Iron Rich Diet for Vegans
What is iron?
Iron is a mineral and an important component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Hemoglobin is a type of protein (British English spelling is Haemoglobin)
How is iron found in plants different from iron found in meat products?
Iron is available in meat as well as plant food. It exists as two types, heme and non-heme. Animal foods such as meat, seafood, and poultry provide both types and are better absorbed by the body.
Non-heme iron is found in plant foods. Non-heme iron is absorbed slowly by the body. For vegetarians, it is often recommended that iron-rich food should be consumed along with with vitamin C rich food so that the absorption of iron is faster in the body.
Iron Rich Food!
- Lentils and beans- 1 cup boiled soybean have about 8 grams of iron. 1 cup boiled chickpeas and kidney beans have about 6 grams of iron. Lentils and beans are a good source of protein also.
- Tofu- good source of iron
- Grains- whole wheat, oat, maize etc. are all rich in iron.
- Green leafy vegetables- spinach, kale, chard, beet greens etc are all rich in iron.
- Seeds- Sesame seeds with skin, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds are also rich in iron
- Nuts and dried fruits- fig, raisins, almonds, walnuts, cashews etc are all have iron
- Amaranth and quinoa are also rich in iron
- Fruits, veggies rich in iron and also in vitamin C are apple, pomegranate, strawberries, broccoli, beets, potato etc.
Combination of iron and vitamin C recipe ideas-
- Make orange and kale/spinach juice
- Make smoothies with the combination of apple/strawberries and kale or some other green leafy vegetables rich in iron.
- Make lentils and beans and add a little bit of lemon juice to enhance the flavor beans and also to help in the absorption of iron.
- Make vegetarian kebabs with kidney beans. They are rich in iron as well as protein. Serve it with cilantro chutney which has lemon juice which helps in the absorption of iron.
I hope this article helps you! You can read my answer about iron in vegan food in Quora also.
With best wishes,