What Is Iron?

Plant Based Iron Is less Available Too The Body

Because nonheme (plant-based) iron is less readily available to the body, vegans may need to supplement their iron intake to ensure adequate absorption.

Heme Iron Found In Plants is Safer

While heme iron is more readily available to the body, we do not have a mechanism in place to regulate excess heme consumption, thus, non heme iron found in plants is a safer option.

2 Forms Of Iron

Dietary iron comes in two main forms: heme (from animal-based sources) and non-heme (from both animal and plant sources).

Supports Many Functions

Iron helps to support many functions in the body such as the production of energy and immune response.

Iron is a mineral that your body needs in order to maintain a healthy blood system. Iron is a key component in hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Because iron is an essential mineral in blood production, iron deficiency can lead to detrimental effects such as anemia - a condition in which blood lacks an adequate level of healthy red blood cells. When iron levels are low, you may experience a lack of focus, increased irritability, and reduced stamina.

Iron can be found in a variety of foods such as shellfish, spinach, liver, legumes, pumpkin seeds and red meat. Iron from dietary sources comes in two main forms: heme and nonheme. Plants and iron-supplemented foods only contain nonheme iron, whereas animal based products can contain either or both forms. Heme iron is more readily available and easily absorbed by the body but overconsumption poses serious health risks.

What Is The Recommended Daily Amount of Iron?

While iron has a “safe” upper limit of 40-45mg per day, we use a gentle dose of 8mg to ensure that you are getting no more than what you need for optimal health. When consuming doses higher than 45mg, one becomes at risk for iron toxicity which can cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, and pain. Men are particularly at risk considering that the average male in the US consumes significantly more iron than recommended (10-15 the recommended amount). This can have adverse side effects on men’s reproductive health so adhering to the daily recommended dosage is particularly important for men!

Why Do Vegans Need Iron?

Those following an omnivorous diet can receive iron from various animal-based sources such as shellfish, liver and other organs, red meat, turkey, chicken and eggs. These animal-based products contain iron in heme form which is better absorbed by the body when compared to non-heme absorption. While heme iron is more easily absorbed, it is not as easily excreted in the body when absorbed in excess. In fact, the human body has no mechanism to excrete excess heme iron once it is absorbed which may increase the formation of cancer causing compounds.

What Vegan Foods Are Rich In Iron?

Fortunately, those following a plant-based diet can still meet daily iron requirements by eating sufficient non-heme rich plant foods such as dark leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and legumes. Non-heme sources of iron can meet a vegan’s nutritional needs without posing risk to our health since our bodies can better control the absorption of nonheme iron as compared to heme iron from animal-based sources.

Although plant-based foods contain iron in a form that is less available to the body, there are ways in which vegans can enhance the absorption of nonheme iron such as consuming vitamin C alongside these iron-rich plants. That’s one of the reasons we decided to include Vitamin C in the formulation of our Multivitamin for Vegans.

Why Vegans May Need To Supplement Their Iron Intake

Considering there is a lesser degree of bioavailability of plant-based iron, vegans may need to ensure that sufficiency is prioritized. Nonheme iron, found in plant-sources, is around 1/2 as bioavailable as heme iron which is found in animal sources. Research into the iron levels of vegans showed that female vegans are particularly prone to iron-deficiency and anemia when compared to omnivores. This is especially true during times of menstruation when women lose a lot of iron. Additionally, endurance athletes lose iron through sweat and repetitive motions of their muscles. Thus, iron supplementation for women and athletes that follow a plant-based diet is especially pertinent.

Iron Sustainability

Why Is It Important To Know Where Iron Comes From?

If you’ve discovered our brand, it’s likely that you have embraced a vegan diet to minimize your footprint on the planet all the while enhancing your own health and wellbeing. That’s why it’s important to know where your iron comes from. While most iron supplements are made up of ferrous sulfate, ferrous gluconate, ferric citrate, or ferric sulfate (which are all suitable for vegans), there are some iron supplements on the market that consist of heme-based iron sources such as animal liver or bovine hemoglobin. If you’ve chosen to embrace a plant-based diet because you love the earth and all of its inhabitants, we encourage you to double check the source of your supplements!

How Do We Source Iron Sustainably?

We source our iron with you and the planet in mind. The health of the planet and people are our priorities which is why we’ve chosen ferrous bisglycinate chelate for its high absorption rate and reduced gastrointestinal side effects. We also source our iron domestically so that it doesn’t have to travel far to make it to your home. We also work with a supplier that is committed to minimizing their footprint through energy efficient manufacturing facilities, responsible sourcing practices, and aggressive emissions reductions goals. This way, we can create products that leave a big impact on your health and a small impact on our planet.

Iron FAQs

Is it OK to take an iron supplement every day?

Regular supplementation of iron helps to maintain a healthy blood system and keep your energy levels up so that you can step into each day feeling vitalized. This is especially important for vegans who are more prone to iron deficiency. While it’s safe to take iron everyday if you are adhering to the daily recommended dosage, iron is a vitamin for which more is not always better. This is because overconsumption of iron can be harsh on your body and lead to adverse side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and pain.

Who should not take iron supplements?

Those that eat a diet rich in iron may not need supplementation. If you eat shellfish, red meat, or eggs in combination with darky leafy greens, nuts, and seeds you may be meeting your daily iron requirements through your diet. It’s important to regulate your iron intake to avoid iron overconsumption or toxicity so make sure to consume no more than 40-45mg per day to stay within the recommended range!

What are the side effects of taking iron pills?

If you adhere to the daily recommended dosage of iron, you may experience an increase in overall energy, enhanced immunity, and healthy and radiant skin, hair and nails.However, overconsumption of iron can lead to adverse health effects such as stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting and/or liver damage. That’s why it’s incredibly important to monitor your iron intake and stay within the recommended range. If your diet is filled with iron rich foods such as red meat, shellfish, and dark leafy greens - you may not need to supplement with iron pills. By consulting with your doctor or nutritionist, you can avoid experiencing the negative side effects of overconsuming iron.

Are iron supplements a good idea?

Iron supplementation is highly recommended for vegans since those following a plant-based diet do not consume many of the most iron-rich foods (such as red meat or shellfish). Because various animal products contain high levels of iron, vegans are particularly prone to deficiency. If you choose to consume mostly plant based foods, supplementation might be beneficial for you to ensure you are meeting your daily iron requirements and feeling your best.

  • Omega-3 +DHA/EPA

    Promotes brain function, while influencing immune and heart health.

    Why Omega-3? 
  • Vitamin D3

    Increases natural collagen production, while boosting your musculoskeletal system health and clearing skin.

    Why Vitamin D3? 
  • Vitamin B12

    Provides natural energy, while supporting your nervous system.

    Why Vitamin B12? 
  • Vitamin C

    Fortifies your immune system and regulates oxidative stress.

    Why Vitamin C? 
  • Iodine

    Regulates your metabolism for optimal weight and energy control.

    Why Iodine? 
  • Iron

    Enhances red blood cell production and oxygen flow and is known to promote athletic endurance.

    Why Iron? 
  • Zinc

    Is critical for immune cell function and supports your metabolic system.

    Why Zinc? 
  • Folate

    Promotes healthy genetic expression and gene methylation.

    Why Folate? 
  • Magnesium

    Helps your body absorb the other minerals in our formula for optimal effects.

    Why Magnesium? 
Shop Now