Iron is an important mineral for the human body. An iron deficiency can lead to severe anemia, fatigue, shortness of breath, and irritation in general. Without a sufficient amount of iron in the human body, the body cannot produce enough hemoglobin in the red blood cells and become incompatible to carry oxygen to all the parts of the body. A pregnant woman requires iron and calcium for the healthy development of the fetus and a lactating mother needs a lot of varied minerals and vitamins along with iron and calcium in her diet. But to fulfill your iron requirements, you need not eat meat. Here are some options for vegetarian food rich in iron.
Vegetarian Food Rich In Iron
Nuts and seeds:
Nuts and seeds are wholesome foods which one can have throughout one’s life. They are rich in iron, protein, energy, antioxidants, minerals, omega – fatty acids and essential vitamins. They are full of healthy fats such as monounsaturated fatty acids. These MUFAs such as oleic or palmitoleic acids help lower the blood cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol in the blood. Nuts such as cashews, almonds, walnuts, coconuts, chestnuts, etc and seeds such as chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds and many such others are very essential in maintaining a healthy body and can be had in any stages of a woman’s life.
Green leafy vegetables:
Rich in vitamins, C, A and K, green leafy vegetables are a health food one should eat throughout one’s life .These also contain important minerals, iron, antioxidants and vitamin B. Salad greens, spinach, coriander, mint, broccoli and mustard are some healthy food items which should be a part of every woman’s diet throughout her life.
Skimmed milk and low fat yoghurt:
Skimmed dairy products like low fat milk, skimmed paneer and low fat yoghurt are smart dairy choices because they are low in fat. They are also loaded with iron, vitamins A and D. Skimmed yoghurt also contains essential probiotics which aide in digestion in all stages of a woman’s life. Cottage cheese is also an excellent vegetarian iron rich food that is not only delicious but also very healthy. It can be cooked in various ways and enjoyed by vegans.
Apples are rich in quercetin which is an important antioxidant for the body. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats which help women lose belly fat. All kinds of berries like strawberries, blueberries, acai berries are rich in antioxidants and should be consumed whenever available. Other fruits like bananas, papayas, grapefruits, oranges and others should also be consumed regularly. These are loaded with potassium, magnesium and other essential minerals required for the healthy functioning of the body.
Lentils are rich in iron. Vegetarian women should consume lentils every day to maintain the iron levels in their blood.
Tofu is made from soy milk. It is an excellent option for those who are iron deficient. Tofu is also very delicious and tastes just like cottage cheese. It is preferred by people who are lactose intolerant and vegan.
To ensure that iron is absorbed in your body, you should take an ample amount of vitamin C. It is found in fruits, especially citrus fruits. Iron is better absorbed in the body with equivalent amounts of vitamin C. But it is better to take these in the natural food forms rather than as supplements. As and when a woman ages, the quantity of these superfoods may reduce but their nutrition facts remain unbeaten.