If you are a vegetarian, you do not have to worry about the lack of iron in your body, because there can be found excellent vegetable sources for iron. Here we list the foods that are not only good sources of iron, but are extremely healthy for a number of other reasons.
Iron is an important mineral that performs a variety of functions in the body, but its main function is transporting oxygen through the body and building red blood cells. Its an essential nutrient, which means that it must be entered through food. The average recommended daily intake is 18 milligrams. However, the amount of iron that your body will absorb partly depends on how much you already have stock of iron in the body.
Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which is manifested by a series of symptoms (fatigue for example). The most reliable way to find out whether you have enough iron is through laboratory analysis of blood.
Here are the 5 best natural sources of iron:
Pumpkin seed – Only 28 grams of pumpkin seed contains 4.2 mg of iron, which is 23% of the recommended daily intake. In addition, its a good source of vitamin K, zinc and manganese. Pumpkin seed is also one of the best sources of magnesium – the aforementioned amount includes 42% of the recommended daily intake.
Spinach – 100 grams of cooked spinach have about 3,6 mg of iron, which is 20% of the recommended daily intake. Rich in vitamin C, spinach enhances iron absorption. If you eat raw spinach, because to the high levels of oxalic acid, the body can not absorb a sufficient iron from it. With cooking the oxalic acid is degraded, and the absorption of iron from cooked spinach increases. In addition, spinach is very rich in antioxidants called carotenoids, which have many beneficial effects for the body.
Tofu – Tofu or soy cheese is a good source of iron. Half a cup (126 g) contains 3.6 mg of iron, which is 19% of the recommended daily intake. Also good source of calcium, magnesium and selenium and rich in high-quality vegetable proteins. This food contains compounds called isoflavones, which have many beneficial effects: decrease the risk of heart disease, improve the sensitivity to insulin (important for the prevention of diabetes) and are reducing the symptoms of menopause.
Quinoa – One cup of cooked quinoa (about 185 g) contains 2.8 mg of iron. which is 15% of the recommended daily intake. Quinoa is gluten free, and is suitable for feeding those who have intolerance to gluten or are avoiding it some other reason. Also, this food contains more protein than any other grain, which is also good for vegetarians. Very rich with magnesium, copper, manganese and other nutrients.
Broccoli – One cup of cooked broccoli (156 g) contains 1 mg of iron, which is 6% of the recommended daily intake. The same amount of broccoli contains 168% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which helps the body to better absorb the entered iron. Broccoli is rich with fiber and vitamin K. This green plant is especially rich in sulforaphane and glucosinolates, plant chemicals that are believed to significantly contribute to the prevention of cancer.