Friday, July 27, 2012

Iron Is Another Matter

“Ya gotta eat some meat!” I can hear my Italian relatives hollaring at me right now. I loved the ravioli and sauce, and I did love the cheese, but the rest was a little hard to swallow. 

I know that most vegans are pretty educated about proteins and where they’re found. Iron is another thing to be monitored. Generally, according to the Vegetarian Research Group 
(www.vrg.org), although vegans don’t have any more anemia than among the general carnivorous population, they do have less iron stores. This is where I have concerns for my vegan athletes who utilize iron through sweating, menstruation, and injury. Iron is a component of oxygenation, so athletes need to check their numbers.

Generally vegans have a high vitamin diet, so getting and absorbing enough iron shouldn’t be an issue. Vitamin C increases the body’s ability to absorb iron, so combining beans with tomato sauce, or broccoli with tofu, iron absorption will rock the house! 


Know that broccoli alone is a really nutritious choice for a vegan. Broccoli has calcium too! Spinach is another food that I chop up and add to everything. Get this; It would take 1700 calories worth of sirloin steak to get the same amount of iron found in 100 calories of spinach.

The Vegetarian Resource Group website has tons of valuable nutritional information for iron burning athletes. 
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm#vegans

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