Facts About Iron and Plant-Based Sources

nutrition plant-based Jul 16, 2019

Iron is an essential nutrient in our diets. Although red meat and seafood are good sources of iron, many plant-based foods also contain plenty of this mineral.

Numerous vegetables, legumes, and other foods contain a form of iron called nonheme iron, which accounts for the majority of people's iron intake in the United States. The type of iron in animal products is called heme iron.

Although the body can absorb it more easily, heme iron is not essential to the human diet.

If you are not receiving enough iron in your diet the symptoms may include:

  • tiredness
  • weakness
  • poor appetite
  • headaches
  • pale skin
  • heart palpitations
  • cold hands and feet
  • brittle nails

Plant-Based Sources of Iron

  • Legumes - lentils, tofu, tempeh, lima beans, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas
  • Grains - quinoa, fortified cereals, brown rice, oatmeal
  • Nuts and seeds - pumpkin, squash, pine, pistachio, sunflower, cashews, unhulled sesame
  • Vegetables - spinach, baked potato with skin, tomato sauce, Swiss chard, collard...
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