Are you getting enough iron? Many people don’t get enough iron in their diet. It’s an important element because it carries oxygen throughout your body. It’s required for digestion and many functions on a cellular level. Without enough iron you will feel fatigued and can get sick. Women and children are particularly susceptible to iron deficiency and supplementation is often recommended to prevent anaemia.
A vegan diet isn’t traditionally rich in iron. Red meat and shellfish are both easy sources of iron. However, there are many vegan options. The following are the vegan choices that are richest in iron:
Squash and pumpkin seeds are among the highest in iron. One ounce contains 4mg of iron or 23 percent of your recommended daily value. An ounce of sesame seeds also contains 23 percent of your daily value, sunflower seeds have 11 percent and flax seeds have 9 percent of your daily value. As you can see, a handful of seeds can help you get the daily iron you need. But they’re not the only food that is high in iron.
Nuts including cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, and almonds all have a good amount of iron. An ounce of cashews has 1.7 mg or 9 percent of your daily value. An ounce of pine nuts also contains 9 percent of your daily value, Hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, and pistachios all have 7 percent, and Macadamia nuts have 6 percent of your recommended daily value.
White beans and lentils have a good amount of iron in them. A cup of cooked beans has 6.6mg and 37 percent of your daily value. Other beans that are high in iron include soybeans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lima and navy beans, black beans, pinto beans and black-eyed peas. For many vegans, a diet of beans and rice is a staple because it also provides a complete protein.
Whole grains also have iron, and quinoa is the highest with 15 percent of your daily value in a cup. Oats, barley and rice also contain a good amount of iron and fortified grains and cereals may contain more.
Finally, let’s not forget dark leafy greens like spinach and chard which have 36 percent of your daily value in a cup. There are more items like chocolate and soy that have iron. The goal is to make sure that you get enough. If not, your doctor may recommend supplementation.