How do vegetarians get iron

Vegetarians / vegans and iron deficiency

On this page you will find information about:

Iron supply for vegetarians & vegans

Everyone is talking about a vegetarian diet. This health awareness is very much to be welcomed, especially if it increases knowledge about proper nutrition. Like the fact that Iron in both plant and animal foods it happens, however, that it exists in two different forms:

  1. Heme ironwhich comes from animal sources
  2. Non-heme iron, the vegetable iron


What do vegetarians / vegans have to pay attention to when eating? - Dr. Doris Gapp explains

Iron from a plant-based diet

Our digestive tract can Resorb (absorb) iron from plants less well than heme iron. This is because the "transporter" responsible for vegetable iron in the intestinal cells not only absorbs iron, but also other trace elements such as magnesium, zinc or calcium. The Heme iron from animal foods is absorbed much more efficientlybecause a separate transporter is provided for this in the intestinal cell.

That's the reason why Vegetarians / vegans are more prone to iron deficiencyif you don't pay particular attention to the balance of your diet. What has been said applies to a greater extent to vegans who do not consume any animal products, including milk, eggs and cheese.

You have to cover your iron supply exclusively with vegetable iron. Special Attention is also on children and young people just as to lay on pregnant women: you need a lot of iron - for your own development or that of the child in your stomach. It is therefore worth considering whether a purely vegetarian diet is really the right approach for this.

How can I meet my iron needs?

Nevertheless, as a vegetarian or vegan, it is possible to balance your iron balance. There are enough plant foods that are high enough in iron to have. Through the poorer usability However, only a small part of it reaches the blood via the intestines.

For this reason, vegetarians or vegans must take special care to consume enough iron. There is a particularly large amount of iron in legumes (Lentils, peas, beans) but also inTofu and nuts contain. Among the breads is especially Whole grain bread recommendable.

Even with cereal products, like Wheat bran, millet or oatmeal, the iron requirement can be supported. Spinach contains a relatively high amount of iron for a vegetable, but not as much as is commonly assumed. More details on ferrous foods.

Should symptoms of an iron deficiency, such as tiredness, paleness or headache, occur, the doctor should first contact you Blood test to confirm. If the blood laboratory result shows that the iron deficiency is already clearly pronounced, in most cases a change in diet will no longer help or will only help after a long time. Iron therapy with oral iron (e.g. iron tablets) or, if oral therapy is not tolerated or not possible, with Iron infusions should then be discussed with the doctor.


The diagnosis and therapy of iron deficiency belong in the hands of an experienced doctor or iron expert!

In the iron centers you will find Specialistswhere you are certainty about your condition. Do something for your health and arrange one right away Make an appointment with the iron experts in your area.

The experts in the iron centers will be happy to advise you in detail!

Specialists with a focus on iron therapy:

NOTE: More modern infusion therapies offer a number of Benefits in terms of administration and iron intake. If the diagnosis is made, the preparations are covered by the health insurance company paid.

Learn more

We recommend in the next step