How would I get daily iron requirement if I eat a balanced diet, but no meat?

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How would a person get their daily iron requirement if that person eats a balanced diet, but eats no meat?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for iron is 10 milligrams for adult males and postmenopausal females. Males (ages 11 to 18) need 12 milligrams of iron per day. Females (ages 11 to 50 years) need 15 milligrams.

The best food source of iron is liver and red meats. These foods contain heme iron, which is better absorbed than non-heme iron. Non-heme iron can be found in dark green, leafy vegetables (spinach, chard, and kale) and whole cereal grains (bran and whole wheat bread). However, oxalates and phytates found in dark green leafy vegetables and whole cereal grains decrease the absorption of iron because they bind with iron in the gastrointestinal tract.

If you choose not to eat meat, I would suggest you include dark green, leafy vegetables and whole cereal grains in your daily diet. You should also look at iron-fortified cereals to supplement iron in your diet. Also, if you were a menstruating woman, I would suggest you contact your doctor about an annual blood work. You may not develop anemia on a meat-free diet, but your iron stores may be low.