the calorific value isn’t recommended. Take a look at the food calorie calculator and create a balanced diet specific for you.
How to get enough iron in the vegan diet
In order to get sufficient iron in your diet, you can follow these simple menu suggestions which are sure to maintain adequate iron levels.
- Breakfast – fortified breakfast cereal sprinkled with chopped nuts and fresh blueberries
- Lunch – lentil and sweet potato soup
- Snack – hummus with carrot and celery sticks
- Dinner – a stir fry of colourful vegetables (for example yellow pepper, spring greens and broccoli) and cashew nuts sprinkled with sesame seeds
This example menu will provide you with sufficient iron and vitamin C levels to avoid the possibility of a nutrient deficiency along with following the rules of a vegan diet.
Iron is essential for making haemoglobin which is a type of protein that carries oxygen to other cells in the body. It is also an essential component of myoglobin which is a protein that supplies oxygen to your muscles to allow them function efficiently.
When there is a lack of iron in the body, it could result in anaemia. Iron is also important in the treatment of anaemia and helps cure general symptoms of such as fatigue, body weakness, headaches, and enhanced sensitivity to cold temperatures. For more specific information, find out which cereals contain the most iron and follow the diet plan above to ensure sufficient consumption of this essential nutrient.