5 Iron-Rich Foods You Don’t Know About

Unknown iron sources

Most vegetarians will, at some point, hear every plea in the world, trying to turn them back to the carnivore, omnivore, and overall meat eaters’ mentality.

A meat eater will read an article about vegetarians and vegans being deficient in protein, vitamin B12, or iron, then attempt on converting them back to the their side.

Iron is an essential mineral that helps transfer oxygen throughout your body, and if there isn’t enough iron, your body will be lacking healthy red blood cells to transfer oxygen. Iron also sustains healthy cells, skin, nails, and hair.

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It is clear that iron is important, and many healthy foods contain iron. We get it, meat eaters. What the meat eater might not know is that people eating plant-based diets will consume as much or more iron than the meat-heavy eaters. Where do the vegetarians and vegans obtain their iron sources? From these five healthy foods!

There are many adequate iron sources, from healthy foods like spinach, beans, oatmeal, tofu, and black-eyed peas. There are other healthy foods that are excellent iron sources.

5 Healthy Foods That You May Not Contain Iron

1. Blackstrap Molasses

To start off your list of iron sources, try this. Blackstrap molasses is the dark liquid formed from refining sugar cane into table sugar. It is a beneficially added iron source for vegetarian and you can add the liquid to baked beans, smoothies, cookies and gingerbread cakes. You can also add it to chicken or turkey for extra iron.

Just two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses produces 2.39 mg and 13.2% of your daily value intake. This healthy food is also high in manganese, copper, calcium, and potassium.

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2. Dark Chocolate

It’s well known that moderately consuming dark chocolate can be healthy for your heart, while improving blood and lowering blood pressure.

But what many people don’t know is that dark chocolate also should be recognized as one of your iron sources. It has plenty of iron, containing 6.3 mg and 35% of your daily value in a 100-gram serving. Yes, dark chocolate can count as one of your healthy foods!

When you need an iron boost, say, “Break me off a piece of that dark chocolate bar.”

3. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are a staple for high vitamin E, helping your skin against UV rays and keeping your skin youthful. However, it’s a great iron source as well, with one cup of sunflower seeds supplying your body with 7.4 mg of iron, and 41% of your daily value.

These seeds are excellent as a snack, in your salad, in your smoothie, or they can also be grinded into a butter. Sunflower seeds are healthy foods because they also help prevent heart attacks.

4. Dried Thyme

Next on your list of healthy iron sources is dried thyme. One teaspoon of dried thyme contains 1.2 mg of iron, which is 7% of your daily value. It’s a great source of iron to season your kidney beans, black beans, or pinto beans, as well as with eggs or poached fish.

It is also a great way to get some added iron in your soup or stock. Add dried thyme to your healthy foods!

5. Chlorella Powder

Organic chlorella powder is very plentiful in iron, with products in health food stores containing 80% of your daily value within a five gram serving. It is beneficial for vegans and vegetarians, who can easily use the powder for a daily green smoothie.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends 18 mg of iron a day, and more for children, women, especially those pregnant. Adding new healthy foods to your diet, such as these healthy iron sources, will allow you to mix things up.


Sources:
“31 Iron Rich Foods for Vegetarians & Vegans,” Bembu web site; http://bembu.com/iron-rich-foods-for-vegetarians-and-vegans.
“Iron,” The World’s Healthiest Foods web site; http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=70.
Watson, S., “What You Need to Know About Iron Supplements,” WebMD web site; http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/iron-supplements.
“Thyme,” The World’s Healthiest Foods web site; http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=77.