I’ve been thinking lately of iron, as it pertains to the vegetarian diet. The reason i’ve been thinking about this, is because i read (not too long ago) on a vegetarian nutrition blog, that IRON is best absorbed when combined with another food item.
But not just any food item, foods rich in Vitamin C. Actually i had forgotten this important tidbit, and was freaking out because i thought i was placing myself in danger of anemia. Anemia is the condition one gets, when they are low in iron.
Did You Know, There Are 2 Different Types of Iron? Hemi Vs. Non-Hemi
So i did some research (a/k/a went to Google) and found the missing piece of the iron puzzle. Basically there are two different forms of iron, heme and non-hemi. The former is derived from animal based food, and the latter is obtained from plant based foods.
Let’s Talk About Iron and Absorption
The non-hemi type of iron, which is the vegetarian type, is not absorbed as well as the animal based type, without some help. Taken straight from the Vegetarian Resource Group page on Iron, they state the following:
Consuming foods rich in vitamin C at the same meal enhances non-heme iron absorption.
Are Vegetarians Prone To Iron Deficiency?
So although one needs to supplement when trying to fully absorb iron, vegetarians ARE NOT more (or less) prone to Anemia. Again it always comes down to proper nutrition research. If one chooses to become savvy about the ingredients and the nutrients in the foods they eat, they will be and stay healthy. This applies to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
So without further ado. I realize that was quite an introduction to the list post, but i feel it might help someone, as it did me.
Top 10 Vegetarian Sources Of Iron
10.) Swiss Chard, cooked
9.) Lima Beans, cooked
7.) Bagel, enriched
5.) Quinoa, cooked
4.) Spinach, cooked
3.) Lentils, cooked
2.) Blackstrap Molasses
and the number #1 source of vegetarian iron, based on milligrams is: (drum roll please)
1.) Soybeans, cooked - 8.8 mg
What Is The Daily RDA For Iron For Vegetarians?
For women who are pre-menopausal it is 33 mg, and for men it is 14 mg. For women who are post-menopausal it is 14 mg.