Excellent Iron Sources for the Raw Vegan

 

stuffed-tomatoI am in the process of preparing myself (mentally, physically, and spiritually) to eat a raw vegan diet.  I usually eat a high raw vegan diet during the Spring and Summer months.

During my preparation, I came across some important information about iron. Did you know that the iron in plant foods are less efficiently absorbed than the iron that is present in meat?

In order to efficiently absorb iron, consume foods high in vitamin C with foods that are high in iron. Also those who center their diet around a plant-based diet have no greater incidence of anemia than do meat eaters.

So if you’re worried about getting enough iron on a plant-based diet, don’t be. Proper combining of vitamin C foods with iron rich foods helps with iron absorption.

Combining red pepper, tomato or citrus fruit with an iron source helps with your iron absorption. Doing this can double or triple the amount of iron you absorb, because vitamin C changes iron to a form that is more easily absorbed. Other fruits that have citric acid that help with iron absorption include papaya, mangoes, and strawberries.

Excellent Iron Sources*

  • almonds, Brazil nuts, or hazel nuts, 2/3 cup (90 g)
  • almond or cashew butter, 1/3 cup (80 ml)
  • amaranth, dry 1 tablespoon (13 g)
  • apricots, dried, 2/3 cup (100 g)
  • buckwheat, dry, 1/2 cup (85 g)
  • dried figs, raisins, or currants, 1 cup (165-200 g)
  • flaxseed, ground, 3 tablespoons (24 g)
  • lentils or mug beans, dry, 2-3 tablespoons (25 g)
  • millet or wild rice, dry, 1 cup (130 g)
  • parsley, 1 cup (60 g)
  • peas, 2 cups (290 g)
  • seeds, 1/3 cup (60 ml)
  • sesame tahini, 1/3 cup (80 ml)
  • sun-dried tomatoes, 2/3 cup (36 g)
  • Spirulina seaweed, dried, 1 tablespoon (8 g)

*Excellent sources provide at least 3.6 mg iron or 20% of the DRI.

Don’t Be Afraid of Supplements

Supplements are your friend, especially when your caloric intake has decreased.  As a measure of safety, you should take supplements.

Why? Because you are limiting your calories, even more so on a raw vegan diet and you need to make every food you eat count.

You may need to include a, multivitamin/mineral supplement. Choose a multivitamin/mineral supplement that has chromium and zinc. In addition take calcium (along with vitamin D), separate tablet. Some multivitamins/mineral supplements don’t have enough calcium.

If taking a pill isn’t what you want to do, consider a green powder supplement that has added vitamins and minerals, make sure they include vitamin B12, D, and iodine.

Eating a raw vegan diet helps you get most of what you need. And in this case, just one multivitamin/mineral supplement a day or a few days, plus a calcium tablet will do for most people. While traveling using a supplement is wise, because your food choices could be limited.

Conclusion

When you decide to change your diet, make sure you do your research and consult a professional. If you prepare for the challenge, you’ll be sure to succeed in whatever diet you choose for yourself.

Source of Information: The Raw Food Revolution Diet(pages 58-60)

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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

10 Enlightened Replies

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  1. msfullroller says:

    Like Liz, I’ve been drinking tea with nettle in it and a bunch of other herbs for about 8 months now. I’ll have to do a quick post in the near future sharing what all I put in my tea.

    Wow I had no idea that lentils and parsley had iron in them…that’s great to know!

  2. Liz says:

    Great tips! I also recommend nettle tea, it’s a good source of iron. I am not a vegan myself but did have low iron a couple of months ago, so I supplemented by drinking several cups of nettle tea a day. I haven’t done any bloodwork since then, but I feel a lot less fatigued, so I’m assuming it’s working well!

  3. jan says:

    Well Evelyn if you are going to show such delish photos maybe you should share the recipes!! Then people won’t be tempted to eat the screen!

    Anyway, when I was studying nutrition, our teacher told us that if you squeeze a bit of lemon over green leafy vegetables it makes the iron more bio-available because of the vitamin C. Also, don’t drink tea when you are eating as something in the tea binds with the iron to stop it being absorbed. When I was growing up in England you always had a cup of tea with your dinner, but we didn’t have any problems as we were not eating a vegetarian diet.

    The foods that you have listed – is the iron easily absorbed? I have to say that I love all of them and use lentils a lot in winter for soups. We are just moving into autumn and I have already made my first lentil soup with fresh basil from the garden.

    • Hey Jan,

      Thanks for sharing the information.

      It is easily absorbed, more so if you eat a vitamin C food with the iron-rich food.

      Your lentil soup sounds delicious. Fresh basil from the garden is the best.

      Take care,

      Evelyn

  4. In India we get another rich source of iron, i.e. juggery, which is made from sugarcane.

  5. Carolyn says:

    Evelyn, I wanted to bite the screen! That raw stuffed tomato looks so yummy! Another great article. Thank you. 🙂

    • Evelyn says:

      Hi Ms. Carolyn!

      LOL..you would not have regretted it. This was very good. The filling is made with raw pumpkin seeds…very delish. 😉 Thanks!

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