Iron is an essential mineral that is used to carry oxygen to all body parts. A slight iron deficiency can cause anemia (fatigue and weakness) and a chronic shortage of iron can cause serious damage to organs. Conversely, too much iron can cause increased production of free radicals in the body. Free radicals can interfere with metabolism, triggering damage to organs. The body is able to control the absorption of iron, so overdose is rare and occurs only when people take too many iron supplements. Natural sources of iron, such as those listed below, are considered safe and healthy. Although iron is best absorbed from meat, there are many vegetal sources of iron, as safe and convenient for people who do not eat meat. Typically, the recommended daily amount of iron is 18 milligrams.
The best vegetable sources of iron
– Brussels sprout. Brussels sprout is one of the healthiest vegetables. This is an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamins, folic acid and fiber. In addition, Brussels sprouts have significant amounts of iron and are an obvious choice in preventing anemia.
– Raisins. Similar to other dried fruit, raisins have a high density of nutrients, including iron. You can add raisins in cereal, salads or healthy desserts. To achieve maximum benefit, combine raisins with other foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body absorb the iron in raisins easier.
– Lentils. These herbs are rich in vitamins and nutrients, including iron, protein and amino acids. In addition, lentils are easy to prepare and can be served as garnish for a variety of dishes. You can add lentils in soups, salads, pasta and many other dishes.
– Dried Peaches. If you want to add more iron in your diet opt for dried fruit. Dried peaches are part of the wide range of vegetal sources of iron. Dried peaches are ideal for breakfast, in salads, and as light snacks throughout the day. One serving of dried peaches contains about 9% of the recommended daily amount of iron.
– Pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of iron and healthy oils. A handful of pumpkin seeds contains about 1 mg of iron. That means about 5% of the recommended daily amount. Pumpkin seeds provide many benefits when consumed raw.
– Soybeans. Soybean is considered a super food, especially for vegetarians . Soy protein has an important content, unsaturated fats, fiber and minerals, including iron. One cup of cooked soybeans contains about half the daily recommended amount of iron. Versatility is another advantage of soybeans. They can be added to soups, salads, pasta, bakery products etc.
– Pinto Beans. Such beans contain essential vitamins and minerals. Among the minerals iron is found in a not insignificant amount: just a cup of boiled pinto beans provides about 21% of the daily amount indicated. You can combine pinto beans with brown rice or other vegetables to a low-fat, high in vitamins and minerals meal.
– Arugula. Dark green vegetables, including arugula, offer many health benefits and contain a small number of calories. People should include large amounts of arugula in their diet, especially for iron content. This way the health of red blood cells can be improved. You can add arugula in salads, soups, pizza , pasta and more.
– Whole wheat pasta. Replacing white pasta with whole wheat pasta is a great way to reduce cravings for carbohydrates while increasing your intake of essential minerals for the body, such as magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron.
– Cabbage. Cabbage contains significant amounts of calcium, vitamin A and more items to fight cancer. Also, cabbage is rich in iron and vitamin C. To achieve most of these essential nutrients, eat cabbage raw in salads, along with other healthy vegetables.
– Sesame butter (tahini). Sesame butter, often associated with humus, can provide a significant amount of iron. And if you already eat a significant amount of vegetables and fruits rich in iron, tahini can be an excellent addition that will help satisfy the body’s daily need for iron.
– Dried thyme. Dry thyme provides a unique flavor and is an excellent source of iron, among other nutrients. In fact, dried thyme is one of the richest sources of iron of all spices. Dried thyme is very low in calories, which makes it an excellent condiment for people who want to lose weight.
– Black beans. Black beans are easy and cheap to get. They are available throughout the year and are loaded with fiber, protein and iron. One cup of cooked black beans contains about 20% of the recommended daily intake of iron.
– Brown rice. Brown rice is considered an important food for health. It is naturally rich in fiber, has high iron content and is very helpful in fighting anemia. Brown rice can be served as garnish for a wide variety of meat or vegetable.
– Oatmeal. Deficiency of iron can be reduced by adding oatmeal in your diet. Just half a cup of oatmeal contains about 2 milligrams of iron. In addition, oatmeal offers plenty of other nutrients and is a food that nutrition experts recommend it to anyone.