How to Up Your Iron the Vegan Way


healthful tips for the herbivore


Iron plays a vital role in the bodies homeostatic balance. It is a critical component for various enzymes throughout the body and its main role is in oxygen-binding as a component of hemoglobin in red blood cells. When the body presents an iron deficiency,  it can lead to anemia - a decrease in the oxygen transporting capacity of blood. Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies worldwide. This statistic can seem discouraging to most, especially to the uninformed vegan. While certain plant-based food arrangements lack the necessary daily value that furnishes adequate iron for the plant-based vegan, nutritional modifications can be implemented to reduce or divert this deficiency from occurring in your vegan health journey (Affp). 

INdicative signs and symptoms of Iron Deficiency

  • Hair Loss
  • Cold Extremities (Hands & Feet)
  • Brittle Nails
  • Pallor 
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Pale Lower Eyelids  


If you are experiencing any of these S&S, pay your Primary Care Physician a visit. Your provider may offer to do a complete blood count (CBC) which measures many parts of your blood: ferritin, hemoglobin, red blood cells and more!



Here's a healthful tip!

Simply add vitamin C to your diet. Iron (non-heme) and vitamin C work hand-in-hand in assisting the body with efficient iron absorption. However, the key is eating them together in one serving. There are so many fruits and veggies that contain ample amounts of vitamin C and can help enhance your iron absorption! Contrary to popular belief, oranges aren't the only source of vitamin C! Broaden your vegan palate by exploring the many options on this lovely green earth!


vegan vitamin c foods:

  • Cabbage 
  • Bellpeppers
  • Guavas
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Papaya
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Peppers

There are two types of irons: heme (derived from animal-based foods) and non-heme  (derived from plant-based foods). Not all iron is equal in the scheme of absorption. The absorption of heme is not significantly impacted by other foods, while the non-heme iron is strongly influenced by foods that enhance or inhibit its absorption. Vitamin C is also known as "ascorbic acid" when it's combined with non-heme iron it then creates a compound that is easily absorbed. Next time, integrate your non-heme iron with a rich source of vitamin C. It should help significantly! 


vegan Iron-rich Foods:

  • Moringa (Drumstick Tree)
  • Leafy Greens
  • Blackstrap Molasses
  • Legumes
  • Grains
  • Nuts 


Disclaimer: Make sure your normal gut flora is supported by probiotics (aka Kombucha!), otherwise you won't be absorbing adequate amounts of nutrition; which could lead to nutrient deficiencies, leading you back to square one - iron deficiency!



After applying these cool tips, one may ask,

"Are you deficient of iron?" and you shall reply, "KALLEEE NAW!"



Stay Healthy, Stay Curious & Eat Cho Iron & Vitamin C!


DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. There are no financial ties to any supplement companies, pharmaceutical companies, or to any of the products mentioned in this post. This post is not meant to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose conditions or diseases and is meant for educational purposes. As always, please consult your doctor before trying any new treatments or supplements.

Health, VeganYasmin Wells