Iron is essential for health. If you don’t consume meat or seafood, don’t despair. There are plenty of plant-based foods that also contain this mineral.
Why is iron important? Iron is an important mineral as it participates in making red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body.
How much do I need? The amount of iron you need is: 8.7mg a day for men over 18; 14.8mg a day for women aged 19 to 50; 8.7mg a day for women over 50, according to the UK National Health Service. You should be able to get all the iron you need from your daily diet. But if you believe you need a supplement, talk to your doctor to explore your options.
Iron is present in meat and seafood, but what if you are plant-based or don't consume animal products often? We list 7 plant-based foods that are also good sources of iron.
1. Dried apricots are an excellent option to add iron to our diet (2.7mg per 100g). This tasty snack is also a source of fibre, carotenes and natural sugars that will allow us to sweeten dishes without resorting to processed sugars.
2. Quinoa. The trendy pseudocereal provides valuable properties for the body. Quinoa is rich in fibre, vegetable proteins, B vitamins and potassium. One cup (185 grams) of cooked quinoa provides 2.8 mg of iron.
3. Lentils will provide as much as 8 mg of iron for every 100 grams. But that’s not all. Lentils will also offer protein, potassium and a lot of fibre.
Spinach is low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. One cup of cooked spinach provides 6.43 mg of iron. Spinach can be eaten raw, steamed or blended in a smoothie.
Tahini. Common in the Middle East, tahini has been making its way into our diets slowly but surely. It’s made with sesame seeds and is an excellent condiment for dips and sauces. Tahini is also a great source of iron in vegetarian diets, containing over 9 mg per 100 grams.
Chia seeds. Perfect for baking, chia puddings or just sprinkled on a salad. Chia seeds provide 7.7 mg of iron per 100g and are also a great source of omega 3, calcium and vegetable
White beans. In addition to providing 7mg of iron, they are a great source of fiber and vitamins. Beans are super healthy and filling ingredient, perfect for any dish.