Vegans and vegetarians don’t actually have a greater incidence of anaemia than meat-eaters. Read this quote from a study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:
“An appropriately planned well-balanced vegetarian diet is compatible with an adequate iron status. Although the iron stores of vegetarians may be reduced, the incidence of iron-deficiency anemia in vegetarians is not significantly different from that in omnivores.”
The largest study ever completed on vegan nutrient profiles states the following:
“In strict vegetarians low dietary intakes of vitamin B12 and D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to iron and zinc, have often been of concern 25. In the present study, mean intakes of these nutrients were above minimum requirements 26 in strict vegetarians.”
In table 3 of the same study, we can see vegans get 31.6mg of iron per day, and meat-eaters get 32.9mg, both way above the minimum daily requirement of 8-15mg.
Good sources of plant-based iron are nuts, beans and dark leafy green vegetables. The type of iron found in meat (heme-iron) is the type your body cannot regulate properly and forces its way into the bloodstream. This encourages the production of free radicals, which can damage DNA and increase cancer risk. So it is safer as humans that we consume plant-based sources of iron (non-heme iron).