While meat is most often at the top of the list of for the recommended sources of iron, there are also plenty of non-meat options that contain the same amount of iron, or much more, than meat.
Therefore, these is no need to give up on your vegetarian diet and reach for that burger or multivitamin. These 7 foods will easily boost your iron intake.
1. Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are loaded in nutrition and contain 3-4 mg of iron per cup. Also, it is a great source of proteins. You can make a curry dish using kidney beans or have it as a snack, but make sure that this is included in your diet.
A cup of lentils contains 7 milligrams of iron. That’s a lot!
While that is certainly lots of lentils to consume, you can still get many benefits from eating just 1/2 cup of this powerhouse food. Lentils are great in soups or as part of a salad added with a goat cheese and tangy balsamic vinaigrette.
Potatoes are loaded with significant amounts of iron, which are mostly concentrated in their skins.
Just 1 large, unpeeled potato or 10.5 ounces or 295 grams, provides 3.2 mg of iron, which is 18% of the RDI. On the other hand, sweet potatoes contain slightly less, which is 2.1 mg for the same quantity, or 12% of the RDI.
Potatoes are also a great source of fiber. Additionally, one portion can cover up to 46% of your daily vitamin C, B6 and potassium requirements.
4. Sesame Seeds
Just 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds are loaded with 1.3 mg of iron. And sesame seeds are very easy to incorporate into your diet, too.
Add some sesame seeds over your salad for that added flavor and crunch or mix them into a dressing, sauce or salsa before pouring over a dish.
A cup of cooked soybeans contains about 8-9 mg of iron. These legumes are a good source of protein, too.
Soybeans are known to be one of the 20 highest protein vegetarian foods. Just make sure to choose organic soy products rather than conventional, which may be genetically modified.
Some varieties of mushrooms are particularly rich in iron. For instance, 1 cooked cup of white mushrooms have about 2.7 mg, or 15% of the RDI.
Oyster mushrooms offer up to twice as much iron, whereas shiitake and portobello mushrooms contain very little.
Dark and leafy green vegetables are the most nutrient-dense of all the veggies, and are also extremely versatile and tasty. If you consume 3 cups of spinach, that is about 18 mg of iron, which is more than an 8-ounce steak, which is over the recommended serving size of 3-4 ounces.
Spinach wilts down easily, therefore, you can get your recommended daily allowance of iron by adding a hearty spinach salad topped with protein-rich foods such as nuts, hardboiled egg and seeds.