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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

I became a low calorie vegan over a month ago in order to lose weight rapidly. I've lost 23 pounds in 32 days so far. I cannot take iron pills because of the extreme pain they cause in my esophagus. And from what I have read, I should be able to get enough iron from the right vegetables. Same with protein. But I am new to this, and I am afraid I'm not getting enough iron or protein in my diet. Suggestions?

Responses (6)

  • Awakening's avatar
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    Posted by Awakening at 05/10/12 20:26:28

    I was low in iron too so I looked up online a very popular iron supplement which cost about $40 per month and was non constipating. I can't remember the name of the supplement. Their website seemed to suggest that it could take as much as nine months to get the iron levels back up to where they should be. $40 times nine is $360. I decided to compare this product to Black Strap molasses which has a lot of naturally occuring iron in it. The google search revealed that this company that made the iron supplement was importing large vats of organic blackstrap mollasses from South America. Their pills were made of it. So... I saved myself a ton of money by just taking a tablespoon of organic blackstrap mollasses every day. One tablespoon equals several of those pills and it's way cheaper. I hope this helps.

    Protein is in everything so you shouldn't get deficient but if you want to be sure, you can have soya milk, tofu, beans, etc. to get enough protein.

  • Sernicki's avatar
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    Posted by Sernicki at 05/13/12 09:21:29

    If you do not want, or cannot, take supplements then eat plenty of iton rich foods such as tofu, spinich, pulses, dried apricots, millet and blackstrap mollasses as suggested by Awakening. To ensure this gets absorbed drink a glass of fresh orange juice with the meal as iron needs vitamic see for uptake. This should be sufficient for your needs. Vegetarians and vegans do tend to have slightly lower stores of iron but this does not affect overall health.

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    Posted by happycowgirl at 05/14/12 20:29:38

    Elaborating on what everyone else has said, humans need iron to aid in the production of hemoglobin, a protein. Hemoglobin can be found in human red blood cells, and without it, oxygen isn`t properly transported throughout the body. Iron also assists in the function of cells and in proper brain functioning.

    Most often, when people think of iron, they think of meat sources (known as "heme iron"), but there are plenty of vegetarian, non-heme sources of this mineral as well. As long as a veg*n ingests plenty of vitamin C, non-heme iron is readily absorbed in the body. Fortunately, veg*ns usually get their vitamin C at the same time they get their iron, so that`s not a problem.

    • Good Sources of Iron
    Beans (Dried Peas, Dried Beans)
    Vegetables (Dark Green Leafy Vegetables)
    Beans (Green, Lima, Peas)
    Roots (Beets, White Potatoes)
    Sprouts (Bean, Alfalfa)
    Fruits (Dates, Prunes, Raisins)
    Enriched, fortified and whole grain breads and cereals are often high in iron content (check package contents).
    Grains (Wild Rice, Oats, Wheat, Bran, Macaroni)

    • Good Sources To Increase Iron Absorption
    Citrus Fruits (Oranges, Lemons, Limes)

    Helpful Hints:
    • Foods containing calcium and calcium supplements(TUMS) should not be used one hour before or one hour after the ingestion of iron supplements.

    • The intake of high fiber, cellulose foods (celery), caffeine (coffee, tea, cola), and anti-acid medications decrease iron absorption.

    • Absorption of the iron occurs in the upper part of the small intestine within four hours after eating.

  • chandratruwealth's avatar
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    Posted by chandratruwealth at 06/02/12 16:22:53

    Hi, Little Sparrow -

    The problem with "ferrous oxide" form of iron is that it is like ingesting a rock; it is not water soluble which is why this inorganic form of iron does not assimilate with the body cells, and actually constipates.

    Plant-based iron sources from **Natural Plants (**i.e. plants found in Nature -- typically called "wild") are the only plants which can convert solid minerals into water soluble, digestible plant food. This process of conversion is known as ionthropherosis (sp?). Hybrid plants are incapable of this process because their molecular structure as a hybrid is incomplete. The best you can get from a hybrid plant is chlorophyll. Practically everything we consume is hybrid (this includes "organics").

    Thought I'd lay that "groundwork" before I identify for you iron-rich Organic Iron sources ("Phosphate" of Iron) as opposed to Inorganic sources ("Oxide" of Iron). This organic source of iron will not only readily assimilate with your organic structure (a.k.a. "chemical affinity"), it will actually aid in healthy elimination (because it allows the body to receive Oxygen).

    One of the best sources that is pretty-much available everywhere is Elderberry. I just came from the Atlantic Florida coast, and it grows naturally Everywhere! But it's also available in capsule form, and loose/dried in many herb stores. A **Tremendous** source of Organic Iron; great for immunity boosting!

    If Elderberry can't be found, a second choice you can find in most health food stores is Yellow Dock.

    Dulce Seaweed has a fairly decent iron content. And, while it's not as potent in iron as the aforementioned, it does have some, and it's Delicious!

    Fresh Dandelion, Amaranth, and Lamb's Quarters also have good offerings in the organic iron area, esp. when juiced. Dandelion is also a wonderful liver cleanser; Amaranth and Lamb's Quarter are high in Organic Calcium, too!

    The herbs I'm about to mention from here are less easy to find, but have just as much or more organic iron content:
    These herbs are prominent in Central America; can be ordered from a reputable herb outlet in Los Angeles, California called Herbs of Mexico. Make them as a tea and drink them as often as you think about it. They are pleasant-tasting. No worries about "overdosing"; unlike inorganic iron sources, the more you intake, the better!


  • chandratruwealth's avatar
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    Posted by chandratruwealth at 06/02/12 16:51:30

    Also, I would worry less about so-called "protein" than getting organic iron sources and Green Plant Food in your body. And don't forget Seaweeds. Iron is the "magnet" to which all other minerals attract; that is why it is so essential.

    Too much emphasis is put on so-called "protein," in my humble opinion. Consider this: All carbon-based beings are Electrical. All Living Things are composed of certain electrons per atom; in other words, they necessarily have a particular Electrical Value.

    It has been touted for years that "protein" is "the building block of Life." Yet, when you ask any health professional or nutritionist how many Electrons Per Atom so-called "protein" has, they cannot give you an answer. Because "protein" has No Electrical Value.

    So, how does this substance which contains no electrical value become the "building block of Life?"

    Gorillas and elephants are a prime example of animals that are not dependent a high intake of protein for existence, yet they are some of the strongest creatures on The Planet.

    And I notice that diets high in so-called "protein" lead to the major dis-eases plaguing society (heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, etc.). As I see it, so-called "protein" is overrated. And the people I know who cured themselves from so-called "incurable" diseases actually removed "protein" from their diets. Based on what I know about the substance, I don't "sweat" it; in fact, I find if I consume too much so-called "protein foods," I get sick and constipated.

    Paying attention to how the body responds to certain substances is key. Also, certain gene types can handle some substances others can't, so that needs to be considered also.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by happycowgirl at 07/03/12 14:19:29

    Thought I'd share this link with everyone. It's for House of Herb's blackstrap molasses. One tablespoon gives you 70% RDA of iron.

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