Are you getting enough iron in your diet? Many people don’t get enough iron in their diet. It’s an important element because it carries oxygen throughout your body. It’s required for digestion and many functions on a cellular level. Without enough iron in your diet, you will feel fatigued and can get sick easier. Women and children are particularly susceptible to iron deficiency and supplementation is often recommended to help them prevent anemia.
Red meat and shellfish are both easy sources of iron. However, there are many vegetable options, too. The following are a few of the vegetable choices that are richest in iron:
Squash and pumpkin seeds are among the highest in iron. One ounce contains 4mg of iron or 23 percent of your recommended daily value. An ounce of sesame seeds also contains 23 percent of your daily value, sunflower seeds have 11 percent and flax seeds have 9 percent of your daily value. As you can see, a handful of seeds can help you get the daily iron you need.
Nuts including cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, and almonds all have a good amount of iron. An ounce of cashews has 1.7 mg or 9 percent of your daily value. An ounce of pine nuts also contain 9 percent of your daily value. Hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, and pistachios all have 7 percent plus Macadamia nuts have 6 percent of your recommended daily value of iron in your diet.
Lentils and white beans have a good amount of iron in them. A cup of cooked beans has 6.6mg or 37 percent of your daily iron in your diet value. Other beans that are high in iron include soybeans, kidney beans, chickpeas, Lima and navy beans, black beans, pinto beans and black eyed peas. For many, a diet of beans and rice is a staple because it also provides a complete protein.
Whole grains also have iron. Quinoa is the highest with 15 percent of your daily value in one cup. Oats, barley and rice also provide iron for your diet and fortified grains plus many cereals contain more. Read the ingredients on their box to choose one high in iron for your diet.
Finally, let’s not forget dark leafy greens like spinach, beet tops, collards and chard which have 36 percent of your daily iron needs, per cup. The next time you make a pot of vegetable soup, drop in 3 or 4 handfuls of the leafy greens to enrich the iron in your diet. The goal is to make sure that you get enough. If not, your doctor may recommend supplementation to keep your body supplied with the right amount of iron it needs to run properly.