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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't have a lot of money so can't afford lots of green leafy things also I dont want to take suppliments.

I was thinking beans but I dont really jknow enough recipes to increase my intake all that much. Im not a fan of eating the same thing over and over again.
 

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Lentils and beans are good for iron intake. Vegetarian shepherd's pie is a very cheap way to get brown lentils into your diet. You can basically use them in anything a meat eater would put mince in. Also make sure you eat iron containing foods with vitamin C containing foods to increase absorption.
 

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Some questions:

What's caused you to think you're not getting enough iron currently?

What sort of things do you eat now (maybe you could give a sample day)?

Are you talking about lettuces, etc. as far as "green leafy things"? You should be able to get some fairly reasonably.

In addition to boosting vitamin C, watch your caffeine intake and try not to eat too much calcium at the same time as your iron-heavy foods as it interferes with absorption. One of my favorite iron rich foods is oatmeal with some raisins/dried fruit.
 

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You really need a blood test to be sure. If you fail a blood donation test, keep in mind they're stricter than what is considered anemic-just because donating will make it worse. Taking supplements without being deficient is not good for you!

Cast iron skillet! I use mine a lot. They will add amounts of iron to foods cooked in them, esp. acidic foods like tomato sauces.

Beans, lentil, seeds and whole grains. Kale and collards and spinach aren't that much- I try to have them at least once a week.

Drink teas (black or green) and coffee away from iron containing foods.
 

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The calcium thing isn't actually an issue unless it is supplements. The original studies that showed that calcium reduced iron's bioavailability was when people were taking high does supplements with their meals, but later studies that were done with milk and other calcium containing foods showed no issues. I'm only a third year nutrition student though so if a dietician or nutritionist tells you different listen to them rather than me. You are right about the tea thing, and also wine reduces iron absorption.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I feel light headed and when i looked under my eye lids they are really pale hardly any pink left!
 

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I know you said you don't want to take supplements, but you probably should in the short term while you sort out your diet to get enough iron naturally. Also, talk to your doctor to see if you have any metabolic issues which are preventing you from absorbing the iron you are getting.

Are you sure that it is iron deficiency anaemia? B12 and foliate deficiencies can also lead to anaemia.

As far as recipes are concerned, you could use brown rather than white rice, put some red lentils in your pasta sauce, make "mince" pie or burger patties out of brown lentils, nachos using kidney beans, falafel and hummus both contain chick peas, fake meats are usually fortified with iron, so are lots of breakfast cereals.
 

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Dark leafy vegetables are packed full of Iron. So include vegetables such as Peas and Brocoli in your meals. Also, breakfast cereals are full of fortified Iron. I usually eat Bran Flakes in the morning.
 

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Do you take a multivitamin? I think everyone should take one everyday, just to be safe, omni or not. I always take one and it has a lot of iron in it so that I don't have to worry as much about getting it in just with my diet.
 

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Have you been to a doctor for a blood test? It's really the only way to properly detect a vitamin/mineral deficiency. Also, even if you're having symptoms of anemia (tiredness, etc.) it could be something other than iron-deficiency that's causing the problem.

The calcium issue could be described as up in the air at best. There were a few studies in the early 00's indicating that there was no effect, but most were criticized as having too small sample sizes (e.g. http://www.ajcn.org/content/80/2/404.short, where the size was 14 people), or other inadequacies. There are maybe 20 times as many studies showing at least a correlation between calcium consumption and iron absorption.

@the op...a doctor's visit seems really warranted here. Numerous vitamin deficiencies (B12 and zinc come readily to mind) can also cause tiredness, but so can thyroid problems, viruses, and loads of other issues, many of which could be easily resolved.

It's been a subject of interest to me as someone who works with kids, as anemia in children is quite common and milk is often put to blame. There was some thought (for like 60 years, I think) that this was because the milk replaced more iron-rich foods. That is, kids filled up on milk and didn't eat enough meat, pulses, etc. Then, in the early 90s, there were some studies indicating that the milk itself (and supposedly the calcium it contains) were the problem. The recommendation from the NIH then was to avoid milk with meals. However, there seem to be some indications that it was the phytate/phytic acid that inhibited absorption as opposed to just the calcium. (head spins) I just started looking into this again recently, because my hemoglobin was falling quite low while pregnant, and of course the recommendation was to eat more iron-rich foods. I was already pretty much a protein junkie because of pg sickness/tastes, so I couldn't believe I wasn't getting enough iron. My ferritin levels were fine, in fact, but I still wanted to maximize my iron intake. Anwyay...not to get too off topic, but if you're having a calcium source at every meal, then it may cause a problem.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by silva View Post

Cast iron skillet! I use mine a lot. They will add amounts of iron to foods cooked in them, esp. acidic foods like tomatoes.
Cooking using a cast iron pan???! That sounds so cool! I should get myself one of those then!

I cook beetroot, broccoli and leafy greens once a week. Diff veg each day. So if i cook beetroot on monday, it lasts for 2 days, then on wednesday i may cook broccoli, and two days later on friday i'll stirfry some asian leafy greens in soysauce and toss in some mushrooms or something.

I was told those 3 are rich in iron. I also read that vitamin c helps with iron absorption. Try upping your vit c intake too. I used to be anaemic when i was omni. Randomly fainting on people in trains is not cool.
 

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I am anemic and i have to take supplements which reminds me i have to find my new ones I purchased, I would look into high quality iron foods and eat those.
 

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A list of iron rich foods with some explanation. It seems to say basically what I learnt in class about vegetarian diets and sources of iron.
http://www.livestrong.com/article/20...r-vegetarians/

Here is some ammo for those who get asked constantly about their iron by meat eaters.
"Vegetarian diets have been described as being deficient in iron, although numerous studies show that when this occurs, it is usually due to poor meal planning (Leitzmann, 2005). A well-balanced vegetarian or vegan diet provides plenty of iron. In fact, in Western countries, vegetarian diets can contain as much or more iron than mixed diets containing meat (Harvey et al., 2005; Hunt, 2003). Vegetarians and vegans, even with a high dietary fibre (and hence phytate) intake, have been found to have a similar amount of iron in their diets compared to meat-eaters (Craig, 1994). A recent study compared iron intake among 33,000 meat-eaters, 10,000 fish-eaters, 18,000 vegetarians and 2,500 vegans and found that the vegans had the highest intake, followed by the fish-eaters and the vegetarians; the meat-eaters had the lowest intake (Davey, et al., 2003)."
(http://vegetarian.org.uk/factsheets/iron.html)
 
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