On average women, girls, trans and non-binary people with periods lose less than 80ml of blood and between 15 and 25ml of iron every month. You may also like to include iron rich foods that can help to replenish the iron levels during your period. The most obvious choices are meat but did you know there are plenty of plant based foods that are perfect for vegetarians and vegans to eat during their periods. It’s best to consume iron rich foods with vitamin C to help the absorption.
The best thing about tofu is all the ways that it can be prepared and cooked. Just 6 ounces (168 grams) of tofu offers 3 - 3.6mg of iron, that’s approximately 20% of your daily recommended amount.
One cup of lentils can provide a third of your daily iron intake. Not only loaded with iron, lentils are also packed with folate which is super important for women who are hoping to get pregnant or are pregnant.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are a vegan's best friend! Easy to consume, nuts are a great source of iron. When on your period, you may be low on energy and the last thing you may want to do is spend hours cooking. You can pack a handful of nuts and support your iron levels on your period whilst going about your day.
Potatoes are a great iron source, but be mindful that most of their iron content is concentrated in their skins. One unpeeled potato can provide 3.2mg of iron as well as 46% of your daily vitamin C intake!
Swap your honey for vegan molasses, a sweetener that is often said to be healthier than table sugar. Easy to pour over your granola or include in smoothies and just two tablespoons give you 1.8mg of iron.
Vegetables often have a higher iron content than foods such as meat and eggs! Vegetables contain non-heme iron which is less easily absorbed but they do have high vitamin C levels which help iron absorption!
Can a heavy blood flow cause iron-deficiency anemia?
Having heavy periods can increase your risk of anemia because the excessive blood loss can deplenish your body’s iron stores. A heavy flow is characterized by soaking through a pad or tampon every hour or bleeding for longer than a week. If this sounds your flow you may like to up your iron intake during your period.
Can iron supplements help during your period?
Vegums do amazing friendly Iron gummies that are also certified vegan by The Vegan Society. They contain no artificial colours or flavourings and can help you combat pms and period symptoms such as tiredness and a lack of energy.
Being vegan and having healthy periods
Being vegan doesn’t have to affect your period and iron levels. It’s important to be mindful of including iron rich foods especially around the time of your period to replenish the levels of iron that you lose with your menstrual blood. If you worry about your iron levels, limiting your tea, coffee and milk intake with or directly after meals can help, as well as consuming vitamin C-rich foods as this helps the absorption of iron.