Why Iron?


Why Vegans and Vegetarians Need Iron

Why Vegans and Vegetarians
Need Iron

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.

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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

1. Is there liquid inside the Lucky Iron Fish?
2. Can I get too much iron from the Lucky Iron Fish?
3. What are some examples of iron-rich plant-based foods?
4. What are some examples of micronutrients commonly found in plant-based diets that block iron absorption?
5. How is the Lucky Iron Fish different than other iron supplements?
6. How often should I use the Lucky Iron Fish?
7. What do I do if I have a question about the Lucky Iron Fish that has not been answered here?


  • 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

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 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.