Iron is an important mineralThe Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommendations for iron  are:

Infants and children
• Younger than 6 months: 0.27 milligrams per day (mg/day)
• 7 months to 1 year: 11 mg/day
• 1 to 3 years: 7 mg/day
• 4 to 8 years: 10 mg/day

Males
• 9 to 13 years: 8 mg/day
• 14 to 18 years: 11 mg/day
• Age 19 and older: 8 mg/day

Females
• 9 to 13 years: 8 mg/day
• 14 to 18 years: 15 mg/day
• 19 to 50 years: 18 mg/day
• 51 and older: 8 mg/day


While red meat and organ meat are the most efficient ways to get iron, there are some excellent iron-rich vegan foods. If you can’t get enough iron from foods, I also like an iron-rich supplement, called Floradix. It’s non-constipating and the iron in it is very well absorbed.

Soy foods are high in iron, but they are also rich in calcium and calcium prevents iron absorption, so I didn’t put tofu on this list. Spinach is high in iron, but it is also rich in oxalic acid, which prevents efficient iron absorption. Therefore, spinach is not on the list either.

Eating iron-rich foods along with foods that contain vitamin C,  helps the body absorb the iron. I like cooking mine with a slice of lemon or some lemon juice. The citrus adds vitamin C to make it easier to absorb the iron and adds nice flavor.

Tea and coffee contains compounds called polyphenols, which can bind with iron, interfering with its absorption. If you are iron-deficient, try to limit tea and coffee.

The acid in foods pulls some of the iron out of the cast-iron pots, so if you are iron-deficient, I  recommend buying at least one such pot. Simmering acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, in an iron pot can increase the iron content of the food by more than ten-fold. Cooking foods containing other acids, such as vinegar, red wine and lemon juice in an iron pot can also increase the food’s iron content.

Vegan Iron-rich Foods:

Spirulina (1 tsp): 5 mg

Pumpkin seeds (1 ounce): 4.2 mg

Sunflower seeds ( 1 ounce) 6 mg

Amaranth ( 4 ounces, cooked) 8mg

Beets (1 cup) 1.4 mg

Whole Wheat Bread ( 100 gr) 2.4 mg

Barley (4 ounces, cooked) 2.5 mg

Sesame seeds (1 ounce)  6.5 mg

Quinoa (4 ounces, cooked): 4.6 mg

Buckwheat ( 4 ounces, cooked) 7 mg

Swiss chard ( 1 cup, cooked) 2.2 mg

Blackstrap molasses (1 tbsp): 4.3 mg

Tomato paste (4 ounces): 3.9 mg

White beans (1/2 cup, cooked) 12 mg

Black walnuts (1/2 cup) 5.6 mg

Dried peaches (8 halves): 2.6 mg

Dates (1 cup) 5.3 mg

Raisins ( 1 cup) 4 mg

Prunes (10 large) 2.5 mg

Lentils (4 ounces): 3 mg

Lima beans (1/2 cup, cooked) 1 mg

Oatmeal (1 cup, cooked) 1.4 mg

Dried apricots (17 halves) 2.6 mg


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