Understanding Veganism And A Vegan Diet And Making The Switch
Do You Need To Supplement With Iron On A Vegan Diet?
Iron supplementation is not necessary on a vegan diet. The only supplementation that might be needed is with vitamin B12. Some people on a vegan diet have had issues with their iron levels, but that is easily addressed by making sure you eat a well rounded whole food vegan diet.
This just basically means that you consume leafy greens like kale and fruits, and your choice between whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds daily. A well rounded plant-based diet easily supplies the recommended daily value of iron.
The one important thing to know about iron from vegetables is that it is non-heme iron, while iron in meat is heme iron. The body does absorb heme iron more easily than it does non-heme iron, and this is not a big issue.
In nature we don’t consume nutrients in isolation. Nutrients come packaged with other nutrients that help regulate their absorption. Having vitamin C present in food makes the non-heme iron as bioavailable and as digestible as heme iron.
The consumption of heme iron is also problematic. Heme iron is associated with the increased risk of metabolic syndrome that includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, high cholesterol, and excessive weight around the mid-section. Heme iron is also associated with higher risk of heart disease.
The consumption of non-heme iron does not pose these risks.
 Heme iron intake and risk of stroke: a prospective study of men.
 J Hunnicutt, K He, P Xun. Dietary iron intake and body iron stores are associated with risk of coronary heart disease in a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. J Nutr. 2014 Mar;144(3):359-66 doi: 10.3945/jn.113.185124.
 W Yang, B Li, X Dong, X Q Zhang, Y Zeng, J L Zhou, Y H Tang, J J Xu. Is heme iron intake associated with risk of coronary heart disease? A meta-analysis of prospective studies. Eur J Nutr. 2014;53(2):395-400. doi: 10.1007/s00394-013-0535-5.