Iron is an important source of minerals required by our body for proper growth and development. It is also used to make hemoglobin and carry oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. Another protein Myoglobin, made by iron, brings oxygen to the muscles.
Studies show both vegetarians and vegans do not meet the iron requirement in the body. The body is unable to absorb the iron in plant-based food efficiently, resulting in iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia.
Iron deficiency anemia occurs when your body is not able to produce enough red blood cells due to iron deficiency.
The two main types of iron are heme iron i.e., animal-based found in beef, pork, chicken, and fish, and non-heme iron i.e., plant-based found in green leafy vegetables, cereals, grains, fruits, nuts, and dairy products. For vegans, options are limited.
Causes For Iron Deficiency
There are many causes of iron deficiency: 
- Inadequate intake of iron from a plant-based diet.
- Loss of blood during accidents or menstruation (in females).
- Inability to absorb iron by the body in conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or after gastrointestinal surgery.
- Health conditions like obesity, kidney failure, congestive heart failure, and cancer can be causes of iron deficiency.
Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency
Symptoms of iron deficiency include:
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Pale and dull skin
- Shortness of breath
How Much Iron Is Required By Your Body?
As per the National Institute of Health (NIH), on average, an adult male needs 8mg of iron daily. Women between the age group of 19 years to 50 years need 18mg and over 50 years of age need 8gm per day. And a pregnant woman needs 27 mg of iron.
A vegan needs 1.8 times more iron than a non-vegetarian.
Best Vegan Iron Supplement
There are fewer options for vegans. The amount of iron per serving, the form of iron, and vitamin C are the three things you should look for in a vegan iron supplement.
Forms Of Iron
There are 4 forms of the iron supplement:
Ferrous Iron – It comes in forms like ferrous sulfate and ferrous gluconate. This form is more absorbable than Ferric iron.
Ferric Iron – It is the least dissolvable form of iron supplement.
Carbonyl Iron – The iron is purer and more absorbable. This is best if you have a sensitive stomach.
Chelated iron – This is also high absorbable form and good for the stomach.
Here is a list of the 5 best iron supplements for Vegans:
Future Kind Vegan Iron + Vitamin C
This is one of the best iron supplements for vegans as it contains chelated iron, which is the easiest on the stomach and highly absorbable iron form. It also contains the prescribed daily iron requirement i.e., 18 mg of iron and 50 mg of vitamin C.
This iron supplement is more suited for vegan women as it contains 29 mg of iron per serving along with 30 mcg of vitamin B12.
The only thing is, this supplement does not have vitamin C, which is fine iron molecules are attached to an amino acid which helps to improve absorption.
Vitamin C can be consumed through natural food items intake.
Garden Of Life
Garden of life is one of the popular iron supplements among vegans. The major reason is it contains many minerals and vitamins other than only iron.
It has 28 gm of iron, 60 gm of vitamin C, 300 mcg of folate, 45 mcg of vitamin B12 and 5 mg of vitamin B6.
EZ Melts Iron
This supplement has the best ratio for iron and vitamin C. It contains Carbonyl iron, which is best if you have a sensitive stomach.
There are 18 mg of iron and 30 mg of vitamin C per serving. The other qualities include good taste, fast melting tablet and are tested by 3rd part to ensure purity.
Overall, it is one of the best vegan supplements for iron.
Mega Food Blood Builder
This vegan iron supplement also contains iron plus other vitamins.
It has 26 gm of iron, 15 gm of vitamin c, 400 mcg folate, and 30 mcg of vitamin B12.
Vegan Iron Supplements For Anemia
There are many over-the-counter and subscription-based iron supplements available for consumption. But to treat anemia, you should consult a medical practitioner for the exact requirement for your body.
The above-mentioned list of iron supplements is among the best iron supplement for anemia and can be availed online or in-store.
Two other commonly used subscription-based vegan iron supplements are care/of iron capsules and Persona iron capsules. Both of them are gluten-free and contains Vitamin C to support iron absorption.
Vegan Iron Supplement Liquid
Iron supplements are also available in liquid form if you find it difficult to swallow pills and capsules.
Floravital Iron + Herbs provides 10 mg of iron and many other vitamins and minerals per 10 ml of serving (i.e., 2 tsp)
It is gluten, honey, and yeast-free. It is one of the best options for Vegans.
Vegan Iron Supplement Gummies
Iron gummies are another option if you find it difficult to take a pill or liquid. It is also convenient and tasty.
Vitamin Friends Adult Vegan Iron Gummies is one of the best iron supplement gummies for vegans.
It contains 10 mg of iron and 30 mg of vitamin C per gummy.
Vegan Iron Supplement For Pregnancy
During pregnancy, a woman needs at least 27 mg of iron per day, which is extremely difficult if you are a vegan. The iron requirement is not fulfilled by the food you eat. Therefore, it is recommended to consume iron supplements along with the food you eat.
The two best vegan iron supplement options during pregnancy are:
Natures Nectar Iron Booster
It contains folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin C, along with iron. It is extremely gentle on the stomach as iron is present in ferrous fumarate form. It is easily absorbable by the body and is free from any flavor, sweeteners, and preservatives. It also aids hemoglobin formation and improves energy levels.
Veg Life Vegan Iron 25 mg
This iron supplement also contains folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin B12. It is plant-based and contains concentrates of tomato, carrots, and broccoli.
This is suitable for both pregnant as well as nursing women.
Natural Vegan Iron Supplement
Many food items have a high level of iron that can be consumed by vegans, which are natural food sources rich in iron for vegans. 
|Fruits and Vegetables||Pulses||Nuts and Seeds|
|Citrus Fruits||Chick Peas||Pumpkin Seeds|
|Read and Yellow Pepper||Soya Beans||Sunflower Seeds|
|Dark Leafy Vegetables||Lima Beans||Pine Nuts|
Bottomline: Vegan Iron Supplements
Iron is an important source for the proper growth and functioning of your body. It should ideally be consumed through your regular diet, but if you are unable to fulfill your required iron dose, iron supplements are recommended.
Consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- National Institutes Of Health. (2022). Office of Dietary Supplements – Iron. Retrieved August 20, 2022, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/
- Bhatnagar, R. S., & Padilla-Zakour, O. I. (2021). Plant-Based Dietary Practices and Socioeconomic Factors That Influence Anemia in India. Nutrients, 13(10), 3538. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103538