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How Much Iron Should A Vegetarian Take

By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: June 5, 2018
How Much Iron Should A Vegetarian Take

Iron is an essential mineral, and one of the key minerals for hemoglobin. Considering the increasing popularity of vegan and vegetarian diets across the globe, some people are skeptical about whether a vegetarian diet delivers the required amount of iron or not. Here at oneHOWTO, we are going to tell you how much iron should a vegetarian take.

You may also be interested in: The Best Way To Take An Iron Supplement

How is Iron in Vegetables Different from Iron in Meat?

Iron from meat is known as heme iron, and iron from plants is known as nonheme iron. Iron from meat gets absorbed into your body, no matter how much iron you already have, but the absorption of nonheme iron from plants depends on how much iron is already present inside your body.

This means that if you are low on iron, your body will absorb more iron from the food you consume, but if you already have sufficient amounts of iron, then nonheme iron will be less absorbable. This means that if you are on a vegetarian diet, your body will absorb just the right amount of iron required for your health.

How to Get Sufficient Iron on a Vegetarian Diet

One cup serving of green veggies delivers 1-3 mg of iron, depending on the vegetable you have chosen. For example, ½ cup of beans delivers 2-3 mg or iron, while a bowl of iron-fortified cereal delivers 18mg of the mineral.

According to dietary experts, an adult male needs 8mg of iron per day, a women more than 50 years of age also needs 8mg of iron in a day, while a woman between 19 to 50 years of age needs 18mg of iron per day, probably to compensate for the menstrual loss. So, if you are a vegetarian, you will get the sufficient amount of iron as far as you are eating healthy, iron-rich veggies and beans in enough quantities.

How Much Iron Should A Vegetarian Take - How to Get Sufficient Iron on a Vegetarian Diet

Does a Vegetarian Need Iron Supplements?

No, unless your healthcare provider has diagnosed you with iron deficiency. Extra iron in your body can also lead to serious health problems, as it may trigger free radicals production in your body which cause damage to the body tissues, and may also be related to aging, heart disease and cancer. So, you should not take iron supplements unless you have been diagnosed with deficiency of iron.

So, if you are a vegetarian, and getting sufficient amounts of green vegetables, beans and cereals, you don’t need to worry about whether you are getting sufficient iron amount or not. If you are still doubtful, get yourself tested and know if you are iron deficient or not. If yes, iron supplements can work wonders to get you back on track.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How Much Iron Should A Vegetarian Take, we recommend you visit our Drugs & supplements category.

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