I want to go vegan, but will I become iron-deficient?!

Question: I want to go vegan, but will I become iron-deficient?
I've heard that spinach and broccoli are great sources of iron, but they contain an acid that inhibits its absorption, is this true?


Surveys have found that veg*ans are NOT more at risk of having an iron deficiency than meat eaters.

Spinach and broccoli do contain oxalic acid which inhibits the absorption of iron to a slight degree, but this is easily solved by sprinkling some citrus - lemon, lime or orange juice - on your salad. Vitamin C markedly enhances the absorption. You shouldn't overdo it with the iron, either - but this shouldn't be a concern for veg*ans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excessive heme iron intake (heme is animal-based) leads to iron toxicity, and can result in liver disease, diabetes, atherosclerosis, heart failure and certain types of cancer.

The RDA for iron is 14 milligrams per day for veg*an men and for women after menopause, and 33 milligrams per day for women prior to menopause.

You should by no means memorize these (don't count, eat!), but this is just to give you an idea.

1/2 cup of Pumpkin/Squash seeds provide 17 (!) mg of Iron
1/2 cup of Sesame seeds provide 11 mg of Iron
1/2 cup of Chia seeds provide 10 mg of Iron
1 cup of Cooked Soybeans provide 8.8 mg of Iron
2 Tbsp of Blackstrap molasses provide 7.2 mg of Iron
1 cup of Lentils provide 6.6 mg of Iron
1 cup of Spinach provides 6.4 mg of Iron
1 cup of Quinoa provides 6.3 mg of Iron
1 cup of Tempeh provides 4.8 mg of Iron
1 cup of Lima beans provides 4.4 mg of Iron
1 cup of Swiss chard provides 4.0 mg of Iron
1 cup of Pinto beans provide 3.5 mg of Iron
1 cup of Turnip greens provide 3.2 mg of Iron
1 cup of Peas provide 2.5 mg of Iron

... etc.

If you're a male, you never have to worry about an iron deficiency. In fact you should avoid it bc it can become lethal. That's why some mens' vitamins omit iron. So it is female vegans that have to keep an eye out on iron rich plant foods bc of biological differences.

Here are iron rich vegan foods:
Dark chocolate or baker's chocolate = 30% iron per serving (check the label; not all dark chocolates are vegan.)
Beets and beet juice.
Enriched Bagels

*Cooking in an iron skillet adds extra doses of iron to your meals, but cleaning them properly requires a little maintenance.

Vitamin C and foods rich in it help with iron absorption: oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, etc...

Vegan whose iron levels are higher than average

no, the iron still gets in.

Lentils- super hi protein.
fava beans
pinto beans
brussel sprouts
pumpkin- and the seeds
sweet potato
sunflower seeds.
brazil nuts
musstard seeds/greens
beans sprouts
miso paste
bean curd-tofu skins
soymilk yogurt
almond cheese
flax/sesame/poppy seeds.
rye bread
wholegrain bread
licorice ( eugh!)

These above are specifically iron-rich foods.

Almond butter is very high, and hummous too.

If you're eating a balanced diet, you will get plenty of iron without meats. If you take an iron supplement, you will probably be sorry--it will give you disgusting tarry stools and make you miserable.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away :P

apples have so much iron, they RUST in the open air. literally!


sweet potato
dark leafy greens
Rye bread
Brown rice

that is all

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