What are the benefits of iron?
Iron is essential for brain function, muscle function, hair growth, red blood cell production and fatigue prevention (link). There are two types of iron: heme and non-heme. Heme iron only comes from animal products, meaning that vegans are "missing out" on this type of iron. Therefore, vegans should be conscious of including plenty of non-heme iron in their daily diets.
3/4 Cup Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal with Orange Juice
(about 35% iron RDA)
Oatmeal: You can see that one serving of oatmeal contains 10% of your daily intake of iron. However, one serving is only considered 1/4 of a cup of oats. Most people will eat more than just a 1/4 of a cup of oatmeal for breakfast. A full cup of oats would equal 40% of your iron RDA.
Cinnamon: A teaspoon of cinnamon adds a ton of flavor as well as 1% of your iron RDA (Link).
Orange juice: "A study was made on the effect of various drinks on the absorption on non-heme iron. The drinks were taken with standard meals composed of a hamburger, string beans and mashed potatoes...A reduction in iron absorption was seen when serving tea (62 per cent) or coffee (35 per cent) with the meals. Orange juice increased the iron absorption (85 per cent)." (Link)