One of the nutrition’s that are inevitable for our health is Iron. Even though it is found in wide number of foods, many people are deficient in it.

The reason to its deficiency is that it cannot be assimilated easily in our bodies, since our digestive system faces difficulties to extract it from the foods we consume, and store it.

Paul Thomas, EdD, RD, a scientific consultant to the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements explains the following:

“The major reason we need it is that it helps to transport oxygen throughout the body.”

The iron is an important part of the hemoglobin, whose main function is to transport oxygen from the lungs throughout your body. Our bodies won’t be able to get the needed oxygen without healthy red blood cells.

Thomas adds:

 “If you’re not getting sufficient oxygen in the body, you’re going to become fatigued. “

This directly affects the function of the brain. It also  affects the ability of the immune system to resist infections. Pregnant women should check their blood for iron deficency because severe iron deficiency raises the baby’s risk of being born too early, or smaller than normal.

This condition is the most common nutritional deficiency in the U.S.  As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10% of women are deficient in this mineral.

The early symptoms of iron deficiency or anemia in the body include exhaustion, fatigue, pallor, and poor infections resistance. Moreover, the excessive levels of iron in the body, or a condition known as hemochromatosis, can also be harmful.

13 Vegetarian Foods That Contain More Iron Than Meat:

A lack of iron in the body can show up a result of:

  • A poorly balanced vegetarian diet
  • Low iron bio-availability of iron as a result of excess tea or calcium supplement
  • An increased need for this mineral during growth, breastfeeding, and pregnancy
  • Abundant blood loss like during menstruation or childbirth
  • Poor iron absorption due to gluten intolerance, intestinal disorders, or inflammatory bowel disease

So the meat doesn’t have to be the only source of iron, as you can also optimize its levels by consuming the following vegetarian foods.

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One of the nutrition’s that are inevitable for our health is Iron. Even though it is found in wide number of foods, many people are deficient in it.

The reason to its deficiency is that it cannot be assimilated easily in our bodies, since our digestive system faces difficulties to extract it from the foods we consume, and store it.

Paul Thomas, EdD, RD, a scientific consultant to the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements explains the following:

“The major reason we need it is that it helps to transport oxygen throughout the body.”

The iron is an important part of the hemoglobin, whose main function is to transport oxygen from the lungs throughout your body. Our bodies won’t be able to get the needed oxygen without healthy red blood cells.

Thomas adds:

 “If you’re not getting sufficient oxygen in the body, you’re going to become fatigued. “

This directly affects the function of the brain. It also  affects the ability of the immune system to resist infections. Pregnant women should check their blood for iron deficency because severe iron deficiency raises the baby’s risk of being born too early, or smaller than normal.

This condition is the most common nutritional deficiency in the U.S.  As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10% of women are deficient in this mineral.

The early symptoms of iron deficiency or anemia in the body include exhaustion, fatigue, pallor, and poor infections resistance. Moreover, the excessive levels of iron in the body, or a condition known as hemochromatosis, can also be harmful.

A lack of iron in the body can show up a result of:

  • A poorly balanced vegetarian diet
  • Low iron bio-availability of iron as a result of excess tea or calcium supplement
  • An increased need for this mineral during growth, breastfeeding, and pregnancy
  • Abundant blood loss like during menstruation or childbirth
  • Poor iron absorption due to gluten intolerance, intestinal disorders, or inflammatory bowel disease

So the meat doesn’t have to be the only source of iron, as you can also optimize its levels by consuming the following  9 vegetarian foods that contain more iron than meat:

  •     Spinach

It is one of the richest iron sources. Spinach is low in calories and high in antioxidants and vitamin A.

  •     Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds contain 3.3 mg of iron per 100 grams, and high amounts of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamins A, E, F and those of group B. Additionally, they contain all the essential amino acids. Pumpkin seeds are also rich in fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

  •     Broccoli

It provides 1 mg of iron per 100 g, which is 6% of the recommended daily intake.

Moreover, it provides 168% of vitamin C recommended daily dose for adults, and this vitamin supports the iron absorption in the body. It is also a rich source of folates, vitamin K, and fiber.

  •     Nuts

Nuts, dates, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, figs offer about 2.4g to 3mg of iron, and boost energy levels.  They also create a feeling of satiety and help the weight loss process.

  •     Lentils

Lentils offer 3.3 mg of iron per 100 grams. They are also abundant in fiber, magnesium, and vitamin B.

  •     Kale

Kale exceeds the recommended daily amount of many vitamins, a 512% vitamin A and 200% vitamin C, and provides 1.5mg of iron per 100 grams. Moreover, it is rich in vitamin K, which maintains the health of bones, and fiber, which prevents constipation, lowers cholesterol, and slows down the passage of glucose into the blood.

  •     Tofu

This soy-based food is loaded with iron, and126 g of tofu provides 3.6 mg of iron, which is 19% of the recommended daily intake. It is also abundant in thiamine, magnesium, selenium, and calcium.

The isoflavones it contains lower the risk of heart diseases, and treat insulin sensitivity and menopausal symptoms.

  •     Beetroot

Beet contains 1.8mg of iron per 100 grams and is also high in magnesium, betanin, and calcium. It supports the healthy function of the liver, while the high folic acid levels help the assimilation of carbohydrates.

  •     Mung bean or mung bean

It is loaded with iron, as it contains about 1.8 milligrams per 100 g. It is also a rich source of copper, potassium, and zinc. The regular consumption of legumes has been found to control blood sugar levels, help weight loss, and lower the risk of colorectal cancer.

Furthermore, note that you need to ensure a proper assimilation of this important mineral despite only consuming iron-rich foods. Certain compounds, like calcium, might prevent the proper absorption of iron, so make sure you also increase the intake of foods rich in vitamin C, like oranges, lemons, tangerine, and kiwi.

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