It might appear difficult for vegetarians to find the needed iron, though some cannot realize the reason.
Actually there are 2 iron forms: heme coming from animals, non-heme coming from different plants. And non-heme iron is harder to absorb compared to heme iron. If you consume foods rich in vitamin C together with plant iron, this will help to absorb non-heme iron better.
This trick will alleviate the worries about anemia. As a matter of fact iron helps the blood transport oxygen all over the body, plus it helps the immunity to fight effectively. If the body lacks iron, you can feel tired, as the body gets too little oxygen. Iron over-consumption though is toxic, so it is essential to find a balance. Too high levels of iron will make you prone to various bacterial infections. It’s really hard to become iron-toxified just from foods; it can be provoked by too many supplements of iron.
The daily need of iron for women is 33mg. Men as well as women in menopause should get 14 mg of iron daily. Childbearing years for women imply that the supply of iron should be higher so that to compensate for the lost iron through menstruation. What types of food will give you the required iron?
Bran is actually a rich iron source. You can consume it as cereal, or bake into muffins and bread. Another good source is oatmeal, but you are not to rely on some instant varieties. It is better to cook old-fashioned oatmeal, or get steel cut oats. Well, they require more time to cook, but actually they have a nice taste and are very rich in iron as well as certain other nutrients. You may as well add oatmeal to cakes, muffins, cookies and so on.
Beans are high in proteins and iron. Add black-eyed peas, navy beans, soybeans, lentils, tofu and chickpeas to the diet plan to raise iron levels. Actually beans may be made in vegetable burgers or also prepared in soups and stews.
Vegetables and fruits
The more vegetables you consume, the more amounts of iron you can receive. Raisins, pumpkins, watermelon, potatoes, broccoli and sweet potatoes contain much iron. Such leafy greens as spinach, lettuce, beet greens are also good to get the needed iron. For those who don’t want to eat salads so often, it is advisable to add greens to smoothies, pasta sauces and soups. Add a fruit to smoothies to make them sweeter. Add squash, sweet potatoes to soups and stew. For those who prefer Japanese cuisine, it is possible to stock up on some edible seaweeds.
You can enjoy the vegetarian sushi. Watercress as well as parsley are nice iron sources too.