I recently became vegan. Should I be concerned about iron‑deficiency anemia?

 Your body needs adequate iron to produce healthy red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout your body. When iron levels drop too low and red blood cell production is low, it leads to anemia, which triggers symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, pale skin, low body temperature, and headaches, among others.

Not only is meat high in iron, but it contains a type that’s easy for your body to absorb, making it an important dietary source for many people. If you are eliminating meat from your diet, it is a good idea to be vigilant to ensure that you are getting enough of this important nutrient from other sources.

Your body doesn’t absorb iron from plant-based sources as readily as it does from meat, so you may need to incorporate more iron-rich foods into your daily diet. Some sources to consider are beans, such as lentils; dark leafy vegetables, including spinach; iron-fortified breads and cereals; and tofu.

If you are concerned about your intake, speak with your doctor. She can let you know if you are getting enough and may recommend a supplement if you’re not. Keep in mind that it is possible to get too much iron, so finding the right balance is important.

— Toni Golen, M.D., and Hope Ricciotti, M.D.
Editors in Chief, Harvard Women’s Health Watch

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 1 Chronicles 29:11 NIV

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30 NIV

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6 NIV

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV

For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? Psalm 18:31 NIV

It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. Psalm 44:3 NIV

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20 NIV

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:9-10 NIV

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