What a vegan child eats – Theory – Iron

good-sources-of-iron-vetetarian (1)

What exactly is iron and why we need it?

Iron is an essential element. It helps in the formation of hemoglobin. Basically, it comes in food in two forms: “heme iron” in the flesh (Fe2 +) or as something less good usable “non-heme iron” (Fe3 +) in all other foods. The heme iron in meat is better absorbed by the body. However, it may lead to the formation of toxic factors in the intestine and thus increase the risk of colorectal cancer. People who do not eat meat, thus have a lower risk of colon cancer. 

Function of iron in the body
The main function fulfilled iron within the oxygen transport in the bloodstream. It is a basic building block of hemoglobin that allows red blood cells can bind oxygen in. Is supplied to the body too little iron, enough functional red blood cells can not be produced; it arises anemia (iron deficiency anemia).


Need for iron

Because plant sources containing the bad actionable “non-heme iron”, vegans must theoretically take about twice the amount of iron.

Adult vegans and postmenopausal vegans is recommended that about 20 milligrams (mg) to be taken every day. Pre-menopausal women have because of menstruation a slightly higher demand (30 mg).

Children have a high iron requirements vary depending on age. Newborns need of the essential trace element 1.0 mg daily, toddlers 0,5 – 1,5 mg, children 0,5 – 1,0 and young people in puberty from 1.0 to 2.0. School children and adolescents may have an increased iron requirements during their growth spurts. As a result, contact fatigue, lack of concentration and motivation on. The need for iron may increase after the onset of menstruation especially in girls. (Source: Floradix)

 An adequate supply of iron is especially important for children because of this trace element contributes to normal mental development and for normal function of the immune system. Iron is also needed by the body to distribute oxygen throughout the body and transported to the organs. On the pigment of the red blood cells – hemoglobin – oxygen is portable and the main component of hemoglobin is iron.

Overdose of iron

Too much iron causes damage to organs. But the required dose is very high and usually only to reach with the use of concentrated iron (eg in the form of tablets) as the body iron absorption adapts his iron supply. Who suspects a lack of iron in itself, should visit the doctor and clarify the situation before using concentrated iron. 



Iron is not able to be stored alone in the body. It is integrated with protein. This is then called ferritin. A measurement of ferritin concentration in the blood provides a reliable value for the iron-supply situation.


Eat your iron with vitamin C

Various factors affect iron absorption of non-haem iron. A practical method to improve the absorption is the intake of vitamin C (eg lemon or orange juice) at the same time.


Take several meals a day with iron sources

The more iron contains a single meal, the less your body takes (percentage) thereof. Therefore Ideally, each of your meals contains a good source of iron, so that you take throughout the day several times iron to you – sesame and pumpkin seeds in cereal for breakfast, a Green Smoothie between, tahini in your salad dressing for lunch and dark green leafy vegetables for dinner. So you see to it that your body can actually use as large a proportion of the iron in your meals. Source bevegt.de


Examples from our home

We eat chia seeds, for example, or goji berries to soy yogurt with a squeeze of lemon (vitamin C) and beetroot juice. (All foods contain iron otherwise specified)
Or Bulgur with peas and spinach something Ajwar (pepperoni -Contains vitamin C)
Or lemon water, nuts, and dried apricots.
Or homemade banana ice cream with cocoa oatmeal and orange water (vitamin C)
We also do not always getting vitamin C to, but actually I think it quite often and would definitely say every second time;)


Here I have listed some of our favorite sources of iron 



Other sources of iron can be found here

 Sources: Various information submitted by VGS. Feel free to read here everything in detail.

I am not a doctor. I have worked with diligence and read me into this topic. Nevertheless, it may be that I have overlooked something. Please notify me and I will correct it. I recommend you also regular checks of the blood at your doctors and also a talk to a doctor you trust and with whom you can create a good basis for a healthy life for you and your children. Inform yourself objectively and neutrally. I am not responsible for you and your behavior.


This post is also available in: German

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