The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute suggest that anemia is a ubiquitous blood disorder observed among the US population. Can a vegan diet cause anemia? Many have the same doubt and as of now, no conclusive evidence is available for vegan dieters being at higher risk of developing anemia. However, that does not mean that vegan dieters do not need to give much attention to their diets.
Signs Of Anemia And Its Causes
Anemia betides in case of insufficient red blood cell production or if they aren’t functional. Iron deficiency is the major cause of this but in some cases, pregnancy, deficiency of vitamins, and some health issues may lead to anemia. Pale or yellowish skin, chronic fatigue, short breath, chest pain, headache, weakness, cold hands, and feet are some common signs of anemia. Immediately consult with a doctor in case you observe any of these. Eating iron-rich foods is the ideal way to mitigate the risk of developing anemia.
Iron-Rich Vegan Foods
In addition to eating iron-rich foods, it is also important to eat foods rich in Vitamin C as it is important for the absorption of iron. Here is a list of iron-rich vegan foods that must form part of your daily diet.
Beas like black-eyed beans and chickpeas have high iron content, with cooked beans containing about 4.2 to 4.7 mg iron per cup.
Similar to beans, lentils are also rich in iron, with one cup of cooked lentils containing about 6.6 mg of iron. Neither there is any shortage of varieties of lentils, nor recipes to cook it. Green and brown lentils are best in meals like stew and vegan meatloaf.
In addition to being rich sources of protein, soyfoods are rich sources of iron. Soy milk is the perfect substitute for animal milk and offers almost the same amount of protein. You can get tofu and tempeh from almost all mainstream grocery stores. For a change, you may try natto, a Japanese breakfast staple made using fermented soy milk.
Seeds, Nuts, And Nut Butters
Seeds, nuts, and nut butter are rich sources of iron. When it comes to seeds, pumpkin, hemp, sesame, and flax seeds are known to have the highest iron content. Among nuts, pine nuts, cashews, macadamia, almonds, and baruka nuts are rich sources of iron. The list of vegan-friendly iron-rich foods is quite extensive and we have mentioned just a few. There are various other vegan foods like dark leafy vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, and various fruits that are high in iron.