Below is a list of 10 iron rich foods for vegetarians. But before i get to the list, let’s take a quick look at some quick iron facts.
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Did You Know, There Are 2 Different Types of Iron? Hemi Vs. Non-Hemi
I did some research (a/k/a went to Google) and found the missing piece of the iron puzzle for veggies. Basically there are two different forms of iron, heme and non-hemi. The former is derived from animal based food, and the latter is obtained from plant based foods.
Let’s Talk About Iron and Absorption
The non-hemi type of iron, which is the vegetarian type, is not absorbed as well as the animal based type, without some help. Taken straight from the Vegetarian Resource Group page on Iron, they state the following:
Consuming foods rich in vitamin C at the same meal enhances non-heme iron absorption.
Are Vegetarians Prone To Iron Deficiency?
So although one needs to supplement when trying to fully absorb iron, vegetarians ARE NOT more (or less) prone to Anemia. Again it always comes down to proper nutrition research. If one chooses to become savvy about the ingredients and the nutrients in the foods they eat, they will be and stay healthy. This applies to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
So without further ado. I realize that was quite an introduction to the list post but i feel it might help someone as it did me.
Top 10 Iron Rich Foods For Vegetarians
10.) Swiss Chard, cooked
9.) Lima Beans, cooked
7.) Bagel, enriched
5.) Quinoa, cooked
4.) Spinach, cooked
3.) Lentils, cooked
2.) Blackstrap Molasses
1.) Soybeans, cooked – 8.8 mg
As far as iron RDA for vegetarians, for women who are pre-menopausal it is 33 mg, and for men it is 14 mg. For women who are post-menopausal it is 14 mg. Women need more because of menstruation.
Conclusion and Final Summary
So in conclusion vegetarians need to be mindful of eating foods rich in Vitamin C to fully (or better) absorb Iron. For a few menu’s that are iron rich, visit the Vegetarian Resource Group Iron For Vegans page.
What are some of YOUR fave food pairings that are both rich in iron and Vitamin C? Please share them below and let’s help those who might be having the same questions or concerns.
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