One of the major reasons why iron is an essential mineral is that it helps in the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. Your body will not be able to make healthy oxygen carrying red blood cells if you are suffering from iron deficiency. Apart from that, iron is also essential for maintaining healthy hair, cells, skin and nails. The daily recommended iron intake however depends on the age, gender and overall health of an individual.
11 Vegetarian Foods High in Iron
Serving size: a handful
We all loved eating pumpkins when we were kids but now it’s time to bring them back to your diet. A handful of pumpkin seeds consist of about one milligram of iron, which is approximately 5% of the recommended daily value. Just to let you know, eating raw pumpkin seeds will provide you with the most benefits.
Whole wheat pasta
Serving size: ¼ cup dry
Iron: 0.4 milligrams
Whole wheat pasta is not only a great way to curb your cravings but is also a rich source of magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. Thus, one can add whole wheat pasta in their healthy balanced diet.
Serving size: 1 cup boiled
Iron: 0.8 milligrams
Brown rice is a rich source of iron that helps to body to fight against anemia and fatigue. In fact, its fiber rich content also helps the body to get rid of the toxins. You can try to serve cooked brown rice with beans or veggies.
Serving size: ½ cup
Iron: 2 milligrams
Although, you can consume apricots in any form, be it raw, cooked, canned or dried but the largest amount of iron is consisted in dried apricots. You can consume a handful of dried apricots daily which will serve to provide you with 35% of the daily recommended iron intake.
Serving size: ½ cup
Iron: 3.4 milligrams
Tofu is not only a rich source of iron but other essential minerals as well. Although, its bland taste is not preferred by many but this is only because many aren’t still sure of the exact way tofu is prepared.
Serving size: 1 tablespoon
Iron: 0.9 milligrams
Adding a teaspoon of molasses in your diet will fulfill 5% of your daily iron intake. You just need to add a teaspoon of it to your toast, sandwiches, milk, water, cereals or any other such thing you prefer.
Serving size: 1/2 cup
Iron: 1.7 milligrams
Calories: 154 calories
Deficiency of iron can be easily eliminated by adding just half cup oatmeal to your diet, which provides with 2 milligrams of iron. You can include this in your breakfast or use oats to make cookies, granola etc.
Serving size: ½ cup
Iron: 0.3 milligrams
Broccoli is a rich source of iron as well as vitamin C. This will enable your body in the absorption as well as digestion of iron.
Serving size: 1 cup
Iron: 1.1 milligrams
Being rich in iron and comparatively less calories, kale is one of the cruciferous vegetables that will help your body to fight against anemia and fatigue. There are a number of ways to include this in your diet, for instance eating it raw, adding these up in a burger, a soup or sautéing it.
Serving size: 100 grams
Iron: 6.3 milligrams
Now this one is my personal favourite. Who doesn’t love chocolates, especially when you know that it’s loaded with iron. A hundred gram serving size of dark chocolate consists of about 35% of the daily iron intake. However, you should only consume it in moderation.
Serving size: 1 pint
Iron: 1.5 milligrams
In addition to iron, strawberries are also a rich source of Vitamin C, which means the ability to provide your body to absorb the iron. You can either include them in your breakfast or have them after the dinner or in an afternoon smoothie.
Symptoms to know you are low in iron
Given below are a few symptoms that will help you to know if you are iron deficient:
- A fast heartbeat
- A sore tongue
- Feel short of breath
- Cold hands and feet
- Hair loss
- Brittle or spoon shaped nails
- Sores at the corner of the mouth
- Craving substances like dirt, clay etc
These were some foods high in iron. Including such foods in your diet will adequately improve your iron levels. But if you are excessively low in iron, then this may not be able to provide you with enough iron that your body needs. In such a case, you must consult your doctor who may also recommend you to take iron supplements. Apart from that, maintaining a healthy and iron rich diet is necessary to eliminate the problem of iron deficiency.