Veganism and Anemia

I was born with anemia, I have had an iron deficiency my entire life. I am able to get more than enough iron on a vegan diet, and I notice the side affects of anemia less now that I am eating plant based:

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This chart is a little cisnormative so i’ll list some more sources at the end of the article.

A few things to note before you use anemia as an argument against veganism when you’re not anemic:

  • Anemia is an iron deficiency, not a meat deficiency
  • There’s more iron in some leafy greens than a steak
  • You could get your iron from meat but you’re putting yourself at risk for many other illnesses including cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol when there are plenty of plant based foods that contain a lot of iron
  • Using a situation that does not affect you as an excuse to not go vegan is ridiculous

Some things to note for people who are honestly worried that veganism will negatively affect their anemia:

  • Don’t worry! Chances are it will help
  • I’ve never had to, but some vegans supplement with iron for good measure and that’s still vegan
  • You should make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C to absorb it

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A lot of people think being anemic is a reason that they can’t go vegan; but if you don’t think you’re getting enough iron, you may just not be eating enough!

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Rather get your iron from smoothies? Here are some top smoothie ingredients high in iron from Incredible Smoothies!

#1 – Parsley: Fresh parley is the top green for iron. With 3.7 milligrams per cup, parsley boosts the iron content of your green smoothie while adding a fresh, green flavor. It blends best with pineapple and citrus fruits, as well as mangoes and banana. Use no more than one cup of parsley in a recipe, and mix it with another iron-rich leafy green to boost the iron content further.

#2 – Dandelion Greens: The number two green for iron is dandelion. Two cups of dandelion greens contain 3.4 milligrams of iron. I use up to four cups of dandelion in a large, green smoothie meal for a total of 6.8mg of iron – just from the greens! Since dandelions are bitter, blend them with enough sweet fruit like banana, mango, pineapple and citrus to mask the bitterness.

#3 – Kale: Kale is rich in both calcium and iron. Two cups of kale provide 2mg of iron. Whether curly kale or “dinosaur” kale, this iron-packed green is a staple in my green smoothie lifestyle.

#4 – Spinach: Spinach is famous for its iron content, but it is actually not the most iron-rich leafy green out there. Two cups of fresh spinach contains 1.6mg of iron. Since spinach has such a mild flavor, you can add it to a green smoothie with dandelion, kale or parsley to boost the iron content.

#5 – Raw Cacao: This is one instance where chocolate is really good for you. Different brands and cultivars of the cacao bean will provide different iron levels, but they can range from .8mg per serving to a whopping 24mg per serving. Sunfood brand cacao boasts 314% daily value of iron per ounce.

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4 thoughts on “Veganism and Anemia

  1. Pingback: The Forgotten Faces of the Industry | Mad Rabbits

  2. Pingback: Over 50 Reasons to Go Vegan | Mad Rabbits

  3. Did wrote “You should make sure you’re getting enough calcium to absorb it [iron]”. Did you mean to say enough “vitamin C”? Because I’ve read that too much calcium actually inhibits iton absorption.

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