Vegetarian with iron deficiency- suggestions other than supplements?

posted 2 years ago in Cooking
Post # 2
1657 posts
Bumble bee

I am a nutritionist, honestly there are so many ways, you can google.

But here are two lesser known… 

Cook in cast  iron, the iron transfers to your food. 

Eat with or cook your high iron foods with an acid, it increases absorbtion. 

Post # 3
747 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I don’t know how much nutrition information you already have, so ignore if these basic suggestions are something you already know.

Great sources of iron are beans, lentils, green leafy veggies, tofu, and weirdly enough potatoes. You can up the amount of iron you absorb from plant sources by eating something with vitamin C at the same meal (citrus fruit, orange bell peppers, etc) 

So a great iron rich meal might be tacos with beans, spinach, and bell pepper 😊

Post # 4
36 posts

I am also veg and anemic . Iron pills are very hard to aborb into your system . I take two shots a day of floravit . It is vegan , taste good , easily absorbed , and does not cause constipation .

Post # 5
562 posts
Busy bee

DATES: They’re yummy and candy-like, you can even blend them into smoothies and protein shakes and desserts and stuff.

LENTILS: Comparable in nutritional content to steak, according to Julia Child.

My advice is to basically buy a Middle Eastern cookbook 🙂

Post # 6
6642 posts
Bee Keeper

Spinach for sure and cook in a cast iron pot. I have low iron and I’m not vegetarian. I have to take a supplement though. 

I think you need Vit. C to absorb too. So maybe a spinach salad with some citrus like a squeezed lemon wedge on it. Mmmm. 

I regularly eat a large mixed greens salad with garbanzo beans and other veggies. And that tastes pretty good too. 

Post # 7
40 posts

I am also a dietitian, and I like to recommend iron-enriched baby cereal. They’re easy to digest, can be made into muffins, cookies and other baked goods (just google it!) and have a very high iron content.

Post # 8
4813 posts
Honey bee

You can google high-iron foods, so I won’t rehash that.

As another poster mentioned, Vitamin C can boost non-heme iron absorption, but you have to consume it at the same time (so drinking a glass of orange juice while eating your spinach salad).

On the flip side of that, caffeine can actually inhibit iron absorption, so if you absolutely must have that cup of coffee or tea or a soda, then you should be consuming it separately and waiting an hour or two before consuming your sources of iron.

Post # 9
927 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
bctoquebec :  I second cooking in cast iron. It’s been done for ages, and is highly effective. 

Post # 10
4784 posts
Honey bee

Cast iron, beets, beet juice

Post # 11
20 posts

I am also veg, with crohns so I also have to be very careful with iron. I don’t use this, but have heard great things about it. It’s called the Lucky Iron Fish. It’s a little iron fish that you cook with and it infuses your food with iron. I’m not 100% sure how it works, but seems really cool. I’ve seen it in little health food stores in my small town in Canada. I’m sure you could get it online. Here’s a link to the Wikipedia page:

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