Iron – what the experts say:

Iron – what the experts say:

“The most healthful iron sources are the same foods that bring you calcium: beans and green leafy vegetables.  They are rich in iron but carry it in a special form called non-heme iron.  Your body easily absorbs this form when its in need of more iron, but the iron passes harmlessly out of the body when you have all you need.” Neal D. Barnard, MD

“If you do need extra iron, first turn to greens and beans.  Vitamin C-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, increase the absorption of iron from the other foods you eat, and avoiding dairy products helps, too.  They are very low in iron and actually reduce its absorption form your digestive tract.” Neal D. Barnard, MD

“People who consume more plant-based foods, thus more dietary fiber, also consume more iron, all of which results in statistically significant higher levels of hemoglobin.” T. Colin Campbell, PhD

“[C]ow milk and its products have been shown to actually inhibit absorption of iron in the human body!” Kerrie Saunders, PhD

“Incidence of iron-deficiency anemia among vegetarians is similar to that of nonvegetarians.” American Dietetic Association Position on Vegetarian Diets 2009.

“[D]airy products contribute to a surprising number of health problems. They can impair a child’s ability to absorb iron and in very small children can even cause subtle blood loss from the digestive tract. Combined with the fact that milk has virtually no iron of its own, the result is an increased risk of iron deficiency.” Benjamin Spock, MD

“[I]t should be noted that iron-deficiency anemia is no more likely to occur in vegetarian than non-vegetarian children.” Kerrie Saunders, PhD

“In the American Heart Association’s journal called Circulation (89:969-74) researchers at Harvard University looked at nearly 45,000 men, and found that the more heme iron (the kind from flesh foods) consumed, the greater the incidence of heart attack, discounting, of course, the effect of the saturated fat and cholesterol.” George Eisman, MA, MSc, RD

“ In the Journal of Cancer [1994] (vol. 56), over 40,000 men and women were followed, and found to have three times the colon and rectal cancer incidence if their blood iron levels were high.” George Eisman, MA, MSc, RD

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