The Iron Vegan Test.
Over the years, I’ve met a number of people who want to switch to a plant based life style for the animals and environment, but cite anemia as standing in their way. At the same time, most people I know who continue to have problems with anemia have been life-long meat eaters. Coming out of so-many conversations and experience with this sort of problem, a pattern - or test - started to develop. Now, whenever I’m faced with someone in this situation, I’m able to give them the “iron vegan test” which has helped quite a few people in the past make the switch (bolded are the necessary foods for iron):
- Learn to make green smoothies with spinach, and try to have one every 2-3 days for breakfast.
- Buy instant oatmeal with 50% of your daily iron (check the nutritional info on side of box) and have this for other breakfast days, paired with a banana and some soy milk.
- Prepare as many lentil based recipes as you can for dinner time - something simple is cooked lentils mixed with basic sauce on top of quinoa, paired with some green veggies. Lentil burgers are also easy and awesome.
- Pair meals with a glass of orange juice (or water), or any fresh juice.
- Lunches should prioritize healthy green salads. Try to make it a habit. Throw in some mixed beans, or save them for use in one of the many bean-based recipes out there, which should be featured commonly in what you eat.
After 2 weeks/1 month of trying to stick to these guidelines as best as possible, have your iron levels checked by a medical professional. Most people who try this iron packed vegan fix find that they’re feeling and doing great, and anyone with more pressing iron problems can pair this food guide with some iron supplements.
A lot of people I’ve met have found it shocking that you don’t have to live with anemia. You can get better. Even I thought that the iron problems I had as a kid would be something that I would just have to “put up with”. Not any more.