Did you know that it’s not impossible nor is it difficult to get the right amount of iron if you’re on a plant-based diet aka vegan? Many people think a vegan diet relies solely on carbs and sugars from foods. The reality is that vegans have a vast variety of food options like nuts, vegetables, leafy greens, legumes, and grains. Any organic health shop in Pembroke Pines will be well stocked with these foods to help you live a healthy, happy life.
How to Avoid Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency, also known as anemia, is a very common disorder. Especially for women and is often associated with fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath and bruising. While anemia isn’t life threatening it can be disruptive to your daily routine and cause difficulty.
Legumes include beans, peas, and lentils which are all great sources of iron. You can eat these foods by themselves or as a side along with another iron-rich food. Lentils have about 6.6 mg of iron and are considered a complex carb. This means that it takes longer for your body to digest so you stay fuller for longer. With 18 grams of protein and about 50% of your recommended daily fiber intake, lentils are a no-brainer choice.
Tofu is derived from soybeans and a soybean contains around 8.8mg per cup which is the equivalent to 49% of the RDI. 6 ounces of tofu offers 3-3.6 mg of iron. In addition to iron, tofu is packed with protein which is essential to building strong muscles and healthy skin, hair, and nails. Tofu is also a great source of calcium, phosphorous and magnesium.
Greens like kale, spinach, swiss chard, collard and beet greens contain about 2.5-6.4 mg of iron per cooked cup or 14%-36% of the RDI. 100 grams of spinach contains 1.1 times more iron the same amount of red meat! Other iron-rich veggies include broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts. These foods are easy to consume raw or cooked, it’s all dependent on your preference.
Everybody’s favorite! Surprisingly, potatoes contain a significant amount of iron that is mostly concentrated in their skin. One large, unpeeled potato provides about 3.2 mg of iron which is 18% of the RDI. Sweet potatoes contain slightly less but have more Vitamin A and are just more colorful. Sweet potatoes are great for when you’re craving something with a little more natural flavor than that of a regular potato.
While a quick search of “healthy food near me” might pull up things like lettuce, tomatoes, and potatoes. Did you know that prune juice is rich in iron, fiber, potassium, Vitamins C, and B6, as well as manganese? Prune juice, while known for being a naturally mild laxative, has about 3 mg of iron per cup. Which is twice the amount of iron you would get in the same amount of prunes?
Quinoa is a gluten-free grain that is rich in complete protein, fiber, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. Just 2.8 mg of iron is equal to 16% RDI. Eating quinoa regularly can lower the risk of certain medical conditions including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Quinoa is rich in antioxidants and can be eaten hot or cold. It’s a truly versatile grain.
Blackstrap molasses is a sweetener that is often claimed to be healthier than regular table sugar. It contains around 1.8 mg of iron per two tablespoons. Despite having an iron content, it’s still high in sugar and should be consumed with moderation. You can use blackstrap molasses as a sugar alternative in your coffee, tea, or baked goods.
Natural foods store in Pembroke Pines will have everything you need to live your healthiest, happiest life. Whether you’re a vegan or on a ketogenic diet, shopping for healthy foods is easy when you know where to go. Find your favorite healthy alternatives and iron-rich foods at Nutrition Smart. You’ll love how easy it is to shop here and how much better you feel once you start eating right, exercising, and living better.