I'm vegan and I think I eat varied foods, lots of green veggies too. But blood sample was taken from me and my hemoglobin was quite low. What iron-bearing foods do you recommend to eat more especially?
A low hemoglobin count isn’t always a sign of illness — it may be normal for some people, but if you are experiencing fatigue and general low energy, it may be a sign of anemia or another illness. Get your ferritin levels tested. Ferritin is a better indicator of iron deficiency.
You are probably eating the right foods, you may just be having trouble absorbing enough non-heme iron!
Phytates, polyphenols, and calcium supplements all inhibit non-heme iron absorption (the iron we vegheads absorb). Polyphenols, which include tannic acid, can inhibit iron absorption, and are found in coffee, cocoa, and black, green and many herbal teas. You should avoid these foods at meals if you are trying to increase iron absorption. Phytates, found in legumes and grains, can inhibit the absorption of plant iron. Calcium supplements can also inhibit iron absorption if taken with meals.
Vitamin C and L-Lysine increase absorption, but the vitamin C in oranges can actually compete and inhibit iron absorption. Good sources of Vitamin C that can increase absorption include, strawberries, potatoes, mangoes, cantaloupe, collard greens, kale, broccoli (highest source of Vit. C). Researchers used 500 mg of vitamin C twice daily after meals to increase hemoglobin and serum ferritin in Indian vegetarians. They concluded that vitamin C was more effective at increasing iron status than iron supplements.
Also, cooking foods in cast iron pans can increase iron consumption as well!
I hope this helped! Thank you for the question and I’m sorry it took me a while to reply! I do eventually get around to replying to these types of messages. Thanks for the patience! xx (◕‿◕✿)