Iron is an essential mineral that makes up the oxygen-carrying proteins known as hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin represents about two-thirds of the body’s iron. If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells and will result in fatigue.
Iron plays a role in maintaining healthy cells, skin, hair, and nails, with the recommended daily intake being 8 mg for men and 18 mg for women. Since the most the abundant sources of iron come from animals, it’s not always the easiest mineral for vegetarians to get enough of. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with this list of the best plant-based sources of iron!
These foods are not only packed with this energy-inducing mineral, but they also taste great, and we’re sure you will happily introduce them to your diet!
We know sesame seeds are the perfect addition to our tahini banana split smoothie, and we also know that they are an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. These tiny seeds also pack a punch of iron, providing 1.3 mg per tablespoon — just 1/4 cup provides 30% percent of the daily recommended value.
For a smoothie sprinkled with sesame seeds try the Quarter Bok Choy Smoothie.
Quinoa tastes great in savory or sweet dishes, and in our Cinnamon Apple Crumble Smoothie!
Another food shown to help you get that flat belly, mushrooms offer 1.9 mg of iron, as well as a healthy dose of vitamin B12 and vitamin D, which are two other nutrients difficult for vegetarians to obtain adequate supplies of in their diet.
This blue-green algae superfood is very rich in iron, with 2 mg per serving. On top of that, it’s one of the richest sources of beta-carotene, with 10 times the beta-carotene of carrots. As a complete protein, spirulina ranges from 55-77% percent protein and contains all essential amino acids.
Spirulina takes our Pistachio Cream Pie Smoothie to another level!
Finally, a sweetener that’s good for you! Besides being full of iron, and containing 3. 5 mg per serving, blackstrap molasses is loaded with calcium.
Blackstrap molasses adds the perfect amount of sweetness to our Orange Gingerbread Smoothie!
For another sweet treat that’s full of nutrients, snack on these! With 3.6mg of iron per serving, plus a healthy dose of antioxidants, beta-carotene, and fiber, apricots will keep your energy up and satisfy cravings, while keeping hunger at bay.
With 2mg of iron, 10 grams of protein, and all essential amino acids, tofu makes a great addition to any diet. You can even try it in a smoothie!
Though, we don’t recommended a lentil smoothie, lentils make an excellent addition to any savory dish. Containing 3.3 mg of iron, as well as fiber, protein, and B vitamins, lentils are as filling as they are energy-inducing.
To start each day with a hefty dose of iron, join the Green Blender Smoothie Club!