Best Iron Supplements for Anemia & Women

Besides travel, one of my biggest passions is natural health, & all things related to feeling vital & well.  And when traveling, I only bring the best supplements ~ ones that I really feel affect me for the better, & promote high energy levels on the road.  Iron is one of those few supplements that I keep in my travel arsenal.  Low iron (& low Vitamin B levels) can lead to fatigue, & that’s something I just don’t want when traveling.  Because both women & vegetarians, in particular, are more prone to having low iron levels, here are the “Best Iron Supplements for Anemia, Women, & Vegans.”  

Best Iron Supplements for Anemia, Women, & Vegans, Girl Who Travels the World

Though dark, leafy greens have an abundance of iron, many vegetarians still fall short when it comes to iron levels. Women, due to their monthly period, also are more likely to have low iron than men.

How to Know If You Need Iron?

There’s only one way to know if you need an iron supplement or not: & that is to take a blood test.  Testing for iron is quite cheap, whether you order it as a stand-alone blood test, or as part of your complete blood count (CBC).  Make sure to tell your doctor to check “Stored Ferritin” levels as well, which gives a more complete picture of your body’s iron levels ~ in addition to your red blood cell count. 

When I originally tested my blood several years ago, my doctor told me I was “borderline-anemic,” & this is how I came to discover the best iron supplements for anemia.  In every blood test since then, my iron levels have been in the normal range ~ so for people who think supplements are ineffective, clearly, this isn’t always the case! 

Now that my iron levels are normal, I take iron supplements 1-2X/week, instead of 3-4X, as recommended by my doctor.  You don’t want to overdo it on iron, so make sure to re-test once or twice a year (check with your doctor).

Symptoms of Low Iron Levels

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Chest pain, fast heartbeat, or shortness of breath
  • Headache, dizziness, or being light-headed
  • Pale skin
  • Cold hands & feet
  • Inflammation or soreness of the tongue
  • Brittle nails
  • Unusual cravings for things such as ice, dirt, or starch
  • Poor appetite


According to the Mayo Clinic, any of the above can be symptoms of low iron.  I’d personally rather avoid all of these symptoms while traveling ~ especially while undertaking bucket list hikes in Patagonia & such.  Having cold hands & feet was an odd thing that affected me for years.  It wasn’t life-threatening, but it was of concern, especially while in colder climates. 

I tried several iron supplements before finding one that did NOT cause constipation (an unfortunate side effect of many iron supplements): Vitanica’s Iron Extra.  Dr. Tori Hudson, a naturopathic doctor in Portland, created the Vitanica line of supplements specifically for women ~ & I’m a huge fan of them because they don’t have any filler ingredients in them, instead favoring nourishing botanicals that are highly effective.  Take a look at the ingredients in Iron Extra:

Best Iron Supplements for Anemia, Women, & Vegans, Girl Who Travels the World

In addition to using a high-quality iron source (cheaper ones can cause constipation), she adds in rich sources of Vitamin C, methylated Vitamin B, folate ~ as well as dandelion, yellow dock, & nettle, which help the body detoxify.

Best Iron Supplements for Anemia & Women

That concludes our search for the best iron supplements for anemia, women, & vegans.  This is what has worked for me ~ but I strongly encourage you to test your own iron levels, & obtain the proper dosage from your doctor for any iron supplementation you do.  

In Good Health!

xoxo Noelia

Read Next:  How to Stay Regular on the Road

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Best Iron Supplements for Women & Anemia, Girl Who Travels the World

Iron Supplements that Don't Cause Constipation, Girl Who Travels the World