Vegetarians often worry about the iron intake in their food because it is said the meat and fish are the main sources of Iron to the body. A diet which lacks iron can lead to low energy levels, anaemia, headache, dizziness, shortness of breath. A healthy human being should take in an average of 18mg iron per day. So they should find an alternate source of iron in their food. Today let’s discuss which food they can include in your diet for proper iron intake.
Iron is of two types –Heme and Non-heme. Heme iron is only found in animal products and non-heme iron is found in plants. This fact is not known by many people so we think that if we are not eating meat, we will not get iron in our body.
Vegetarian friends are very fortunate because there are several great food options which are both delicious and rich in Iron.
- One of the most commonly found dry fruits rich in the element is Raisins. To get the best result, you can add it with healthy food which contains vitamin C. They not only enrich you with iron but also add a sweet taste to your food.
- Lentils are another healthy and iron-filled option. They are among the thousands of options in vegetarian food that can prove the concept wrong that vegetarian foods cannot provide sufficient iron. Lentils are not only rich in the metal but also contain protein, fibre, and complex carbs.
- Soybeans are also a good alternative to meat. A single cup of soybeans contains half of the amount of recommended iron.
- Nuts and seeds are another rich
source. Seeds like pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, sesame seed contain approximately 1.2 to 4.2 mg of iron which is more than meat. Nuts like almonds, cashews, pine nuts etc. contain between 1 to 1.2 mg of it per ounce.
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach, beet leaves are also a good alternative for all the veggies out there. These contain more iron than a boiled egg or any red meat. Other iron-rich vegetables are beetroot, cabbage,
brusselsand broccoli. Tomato is another source of it; a raw tomato has very little of it but its dried or concentrated form is very rich in the element concerned.
- Another very healthy and delicious option is mushroom. You can eat them in various ways; oyster mushroom provides much iron in the body and is very easily found in the market.
- Next come the fruits and fruit products like prune juice, olives, dried peaches, pomegranates, dates, watermelons and berries- all containing non-heme iron, equal in quantity to that found in fish or meat.
It is a common thought that the vegans are prone to iron deficiency but it is proven that they suffer less from anaemia because not only are they getting more fibre, vitamin and magnesium but also more iron than the others!