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How to Balance Plant-Based Living beyond Veganuary
Following a busy festive period with lots of indulgence when it comes to food and drink, many of us have taken part in Veganuary and decided to carry on the vegan lifestyle into the rest of 2024. Alongside the excitement of trying new recipes and exploring a diverse range of plant-based foods, it's important to understand the importance iron plays in our diet and how you may need to support your levels when enjoying a vegan diet.


The role of iron
Iron plays a pivotal role in supporting the immune system, helping to combat fatigue, and promoting overall health. While Veganuary is an excellent opportunity to introduce more plant-based meals into your diet, it's equally important to be aware that plant-based diets can make it challenging to maintain adequate iron levels. Understanding the differences between iron sources and absorption rates is essential to ensure a balanced and healthy transition to plant-based living this month and beyond into 2024.
One key factor to consider is that the iron found in plant-based sources, like beans, nuts, spinach, and peas. This source of iron is known as non-haem and is generally harder for the body to absorb compared to the haem iron found in meats like beef, pork, turkey and chicken. One way of improving absorption is to enjoy iron rich foods alongside those rich in Vitamin C. For example, having a glass of orange juice.


Understanding the signs of low iron
As you embark on your vegan journey, keep an eye out for potential signs of low iron levels, such as:
1. Feeling tired
2. Finding it difficult to concentrate
3. Suffering with shortness of breath
4. Pale skin
5. Brittle nails and hair


Nourishing Your Body 
To support a plant-based diet, ensure you’re enjoying as many iron-rich sources as possible. Examples include:


Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, and beans are excellent sources of non-haem iron.
Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard provide a nutrient-rich boost.
Seeds and Nuts: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and cashews are packed with iron.
Whole Grains: Quinoa, brown rice, and oats contribute to a well-rounded iron intake.


Alongside a balanced diet, you might also wish to consider incorporating a supplement into your routine. BlueIron, a vegan-friendly iron supplement, offers a convenient and effective way to support your iron intake during Veganuary and beyond.
So, while Veganuary opens the door to a world of plant-based possibilities, ensuring optimal iron levels is a key component of a thriving journey. By being proactive in recognising signs of low iron, making thoughtful dietary choices, and considering supplements like BlueIron, you set the stage for a health-conscious and balanced plant-powered lifestyle.


Happy Veganuary!
In the spirit of Veganuary, remember that food supplements should complement a balanced plant-based diet and a healthy lifestyle. If you sense any imbalances, seek guidance from a healthcare professional to ensure your Veganuary experience is safe.

2nd January 2024

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