Load up on THESE plant foods to boost your iron intake

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boost-your-iron-intake(NaturalHealth365)  We’ve all heard about the importance of including iron in our diets.  However, it can be hard to know how to up your iron intake without eating tons of meat.

Dialing back your meat intake, even if you don’t completely cut it out, has been shown to reduce your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.  But lowering your meat intake doesn’t mean sacrificing iron.  Several powerful plant foods rich in iron can help ensure you’re giving your body what it needs.

Iron maintains optimum health in MULTIPLE ways

Iron is a vital mineral that plays a role in good health.  One significant function of iron is that it helps your body make hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is pivotal for transporting oxygen throughout your bloodstream.

But that’s not all.  Iron is vital for the immune system and cell function.  Without iron, you could be at risk of anemia, a condition where you don’t have enough red blood cells or hemoglobin to transport oxygen to your cells very well.

Pregnant women are especially at risk for anemia.  While the required iron intake varies from person to person, typically, men need about 8 milligrams a day, women 18 milligrams, and growing infants need 11 milligrams.

Eat these plant foods to boost your iron intake

So the question is, how can you maximize your dietary intake of iron?  Several animal foods are rich in iron, such as meat, wild game, poultry, and seafood.  There are two types of iron – heme and non-heme.  The difference between them is that it’s easier for your body to absorb heme iron.  So if you’re not getting dietary iron from meat, it’s a good idea to get plenty of  vitamin C, which helps you absorb non-heme iron.

Minimizing your toxic (factory produced) meat intake can benefit your overall health and lower your risk of certain chronic diseases.  Luckily, several tasty plant-based foods provide essential iron.

Nuts and legumes are good sources of iron for plant-eaters.

Green leafy vegetables are also ideal sources of the mineral.  For example, spinach contains 4 milligrams of iron in just one cup.  It can be used in soups, salads, and more.  You might even make it in a smoothie or use it as a pizza topping.  What’s even better is that it also contains many other beneficial nutrients.

Beets are also among iron superstar vegetables.  These purple-hued root vegetables and their greens contain magnesium, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C for even more wholesome nutrition.

Dark, leafy greens are another great source of plant iron.  Kale is versatile and packed with good vitamins and minerals, including iron.  Collard greens are also a delicious iron-rich choice.

Or you could opt for sweet potatoes, broccoli, or peas to liven up your meal and give you some iron.

With so many scrumptious plant-based recipes available, you can’t go wrong by adding these iron-rich plant foods to your meal plan.

Sources for this article include:

LiveScience.com


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