How Much Iron Do I Need?
RDA for Men >18 and Women >50 is 8 mg/d
RDA for Women 19-50 is 18 mg/d
Upper Safe Limit for Adults is 45 mg/d
Why Do I Need Iron?
Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin and myoglobin, two proteins that store and transport oxygen
Iron is also a part of various enzymes
Plant-Based Sources of Iron
Iron Content (mg)
Black beans, 1 cup cooked
Garbanzo beans, 1 cup cooked
Kale, 1 cup cooked
Swiss chard, 1 cup cooked
Walnuts, 1 ounce
Cashews, 1 ounce
Prune juice, 1 cup
Bagel, large (4 1/2 inches), enriched
Raisin Bran, 1 cup
Gape Nuts, 1/2 cup
Potato, large (3-4 1/2 inches) baked
Pale skin, eye membranes and nail beds
Impaired wound healing
Reduced resistance to cold
References used for all of the nutrient pages can be found at the bottom of the Nutrition Facts page. Click here.
Loss of hair
How to Assess Status
Your doctor may check the following labs: serum ferritin, serum iron, hemoglobin, hematocrit and iron-binding capacity
Iron absorption from plant sources is increased when combined in a meal with vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, red peppers, kiwi and strawberries
Garlic and onions can also increase iron absorption from plants
If you suspect that you have marginal iron status avoid eating iron rich foods with known inhibitors such as coffee and tea
Here are some interesting videos from NutritionFacts.org relating to iron
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