Iron in the Vegetarian Diet

Iron is a vital nutrient as it is an inner part of hemoglobin, and function is to carry oxygen in the blood. Iron deficiency, anemia is a worldwide health problem in young women and in children’s.

These day’s Vegetarian diets become gradually more popular for many reasons, including health, philosophical, religious and biological reasons as well.

Iron Diet

A Vegetarian diet does not contains any animal product and relies mostly on the use of breads, cereals, grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds which provides sufficient nutrition. However, remember you must take the food which is adequate in iron present in the diet.

The suggested daily intake of iron varies according to age and gender

18 mg for Women’s of 19-50 years,

8 mg in Men 19-50 years

8 mg in all Adults over 50 years

Anemia, the common disorder founds in women’s due to Iron deficiency, which associated with fatigue, weakness, dizziness and breathe dumpiness.

Iron deficiency does not consistently cause these symptoms, but increases the risk for anemia and the risk of becoming indicative during emotional or physical stress.

Iron generally found in two forms of foods, heme and non-heme iron. Heme iron is found in meat, poultry, and fish up-to 40%.  

Iron in Non-Veg Food

Non-heme iron is 60 percent of the iron found in plants (Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Nuts) and is less absorbed.

Because vegetarian diets only contain non-heme iron, so they should ensure to intake the foods that are high in iron and methods that promote iron absorption. Iron intake should be for vegetarians should 1.8 times higher than for non-vegetarians 

The reason for the adequate iron position in Vegetarians is, these diets are high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C clearly increase the absorption of non-heme iron.

Adding a vitamin C source in the diet will increases non-heme iron absorption and the absorption of non-heme iron as good as / or better than that of heme iron.

Fortunately, many vegetables, such as broccoli, Tomato, bok choy, Soybeans, Lentils, Flaxseeds and Lemon which are high in iron, also high in vitamin C, so iron from these foods are well absorbed. Commonly eaten combinations, such as beans and tomato sauce or stir-fried tofu can also result in generous levels of iron absorption.

Caution  

The intake of Calcium and tannins, (Tannin found in tea and coffee) reduces iron absorption.

Tea, coffee, and calcium supplements should be taken some hours before a meals which is high in iron