I’ve watched an interesting documentary this past weekend with regards to the plant based diets. The other name for this type of eating is Vegan. It’s where you eliminate any meat products and animal products. That means no meat, yogurt, eggs, milk, etc. Your diet consists of carbs, fats, plant based proteins, fruit and veggies.
As I was watching the documentary, the thing that came to mind was: “What about people who suffer from anemia (iron deficiency)?”
The iron that a person needs who suffer from anemia, is called “heme iron.” Heme iron is found in meat, fish, poultry and seafood which are more easily absorbed than “non heme iron (a).” Non heme iron is found in plants and according to Irondisorders.org (b), small amounts of heme iron but it’s not enough.
The reason why the documentary try to convince you to follow a plant based diet, is that many athletes (c) live by it. Their performance is better and their endurance as well. The other reason that the documentary argues, is that when you consume meat, it can cause inflammation in your joints. According to Health Harvard (d), one of the foods that they list that cause inflammation is red meat.
I do know that you can supplement with an iron supplement when you are on this plant based diet and I know that GP’s do prescribe an iron supplement to someone with iron deficiency but why opt for a pill, when you have the resources in a food form? (This is my personal opinion.) Eliminating all sources of heme iron completely, in my opinion, I won’t advise it. My suggestion is eating one meal a day with heme iron protein source and the rest of your meals, plant based.
(a) Making Dietary Choices When You Have Hemochromatosis; 2019 (https://hemochromatosishelp.com/heme-iron-vs-non-heme-iron/)
(b) Iron we consume; 2019 (http://www.irondisorders.org/iron-we-consume/)
(c) E.Erskine; NBA Star Chris Paul Credits a Plant-Based Diet for Improving his Overall Mobility; 2019.
(d) Harvard Health Publishing; Foods that fight inflammation; 2014 (Updated 2018)