Why Vegans and Vegetarians
Iron supports many important functions in the body and is essential for good health, regardless of your dietary preference; however, those following a plant-based diet are particularly vulnerable to developing iron deficiency. Knowing the difference between the two types of dietary iron is key to understanding why this is.
Dietary iron comes in two forms: heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is only found in poultry, meat, fish, and seafood. Non-heme iron is found in plant-based foods like beans, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Plant-based non-heme iron is less bioavailable. Put another way, non-heme iron is more difficult for your body to absorb. Where the body can absorb 15-35% of heme iron, it can only absorb 2-20% of non-heme iron.
Because consuming foods containing heme iron is not an option for vegans, and some vegetarians, those following a plant-based diet must be vigilant about their iron levels. While it is possible to consume adequate iron through a varied and carefully planned diet, research has shown that many plant-based diets contain micronutrients that interfere with the body’s ability to absorb iron.
As a result of non-heme iron bioavailability and the presence of iron-blocking micronutrients in most plant-based diets, the Dieticians of Canada recommend that vegetarians consume almost twice the amount of iron as non-vegetarians.
There are many reasons a woman may suffer from excessively heavy blood loss during menstruation. If you suspect that your periods are abnormally heavy, it is important to speak with your doctor. If your iron levels are low, know that there are ways to replace some of the iron lost through heavy periods. The Lucky Iron Fish can be used throughout your entire cycle, keeping your iron stores high so they can better deal with times of stress, such as during your period.
Lucky Iron Fish plus Protection Oil Set
What is the Lucky Iron Fish?
The Lucky Iron Fish is a palm-sized cooking tool made from natural, bioavailable iron. When used as directed (boiled for 10 minutes in slightly acidified water), the Fish releases a safe amount of iron (4-7mg). The Lucky Iron Fish will not impart any taste, colour, or smell into the water or dish you are cooking, unless misused.
Clinical research shows that consistent use of the Fish over 3-12 months increases levels of circulating and stored iron. Our trials saw positive changes in blood iron levels after six months of continual use, and found that women reported feeling better within three months of use.
The Lucky Iron Fish is:
A safe way to add iron to your diet, without side effects like constipation or nausea
Made from natural bioavailable iron
Reusable for up to five years
Thoroughly tested – in addition to batch testing, third party laboratories conduct random spot tests
An affordable alternative to conventional iron supplements (tablets)
How to use the Lucky Iron Fish
There are endless ways to incorporate the Lucky Iron Fish into your plant-based diet. The simplest way to use the Fish is to make Lucky Iron Fish Water. Boiling the Fish in one litre of water with 2-3 drops of acidity (e.g., citrus juice or vinegar) for ten minutes yields iron-enriched water that can be used in a variety of sweet and savoury recipes. Many people like to chill Lucky Iron Fish Water and enjoy it as a nutrient-fortified alternative to plain drinking water.
Be sure to visit the recipes section of our website for inspiration on how to create delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes using the Lucky Iron Fish. We highly recommend trying the Vita Berry Pops, Farro Salad, and Thai Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup with Red Lentils.
Properly caring for the Fish will ensure it does not give an “iron-y” taste to your cooking or water, and will prevent rusting. Before each use, wash the Fish with soap and water. After each use, carefully remove the Fish from the pot, clean it, dry it thoroughly, and store it in a dry place (like your cutlery drawer). If rust forms, know that it is harmless and easy to remove. Simply scrub the Fish with soap and water, or clean it with lemon juice, and dry thoroughly. Applying Lucky Iron Fish Protection Oil (100% natural and vegan) to the clean and dry Fish will also help prevent rusting, and maximize its five-year life span.
Is the Lucky Iron Fish Safe for Vegans and Vegetarians?
Yes. The Lucky Iron Fish releases a gentle dose of iron and is safe for most individuals. As you would with any new supplement, consult your doctor before using the Fish.
People with Hemochromatosis should not use the Lucky Iron Fish. Hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder that makes it difficult for the body to process iron. Only your health care provider can tell you whether you have this condition.
How the Lucky Iron Fish has Helped Others Following a Plant-Based Diet:
"Knowing the importance of iron as an athlete and lower absorption of non-heme (plant based) iron, our family carefully monitors the iron content of all our meals (along with everything else). The Lucky Iron Fish is a simple, effective and non-intrusive cooking tool that helps ensure we have adequate iron levels each day.
Cute packaging, fast delivery and proven effectiveness (using iron tools in cooking) means we will be purchasing more of these as gifts for our athletic no-meat friends."
Kevin J., Fish Fan
"I have been unable to stomach iron pills and red meat consumption is not an option for me. When I heard about The Lucky Iron Fish, I thought that maybe it would be my saving grace. It was….After using the fish for just a little over two months, my hemoglobin has increased from a 10 to an 18! I feel amazing, way more energy."
Lesley, Fish Fan
Lucky Iron Fish FAQs
No. The Lucky Iron Fish is a solid, fish-shaped piece of natural iron.
Research has confirmed that, when used as directed, the Lucky Iron Fish delivers iron without the risk of iron overload. The only way overload would occur is by intentional misuse (e.g., boiling multiple Fish in a single litre of water for more than ten minutes).
Including iron-rich foods in each meal will support your iron levels; however, it’s important to remain mindful of the micronutrients that you are likely consuming that inhibit your body’s ability to absorb iron. Some examples of iron-rich plant-based foods include:
Watch for the following interactions:
There are a few key differences between the Lucky Iron Fish and conventional iron supplements (tablets). Compared to traditional iron pills, the Lucky Iron Fish does not produce the same gastric distress side effects (like nausea and constipation). The Lucky Iron Fish is also a more economical solution than traditional iron supplements because a single Fish can last for up to five years.
Though cast iron cookware is not truly a form of iron supplementation, some people believe that cooking with cast iron skillets and pans offers the same benefits of the Fish. It’s important to know that most manufacturers of cast iron cookware “seal” the pan, or recommend that the end-user does, with high heat and oil. Sealing blocks the release of iron during cooking. Further, there is no way to know how much iron a piece of cast iron cookware releases, or whether that iron can be readily absorbed by the body.
We recommend using the Fish daily, or at least three times per week, over the course of 3-12 months.
Your daily recommended intake of iron will vary based on your age, gender, dietary habits, and health status. It is important to know that women are more commonly affected by iron deficiency than men. If you are a woman following a vegan or vegetarian diet, take extra care to ensure your iron stores are adequate.
WE EMPLOY OUR GIVING MODEL IN TWO WAYS:
- Donating Lucky Iron Fish to communities and organizations
- Providing men and women with training opportunities to address iron deﬁciency in their communities. This includes diagnosis, training, shipment and impact measurement to help organizations distribute Fish to families in need and help reduce the impacts of iron deﬁciency
The Power Of Fish
Families that use the Lucky Iron Fish three times per week showed increases in iron levels
Alleviating iron deﬁciency anemia increases household income by 20%
Families who use the Lucky Iron Fish decreased prevalence of iron deﬁciency anemia by 46%
The Lucky Iron Fish can eliminate anemia in 80% of those using it
Are you a company, individual or or- ganization looking to get involved and donate ﬁsh? Or perhaps you're a small non proﬁt, charity or health clinic looking to learn more.
Either way, please contact us by emailing info@luckyironﬁsh.com.
WE'VE MADE IT OUR MISSION TO PUT A FISH IN EVERY POT
We strive to realize this mission in a socially and environmentally responsi- ble way. That’s why we’re committed to hiring local staff, using recycled and biodegradable materials, and supporting like-minded businesses and organizations. As a result, we are a B-Corp certiﬁed company. With this, we have high standards for the partners we work with, too.