This is the most sensible advice in the thread, for vegetarians the main thing is to make sure you're not inhibiting your ability to absorb the iron in any way seeing as bioavailability is so low from plant sources anyway. Beans and nuts aren't gonna offer much I'm afraid, a mega dose of green leafies twice daily with a dressing based on freshly squeezed lemon, lime and orange juice is yer best bet and avoid tea and coffee like the plague.
Tbh I wouldn't be sure about your switching to a 100% vegetarian diet at least until yer well after the pregnancy and breast feeding stage, but even then I'd think about it carefully first. A little bit of good organic meat is a very important source of nutrition for some people and this might be the case for you if your diet is trstricted in other ways are you're not fond of beans etc..
Like Thoushaltnot mentioned don't use calcium supplements or dairy at the same time as you eat your iron rich meals.
Special K, Cornflakes and weetabix have a fair amount of iron in them. Handy things for breakfast
Good link, seamus but here's the Top 10 from that site, rather than the next 20
Top 10 Iron Rich Foods For Vegetarians
1.) Soybeans, cooked – 8.8 mg
2.) Blackstrap Molasses
3.) Lentils, cooked
4.) Spinach, cooked
5.) Quinoa, cooked
7.) Bagel, enriched
9.) Lima Beans, cooked
10.) Swiss Chard, cooked
cut and pasted from the site as it seemed v.slow to load!
In other lists I've seen, dark red/black pulses also feature prominently (black beans, black/red kidney beans, aduki)
Also, I was on the Quorn/Mycoprotein site;
Mycoprotein - vitamins & minerals
and it seems that Quorn's main constituent, mycoprotein, actually has no iron but a decent amount of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, etc.
so actually fits in with the Calcium protein meals!
Since blackstrap molasses is so high up on the list, I'm gonna give it a lash tomorrow on some pancakes - apparently the flavour works well with nutty flavours (peanut butter, almonds).
Molasses also seems to go well as with baked beans...and sticky ginger cake!
I did find an intriguing recipe for TVP sausages, using molasses - will post it if I can find it again.
***&& found it: added to Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes and Links *****
I love all of these things, and eat most pretty regularly. Haven't cooked with molasses in a while though. Must pick some up, it smells fantastic, reminds me of horse feed! Can never seem to get enough iron from my diet though, I always end up going back on to the ferrograd c.
You who I think you are? The sig says yes
Oh just got reminded of quinoas existence on thread, thanks, must pick some up again.
Hmmm, a tip I spotted on 101cookbooks - apparently, if you use half-and-half of quinoa and the very similar millet, it's makes for a nicer consistency...or summat.
This thread has been super helpful, thanks
How do you guys who have a "number" figure for your iron levels work that out?
I don't know what my number is but when I forget to take iron I get so bad that my vision blurs, I slur my words and can barely stay awake then somewhere in my clouded wooly brain a voice says "ooooh yeah, arent I meant to take iron every day?) then a few days later im flying around full of beans, till I forget to take it again >.<
Dunno about numbers, I have this thing where I need like no iron so it doesn't affect me but I would say just try and find something you like and work those irony foods into what you normally eat. nomnom. Oh and OJ boosts iron consumption
You really should go talk to your doctor about that, those symptoms have nothing to do with forgeting to take your iron for a few days, the body has Iron stores that last months so you're not going to show signs of deficiency until they've been depleted and that doesn;t happen quickly if you've been supplementing recently in particular.
The number is your result from a blood test.
They only really tell you, if you have a problem. Or if you ask.
I get an annual bloodwork, in case anything is going wrong.
My friend has a problem with b12....and your symptons sound similar to hers.
I'd get it checked out if I was you. I haven't heard of vison problems, and foggy minds as a result of Iron deficiency.
thanks for that moonbaby, i'll get it checked.
Krystyna just to clarify, it takes a few days to feel better after taking iron again but takes a couple of months after stopping taking it to start feeling shyte
edit - just googled b12 - I eat plenty of eggs so shoud be ok
There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that delivers oxygen to cells. Heme iron is found in animal foods that originally contained hemoglobin, such as red meats, fish, and poultry. Iron in plant foods such as lentils and beans is arranged in a chemical structure called nonheme iron . This is the form of iron added to iron-enriched and iron-fortified foods. Heme iron is absorbed better than nonheme iron, but most dietary iron is nonheme iron . A variety of heme and nonheme sources of iron are listed in Tables 1 and 2.
Table 1: Selected Food Sources of Heme Iron  FoodMilligrams
per serving% DV*Chicken liver, cooked, 3½ ounces12.870Oysters, breaded and fried, 6 pieces4.525Beef, chuck, lean only, braised, 3 ounces3.220Clams, breaded, fried, ¾ cup3.015Beef, tenderloin, roasted, 3 ounces 3.015Turkey, dark meat, roasted, 3½ ounces2.310Beef, eye of round, roasted, 3 ounces2.210Turkey, light meat, roasted, 3½ ounces1.68Chicken, leg, meat only, roasted, 3½ ounces1.36Tuna, fresh bluefin, cooked, dry heat, 3 ounces1.16Chicken, breast, roasted, 3 ounces1.16Halibut, cooked, dry heat, 3 ounces0.96Crab, blue crab, cooked, moist heat, 3 ounces0.84Pork, loin, broiled, 3 ounces0.84Tuna, white, canned in water, 3 ounces0.84Shrimp, mixed species, cooked, moist heat, 4 large0.74
Table 2: Selected Food Sources of Nonheme Iron  FoodMilligrams
per serving% DV*Ready-to-eat cereal, 100% iron fortified, ¾ cup 18.0100Oatmeal, instant, fortified, prepared with water, 1 cup10.060Soybeans, mature, boiled, 1 cup 8.850Lentils, boiled, 1 cup6.635Beans, kidney, mature, boiled, 1 cup5.225Beans, lima, large, mature, boiled, 1 cup4.525Beans, navy, mature, boiled, 1 cup4.525Ready-to-eat cereal, 25% iron fortified, ¾ cup4.525Beans, black, mature, boiled, 1 cup3.620Beans, pinto, mature, boiled, 1 cup 3.620Molasses, blackstrap, 1 tablespoon3.520Tofu, raw, firm, ½ cup3.420Spinach, boiled, drained, ½ cup3.220Spinach, canned, drained solids ½ cup2.510Black-eyed peas (cowpeas), boiled, 1 cup1.810Spinach, frozen, chopped, boiled ½ cup1.910Grits, white, enriched, quick, prepared with water, 1 cup1.58Raisins, seedless, packed, ½ cup1.58Whole wheat bread, 1 slice0.96White bread, enriched, 1 slice0.96
sorry for such a long post but i went thought the very same issues when i was pregnant with my daughter, you dont really have to eat meat to be honest lentils spinach beans etc all are great,
Am on the iron transfusion a week at this stage but some of the suggestions on this thread delayed it by a few weeks, thanks a million...will help when I am feeding my son too.