Iron is a fundamental part of hemoglobin, the protein present in the blood responsible for carrying oxygen.
A low intake of iron and, consequently, of hemoglobin is not necessarily linked to a vegetarian diet, but also affects omnivores since it often depends on the difficulty of absorbing iron; it is useless to deny that meat is a rich source of the latter and consequently the daily intake is easier to reach for an omnivore.
SYMPTOMS OF AN IRON DEFICIENCY
If after starting a vegetarian diet we feel unusually tired, out of breath or notice an abnormal pallor, we could be in the presence of a deficiency. The first thing to do is to ascertain this with a simple blood test: if so, it is better to follow the advice of a doctor.
HOW TO PREVENT AN IRON DEFICIENCY
Even if the major sources of iron are of animal origin, our body is able to assimilate the right amount from plants, let's see how to help our body in this delicate process.
- Increase the consumption of legumes , rich in proteins and iron, combining them with foods containing them C vitamin such as fruit or lemon juice, broccoli, cabbage, savoy cabbage, green radicchio, turnip greens, endive, chicory, pistachios, cashews, dehydrated fruit such as apricots, plums, peaches and raisins. Aromatic herbs such as thyme, mint, rosemary and basil are also rich in iron.
- Increase the assimilation of vegetable iron by increasing the intake of Vitamin C through a natural supplement such as pure ascorbic acid.
- Avoid to eat at the same time foods rich in iron and those that reduce its assimilation, that is all foods containing calcium, tannins and phytates, for example dairy products, coffee, chocolate and red wine with meals, tea.
- Supplement your diet with algae such as Spirulina , which has a high iron content.
This and other information on the Veg diet in the guide LIVE HEALTHY WITHOUT EATING MEAT - Practical guide to balanced supplementation for Vegans, vegetarians and aspirants.
Go to the Spirulina Algae sheet
Go to Ascorbic Acid