Raw and Vegan Doesn’t Mean a Lack of Iron

Getting enough iron is vital, particularly for the seasonsed woman.  Lack of  iron in the system can result in anemia.   Anemia occurs when there are not enough healthy red blood cells in the body.  These red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues.  There are several forms of anemia.  One of the main reasons for its occurance is the lack of important elements in the body including certain vitamins and minerals as well iron, B12 and folic acid, which is another B vitamin.    

Avoiding anemia means having healthy red blood cells that are formed primarily in the bone marrow.  An interesting thing is that a hormone created in your kidneys signals the body to replace healthy red blood cells every 90 to 120 days.  Without the right nutrients, the bood (hemoglobin) will not produce healthy red blood cells.

It is commonly believed that people who don’t eat red meats or other animal proteins are at particular risk of being deficient in the substances needed for the body to produce healthy hemoglobin and avoid anemia. That means if you prefer to eat raw, vegan or vegetarian, you would be of higher risk for anemia.  However, the good news is that you don’t necessarily have to become anemic because of not eating animal products if you are careful to eat in a balanced manner and take care to ingest the right vitamins and minerals.  

For instance, iron is found to be very high in green leafy vegetables.  In fact, some have been found to have a higher concentration of iron than animal flesh.  According to the USDA, gram for gram, kale has fourteen times more iron than red meat and spinach, strawberries, cabbage, bell peppers, and cucumbers have more iron per weight than ground beef or sirloin steak.

Also, eating Vitamin C foods help with the assimilation of iron in the body.  Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and many of the foods listed above as high in iron.  All of these foods are found in diets eaten by those who don’t consume animal flesh products. 

What really needs to be watched is the potential intake of B vitamins and B12 overall which is not found in plant foods.  This is probably the vitamin you might need to supplement to avoid a deficiency.  

It’s good to know that eating a raw/vegan or vegetarian diet means being able to take good care of yourself.  When you’re armed with information on how great fruits and vegetables are in maintaining overall health you can be even more motivated to live this lifestyle.