Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world. The good news is that you can get all the iron you need from a vegan diet because there are lots of plant foods containing good amounts of this mineral.
Your daily iron intake
It is recommended that most adults have a dietary iron intake of 8.7mg (millgrams) per day. However, those who menstruate should aim for a higher intake of 14.8mg per day.
Sources of iron
Good plant sources of iron include lentils, chickpeas, beans, tofu, cashew nuts, chia seeds, ground linseed, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, kale, dried apricots and figs, raisins, quinoa and fortified breakfast cereal.
There are lots of factors that affect the amount of iron your body can absorb from your diet. The most important factor is your body’s need for iron: more is absorbed when your body is short of iron, and less is absorbed when your stores are full. Tea, coffee and some substances in plant foods may make it difficult for your body to absorb iron. On the other hand, vitamin C increases iron absorption. Good sources include pepper, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kiwi fruit, oranges, strawberries, pineapple, grapefruit and orange juice.
Take a look at these charts alongside to see what other foods contain iron naturally. You will see that it is easy to reach your goal if you are eating a balanced Whole Food Plant Based diet:
- Natural Sources of Iron Table 1 – pages 1 to 3
- Top 10 Fruits and Vegetables High in Iron by Nutrient Density
- More Iron Rich Fruits and Vegetables