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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to the forums so I apologise if this has already been posted. So I've been vegetarian for about a year now, and I've been anemic several times.

I sort of know what to eat for iron. Lentils, dark leafy greens, etc. The only thing is, at least for me, is that I get most of my iron from beans, which have a lot of fibre to them, so it has given me digestive issues if I'm eating them frequently.

Are there other relatively cheap forms of iron? Ones without a high amount of fibre in them?
 

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Tofu, seitan. Smoothies with spinach. Some fake meats are very high in iron if you don't mind them.
 

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One thing to look out for - are you eating foods that make make iron absorption harder? Tea and coffee apparently can do this. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I do like fake meats a lot actually! They can just be very pricey where I live (I live in a small town) so I don't buy them too often. Also I've heard too much soy can be bad for you? Idk, I was just a little hesitant to eat a lot of it because of that. Wouldn't the iron in the spinach not absorb as well because of the calcium in the milk in the shake? I do like protein shakes and the like though so I'll try that.
 

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What watch you eat with foods containing iron. As Trippy says, coffee, real teas (black and green-not herbal or rooibos).
Eat things with vit C with iron foods, they help absorbtion.

So, a good iron dish would be like spinach, tomatoes, and either tofu, tempeh, or seitan. I'd make this a curry. If you cook in cast iron your iron will be even better!

Did you know a half cup of tofu has 35% of the RDA for iron?
 

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When you see a study on soy being bad for you, look at the sources. I've never from one that wasn't in some way linked to the meat or dairy industry.
Soy is very beneficial, and ironically, it's in so many foods in highly processed form that the same people who say it's bad most likely eat it in some form.
I eat tofu, tempeh, and have a soy milk machine. I eat processed soy like Boca burgers in the way I would eat fast food burgers in the past.

I forget the link between calcium and iron

What have your iron readings been at recently?
 

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I do like fake meats a lot actually! They can just be very pricey where I live (I live in a small town) so I don't buy them too often. Also I've heard too much soy can be bad for you? Idk, I was just a little hesitant to eat a lot of it because of that. Wouldn't the iron in the spinach not absorb as well because of the calcium in the milk in the shake? I do like protein shakes and the like though so I'll try that.
Unless you're allergic to soy, a few servings a few times a week shouldn't do anything bad to your body.
You don't need milk to make a smoothie. Just some frozen fruit, greens (I use spinach and kale), and water.
 

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Blackstrap molasses is also a good source of iron. I add it to sauces and in my hot cereal (along with some high vitamin c fruit or bell peppers and so on for absorption.

Beans become easier to digest the more you are exposed to eating them. Just start small and let your body get used to them. Proper soaking and cooking techniques can make a big difference too. I use a piece of kombu or baking soda in my cooking water with beans to help make them more digestible.

This site lists the top 12 vegan iron sources and how to get the most out of your iron absorption:

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/12-top-vegan-iron-sources.html
 

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For iron deficiency anemia, you can cook in cast iron pans and eat plenty of Vitamin C (i.e., oranges) when you eat something with iron. It aids absorption.

Check into sprouts--IIRC some of those are high in iron.

More importantly, address the cause.

For example, are you sure your periods are normal? Some women who have never had normal periods, and have no female relatives who had normal periods, have no idea theirs are abnormal. There are plenty of evidence-based treatments for it.
 

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Iron deficiency is not necessarily about what you eat or don't eat. I have been anemic due to iron deficiency since I was 8. I am 62 now and have been vegan for nearly 25 years. Problems with iron can occur any time, at any age. In my case, my body simply does not utilize iron properly. I take high doses of iron chelate daily along w/ a multi with high C content because C aids in absorption of iron. It's very, very easy to get more than enough iron according to the official RDA, and clearly you're not getting enough for you. Your needs seem to be higher, so start on a good iron supplement along with vitamin C . See if that helps. If so, like me, diet alone isn't enough for your iron needs.
 

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Iron deficiency is not necessarily about what you eat or don't eat. I have been anemic due to iron deficiency since I was 8. I am 62 now and have been vegan for nearly 25 years. Problems with iron can occur any time, at any age. In my case, my body simply does not utilize iron properly. I take high doses of iron chelate daily along w/ a multi with high C content because C aids in absorption of iron. It's very, very easy to get more than enough iron according to the official RDA, and clearly you're not getting enough for you. Your needs seem to be higher, so start on a good iron supplement along with vitamin C . See if that helps. If so, like me, diet alone isn't enough for your iron needs.
I agree! My job involves working with certain medical records and I see a LOT of cases of iron deficiency anemia. 99% of them are not due to diet (out of about two thousand cases I have seen so far, one was a vegetarian not eating enough). Often it is an underlying cause, such as gastric bypass surgery, Crohns or Celiac disease, bleeding gastric ulcers and using antacids or acid inhibitors, menstrual problems, etc. And many times it is just a matter of people not being able to absorb iron tablets and those people often need periodic iron infusions.

Knowing the underlying cause and treating that is important too, and if it is being treated already, then having iron tests done after a period of time on oral iron supplements should help your doctor figure out if you are absorbing the iron in those tablets (or your food) as well.
 

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Dr Barnard said when he was on The Doctors show, dairy actually reduces iron absorption! I think you should look into this if someone hasn't already said it above :) Here's the link:
 

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Not mentioned yet, but black treacle or apple treacle is also a good source of iron, can be eaten as a sweet topping on bread or pancakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok! I got a cast iron skillet so hopefully that will help, got some dark greens and stuff too. Thank you guys for all your tips :)
 

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No one said applebutter. I allways eat applebutter. It is really cheap here, has alot of Iron in it and it is not even butter. So it is vegan too. I looked it up and they said that 100g applebutter contains 10-20mg of iron.
(Http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_butter)
Man, I was ready to go out and buy some! I'd never heard that before.
I do need to clarify the source, and point out that 100 grams is about 1/2 cup.
From wiki-

In the Netherlands "Appelstroop" is widely recognised as a good source of iron, a dietary element in which modern diets are frequently considered deficient. There is a widespread view that the iron content arises from the interaction of the acid in the apples with the metal of vessels in which the Appelstroop is prepared and / or packaged.[5][6] However, commercially sold Appelstroop is almost invariably sold in paper or plastic based containers (or, in Germany, glass jars) and well into the fifties the traditional cooking pots used for its preparation were generally of copper. Regardless of how Appelstroop originally gained its reputation as a source of dietary iron, the iron content (10–20 mg per 100 gm) in typical factory produced product is boosted by the sugar beet, which is included with apples in the approximate ratio of 30:70. The cooking process thickens the texture of the sugar beet syrup, providing the extra sweetness which modern tastes expect and increases the proportion of various mineral elements including the iron which is already present before cooking in both apples and sugar beet.
 
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