How Do Vegans Get Enough Iron?
This post is the very first of a weekly series I'm calling “Vegucation.” No, I didn't make up the name but a lot of people use it and it doesn't appear to be copywrited so I am going to use it too. Almost every day I get asked questions like “Where do vegans get their protein?” and “Where do vegans get B-12?” And surprisingly a lot of the people doing the asking are new vegans. And for some of the more challenging questions it can come from an experienced vegan. The truth is that no of us know it all. But I do have free time and I'm willing to do the research. So even if I don't know the answers I will find them!
This week I was asked about iron on the Facebook page. A nice woman said she was feeling fatigued all of the time and she thought it was her iron levels. I'll be honest and tell you I haven't really seen iron be an issue for most vegans. But here's the thing, even with meat eaters some of them have low levels of something that the majority of them don't. We are all unique individuals. While eating a vegan plant based diet is very healthy for most people without a whole lot of thought about micro-nutrients, it can be challenging for others. And I suspect these people with certain challenges would have them no matter what diet they ate. None of us are built exactly the same.
When considering healthy questions about being vegan you should do the same thing anyone does. Talk to your doctor. This case is a perfect example. She thinks she is low on iron but she may not be. A simple blood test will let her know. But it could be a lot of things ranging from poor sleep to dietary issues all the way to something really serious. So you need to get it checked first. You can not fix something until you know what the problem is for sure.
One you do know the problem, in this case a low iron level, what can you do to help it? The good news is that there are a ton of healthy, tasty sources of iron for vegans. You can improve your iron levels while eating really delicious food! That's my kind of treatment. On the next page I will give you the 12 most abundant sources of iron for vegans as well as some tips.