Iron is an important mineral – our body needs iron for the formation of hemoglobin and myoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen, it contributes to the formation of blood cells. There are a lot of plant sources of iron, so if you don’t eat meat, it doesn’t mean that you will suffer from anemia.

The World Health Organization believes that iron deficiency is the first eating disorder in the world.

About 30% of the world’s population has anemia caused by iron deficiency.

Low iron levels over a long period of time can lead to anemia. Symptoms of anemia include lack of energy, difficulty breathing, headaches, nervousness, dizziness and weight loss.

Iron requirements

Babies and children

Under 6 months: 0,27 mg per day

7 months to a year: 11 mg per day

One to three years: 7 mg per day

Four to eight years: 10 mg per day


9 to 13 years: 8 mg per day

14 to 18 years: 11 mg per day

From 19 years onwards: 8 mg per day


9 to 13 years: 8 mg per day

14 to 18 years: 15 mg per day

19 to 50 years: 18 mg per day

51 years onwards: 8 mg per day

Sources of iron which are not of animal origin

Spirulina (1 tsp): 5 mg

Cooked soybeans (1/2 cup): 4,4 mg

Pumpkin seeds (30g): 4,2 mg

Quinoa (120g): 4 mg

Black molasses (1 tablespoon): 4mg

Tomato puree (120g): 3,9 mg

White beans (1/2 cup): 3,9 mg

Cooked spinach (1/2 cup): 3,2 mg

Dry peaches (6 half): 3,1 mg

Prune Juice (240g): 3 mg

lentils (120g): 3 mg

How to improve the absorption of iron?

  • Eat foods rich in iron with foods containing vitamin C, which helps the absorption of iron in the body.

  • Tea and coffee contain polyphenols, which can bind iron, making it harder to absorb.

  • Calcium also interferes with iron absorption; Avoid foods rich in calcium, a half hour before or after eating foods rich in iron.

Cook your food in cast iron cookware. According to one study acid found in food seems to extract iron from cast iron cookware.

is a health advocate, journalist and theologian. He is an outspoken internet activist who has contributed to many magazines and web sites. After years spent in digital marketing and online journalism he became one of the founders and editors at Combining knowledge and research with facts of modern science, Alexander continues to writes about alternative medicine and health benefits of nature. Unlike most writers he strongly believes that there's no magic pill that will lead you to long term health and beauty and that without effort, there can be no gain.