How to get enough iron?

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I'm slowly transitioning to vegetarianism (and then veganism) but my mom is worried i'm not getting enough iron.
(My parents are the reason for my slow transition - I want to go vegan now but they say I have to wait until i'm 18 *argh!*)
anyway I've been tired and sleeping more than normal lately and my mom says its because of low iron levels. What can I do to get more iron in my diet?
 
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Lou

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Good to see you again Your Strawberriness.
I think its very normal for a regular checkup to test for iron levels. So I would recommend that you call your doctor and find out how your iron levels were at the last checkup.

They actually have home kits for iron levels. I've seen them in the pharmacy for under $25. Amazon has them for under $15. They require just one drop of blood. A pinprick in the finger does it.

Another option is to go to the blood bank. You only have to be 17. Sixteen with parental permission. It's a good thing to do anyway. and you get your iron levels read to you on the spot. Plus there is the cookie and the juice. If your mom takes you, you might even get out of first period. Many schools have annual blood drives, too.

Anyway, there are lots of more common reasons for being tired than anemia. Most of the teenagers I know don't get enough sleep. They don't go to sleep early enough and the stupid school system has the first period start way too early. Oh, you just started back to school, too. That has to be exhausting. No wonder you are tired.

However, anemia among vegans is a concern. Especially young women. There is a pretty easy solution though. Vegans need a source of B12, and most multivitamins contain B12. And many multis also contain iron. So you can take a multi and solve both issues easily. Multis aren't a bad idea even if you are not a vegan.

For vegans, an iron supplement is not a bad idea. the iron found in plants is less absorbable than the iron found in animal products. Also, some of our favorite foods inhibit the absorption of iron.

I've done a little research on vegan multis and I take the DEVA Tiny Tablets (with iron). They are a minimalistic approach to vitamins. They really are tiny. They are also very inexpensive. Six dollars for a three month supply. That is like 6¢ a day.

DEVAs contain 100% of the RDA of B12 and 50% of the RDA of iron. And normally you don't want to take too much iron in a supplement - too much can cause constipation.

Vegans favorite foods have iron in them anyway. tofu, soymilk, lentils, beans, peas, seeds, nuts, leafy greens, etc.

Cooking in cast iron is also a good solution.

I recently have been using Cronometer every day. It's a way for you to easily analyze your diet. You can check it out. it's free. and once you have it done you can either show your mom how good your proposed vegan diet is or you can make the necessary corrections.

I just recently posted my results here.
https://veganforum.org/threads/cronometer.3009/
 
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Good to see you again Your Strawberriness.
I think its very normal for a regular checkup to test for iron levels. So I would recommend that you call your doctor and find out how your iron levels were at the last checkup.

They actually have home kits for iron levels. I've seen them in the pharmacy for under $25. Amazon has them for under $15. They require just one drop of blood. A pinprick in the finger does it.

Another option is to go to the blood bank. You only have to be 17. Sixteen with parental permission. It's a good thing to do anyway. and you get your iron levels read to you on the spot. Plus there is the cookie and the juice. If your mom takes you, you might even get out of first period. Many schools have annual blood drives, too.

Anyway, there are lots of more common reasons for being tired than anemia. Most of the teenagers I know don't get enough sleep. They don't go to sleep early enough and the stupid school system has the first period start way too early. Oh, you just started back to school, too. That has to be exhausting. No wonder you are tired.

However, anemia among vegans is a concern. Especially young women. There is a pretty easy solution though. Vegans need a source of B12, and most multivitamins contain B12. And many multis also contain iron. So you can take a multi and solve both issues easily. Multis aren't a bad idea even if you are not a vegan.

For vegans, an iron supplement is not a bad idea. the iron found in plants is less absorbable than the iron found in animal products. Also, some of our favorite foods inhibit the absorption of iron.

I've done a little research on vegan multis and I take the DEVA Tiny Tablets (with iron). They are a minimalistic approach to vitamins. They really are tiny. They are also very inexpensive. Six dollars for a three month supply. That is like 6¢ a day.

DEVAs contain 100% of the RDA of B12 and 50% of the RDA of iron. And normally you don't want to take too much iron in a supplement - too much can cause constipation.

Vegans favorite foods have iron in them anyway. tofu, soymilk, lentils, beans, peas, seeds, nuts, leafy greens, etc.

Cooking in cast iron is also a good solution.

I recently have been using Cronometer every day. It's a way for you to easily analyze your diet. You can check it out. it's free. and once you have it done you can either show your mom how good your proposed vegan diet is or you can make the necessary corrections.

I just recently posted my results here.
https://veganforum.org/threads/cronometer.3009/
Thanks! (again)
 
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rogerjolly

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Hi Strawberry,

I try to steer away from supplements as far as possible and go instead for a rich variety in foods. I love beetroot. Not only is it great for iron (to keep your mum happy) but also provides calcium and vitamins A and C. Tell her that as well. Google will tell you how to cook the roots, how to cook the greens and how to make a beetroot drink.

I have two pieces of advice for young aspiring vegans with “parent problems”:

The first is you don’t have to wait until you are eighteen. You can put your foot down now providing you do it the right way. Explain patiently the depth of your feelings and that this is how you intend to live your life.

The second is to do as much work as possible in the kitchen. Build up your skills. Not only will that give you a little influence on which foods are eaten by the family but will benefit you enormously in your adult life.

“Rattle those pots and pans.” Bill Haley

Roger.
 
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kelli

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lots of foods. Beans, brown rice, lentils, spinach, raisins,tempeh, lima beans, tofu, edamame, nuts, seeds, oats, blackstrap molasses , swiss chard, prunes, collard greens, tomatoes, potatoes.
 
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veganDreama

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Hello and welcome!
When I last donated iron they noticed I was lacking in Iron. I just about passed the mark. Now I'm taking an Iron supplement.
 

OriginalBankster

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I make sure to eat a lot of green leafy foods. I also take a multivitamin and B12 supplement to help to ensure that I am getting sufficient nutrients. It is a good idea just in case. A B12 deficiency can have devastating consequences and should not be taken lightly.
 
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Olychka

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It is good that you are transitioning to vegan. You no need to worry about the iron enriched food. banana is a good vegan source for iron. You can take half cup of canned lima beans, red kidney beans, or chickpeas. 1 cup dried apricots will give enough iron to your body. If you area potato lover, eat one medium baked potato. 1 ounce of pumpkin, sesame, or squash seeds are also highest in iron.
 
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Slonaut

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You don't need any iron supplements.

Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, poppy seeds, pine nuts, cashews and almonds are iron bombs.
https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/nuts_nutrition.html

Also beetroot, especially the leaves.

Any iron deficiency will disappear very rapidly if you eat nuts and seeds daily.
If you think they are expensive see them as meat replacement. Also they satiate fast.

Seeds can easily be added to sandwiches, hot meals and salads, you barely taste them and they add extra crunch.
I love eating nuts along with dates.
 

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