I've been a vegetarian for years and give blood regularly and my iron levels are always high. I take a multi with high B levels and also eat a lot of greens. I think vegetarians often have more balanced diets because you are more conscious about food choices. But, you have to be careful not to go overboard on the carbs. I had that issue at first.
Talk to a medical professional about B-vitamin levels as well. Anemia isn't so much about iron as about the balance of iron and B vitamins. There are some B vitamins that are not available in plants-- vegans MUST take supplements (although vegetarians are okay if they get dairy, eggs, etc.) And as for the iron in raw vegetables, the question isn't how much iron is in the plant; it's how much iron the human body can extract from the plant. Again, a Registered Dietitian or other medically-trained professional can give you the right advice. It's entirely possible to be healthy as a vegetarian (probably healthier than most omnivores), but it does take a little extra knowledge. And being a healthy vegan takes a TON of extra knowledge and planning.
I eat meat something like once or twice a week. I also give blood regularly (every two months) and have been for years. So far, no anemia. I do take an iron supplement once in awhile (Feosol Bifera) and by once in a while, I mean one caplet a week. Sometimes, I forget to take even that.
Iron is something to be aware of, especially if you menstruate. However, taking a supplement usually prevents problems.
Fitness Minutes: (5,608)
13 4/8/13 7:16 P
MATIKA25, I recently went vegan because I had IBS and problems with bloating and digestion as well. Also diabetes that wasn't getting better with the "low carb, high protein" diet that the American Diabetic Association recommends. I discovered a vegan program from Dr Neal Barnard and also Dr John McDougall. I decided to give it a try..... my IBS was gone in two weeks, the bloat gone, my blood sugar came down dramatically. I am eating tons of good healthy carbs everyday and make sure I do get adequate protein from beans and lentils and whole grains. I eat plenty of veggies and fruits and my energy is higher than it's ever been! I have lost about 40 pounds in 8 weeks and I feel awesome! I have issues with anemia too even when I was eating meat everyday. I take iron and and eat a lot of beans and greens with are both loaded with iron. I don't feel any "less anemic" eating a vegan/vegeterian diet. I highly recommend you try Dr John McDougall's program for 2 weeks and see if it helps you. Here is a link to his site if you are interested! :)
P.S. You can also read Dr John McDougall's ebooks online free at:
Fitness Minutes: (853)
7 4/8/13 9:51 A
Soy foods and tofu can help you to get those hard to find things like protein and iron. If you have vitamin c with your meal it helps your body to absorb the iron. So try to include fruit with every meal.
I've been vegetarian (not vegan) for 10 years. I dont' take an iron table - you dont' always need one depending on your diet. I do get blood tests every two years to check on my iron levels. I'm currently on the lower side but in the normal range.
Also if you buy the calorie counter books I've found in the back they have sections focusing on specific things and there's normally one on iron which tells you how much iron is in everything.
I am vegan raw and I get plenty of iron through my greens. Spinach is high, but so is kale. Just remember that to have the foods process the iron you need to pair it with something that is high in vitamin c. For example, i eat kale and pair it with red peppers. Spinach with some fruit, etc.
I'm not vegetarian but have had issues with anemia. The thing that helps me the most to get my iron levels up is a supplement called Floradix. It's like a liquid iron that absorbs really well and doesn't cause the digestive issues that most iron supplements do.
I am borderline wanting to become a vegetarian, but I have issues with low blood iron. Are there any vegetarians out there with this issue? How do you manage? What foods do you eat? I was thinking about becoming a vegetarian for digestive/bloating issues. I feel completely better when I don't eat meat. I thought about just eating meat once a week...but I am not sure if that would suffice. I can eat spinach literally everyday and won't get tired of it...I just want to know how do you know if you're getting enough iron from the foods your eat?
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