How to Incorporate Iron-Rich Plant-Foods into Your Diet

A plant-based diet focuses on the consumption of plant-derived foods that are rich in fiber. It is suitable for lowering high blood pressure. An iron-rich foods vegan diet is important to pay attention to increasing the iron levels in the body. This is especially important for women who lose blood every month.

When it comes to taking charge of our body, we make sure that we feed it with all the goodness there is, including plant-based foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Our bodies require these essential substances to function normally. Aside from that, vitamins and minerals help protect our body from certain health conditions like heart disease.

An iron-rich diet is important among everyone, including vegans, because it consists mostly of plant-based foods that mostly contain this essential mineral, including legumes, nuts, leafy vegetables, and healthy oils.

What is iron?

Iron plays a vital role in our overall health. It is responsible for transporting oxygen to the red blood cells, allowing these cells to carry oxygen throughout our bodies. Lack of iron in the body leads to a health condition called iron-deficiency anemia. It weakens the body, causing several conditions like fatigue, stress, and even depression. The intake of food that is rich in iron is a natural way of lowering the risk of anemia.

What is heme iron?

Iron comes in two dietary types: heme iron and non-heme iron. 

  • Heme iron is the type of iron that is present in chickens, animal-based meat, fishes, and other sea animals. 
  • Non-heme iron is found in plant-based foods, like legumes and leafy greens. Non-heme iron is also found in some animal products, like cow’s milk and chicken’s eggs.

However, studies show that heme iron has an effect on the formation of carcinogenic compounds, which means too much intake of it, especially from red meat, increases the risk of colon cancer. 

Fortunately, getting that much-needed non-heme iron in the body is possible: focus on an iron-rich foods vegan diet. This means avoiding all animal-based products, and instead of getting your healthy iron from green, leafy vegetables and nuts. This is a safer alternative than eating a heme iron-rich diet.

Also, the body can absorb non-heme iron quicker with the help of organic acids like vitamin C. This should be easy, as there are a plethora of sources of vitamin C, such as fruits.  

Why is plant-based iron better?

The obvious sources of plant-based iron are vegetables, nuts, and fruits, a group of foods that are packed with nutrients. A diet consisting of greens not only allows you to manage your weight effectively but also helps you improve your overall health.

What plant foods have the highest amount of iron?

When you switch to an iron-rich foods vegan diet, there are several things to note, and one of those is to make sure you get the right nutrients your body needs. 

Ensure to include these 10 plant foods when you go grocery shopping next time, as these have the highest amount of iron:

  • Legumes, including peas, beans, lentils
  • Soy products, including soybeans and tofu
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Vegetables like dark leafy greens
  • Potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains

Some of these foods may be small in size, but they are packed with the right amount of iron that your body needs.

How do you incorporate iron-rich foods into your diet?

Incorporating iron-rich foods into your diet is easier than you think. The fact that you eat every day is an obvious advantage. The real challenge here is for plant-based iron to be absorbed quickly into your body.

As previously explained, certain food components, such as vitamin C, can affect how quick non-heme iron is absorbed by the body. That means your diet must include fruits and vegetables that are rich in organic acids. Phytates-rich foods (brans, grains, etc.), when soaked and fermented, also help quicken the body’s ability to absorb plant-based iron.

Getting the right amount of iron every day is crucial, as it contributes to your overall health and wellness. Being healthy means having the ability to do what you want, including participating in physical activities, like biking with friends on a tubeless mountain bike or going swimming in the nearby lake. 

At the end of the day, you are the captain of your own ship, and your body is your responsibility. But, it doesn’t take that much effort to stay active and healthy. Just choose a well-balanced, vegan lifestyle, and you’re all set to last the day.

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