Iron is an essential mineral that is required by the human body to carry out different functions. The deficiency of iron can lead to various problems including low energy levels, headaches, shortness of breath, irritability, dizziness, and anemia. Therefore, it is important for you to take enough iron through your diet.
Iron is found in two forms in foods, called heme and non-heme. The heme form is found in animal products and it is easy to absorb by the body. The non-heme iron is present in plant-based foods, but it is difficult for your body to absorb. Hence, if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is important for you to make sure that your body gets enough iron.
There are a variety of plant-based foods that are rich in iron. Including them in your diet can be beneficial for you to acquire a good amount of this mineral.
There are a wide variety of legumes that are rich in iron. Some of them include tempeh, tofu, soybeans, and natto. A cup of soybeans can provide you about 8.8mg of iron, whereas the same amount of natto, which is a fermented soybean product, contains almost 15mg. Also, 6 ounces of tempeh or tofu has around 3-3.6mg of iron.
Another important legume that is abundant in iron is lentils, as one cup of lentils offers 6.6mg of iron. Other forms of beans and peas including kidney, beans, navy beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, etc. are also excellent sources of iron.
Nuts And Seeds
Including different nuts and seeds in your plant-based meal can be beneficial for you to get enough iron needed for your body. Some of the important seeds you should include in your diet include pumpkin, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and sesame. Products derived from such seeds also have considerable amounts of iron.
Some important nuts that are rich in iron include cashews, pine nuts, almonds, macadamia, etc. They can be a great addition to your iron-based diet.
Vegetables usually have higher iron content. In addition to this, many vegetables have vitamin C that can be beneficial for enhancing the absorption of non-heme iron.
Although fruits are not generally known for the iron content, some fruits surprisingly have high amounts of iron. They include mulberries, olives, and prunes. Including them in your diet can be beneficial for you to get enough iron required by your body.
Iron is essential for the body and there are many plant-based foods that are rich in iron. However, they contain non-heme iron that can be difficult for your body to absorb. You can include foods that contain vitamin C for increasing iron absorption.