Iron is one of the main minerals essential for your body. It is very essential for the proper hemoglobin function. In addition to that, iron plays a major role in many other body functions. Iron is very crucial for improving your mental and physical performance. You will get a good amount of iron from many animal foods, like eggs, meat, milk products, etc. However, people who follow a plant-based diet cannot eat these foods. Fortunately, there are several plant foods that could provide enough iron for your body.
Here are some of the plant-based foods that are rich in iron.
Whole grains contain a lot of healthy nutrients like vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and minerals, including iron. Amaranth is one of the whole grains that contain a good amount of iron. Just one cup of cooked amaranth contains 5.2 mg of iron, which is around 29 % of your daily requirement of iron. Another whole grain that is rich in iron is spelt, which provides 3.2 mg of iron per cooked cup. Oats and quinoa can also provide good amounts of iron.
Most people do not turn to fruits when it comes to increasing the iron intake. However, there are several fruits that contain good amounts of iron. One such fruit is prune, which can provide around 17 % of your daily iron requirement. Many people do not know that olives are fruits. Every 3.5 ounce of olives can provide 3.3 mg of iron.
It was found that certain vegetables can provide good amounts of iron, even more than meat and eggs. You will get around 3.9 mg of iron from half a cup of tomato paste. Another common vegetable that provides a great amount of iron is potato. One large potato can provide around 3.2 mg of iron.
Many experts consider seeds as one of the best plant-based sources of iron. You will get around 1.2-4.2 mg of iron from just two tablespoons of hemp, flax, pumpkin, and sesame seeds. You will also get good amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from seeds.
Legumes such as peas, beans, and lentils are good sources of iron. You will get around 808 mg of iron from just one cup of soybeans. A cup of cooked lentils can provide you around 6.6 mg of iron.