Much has been already discussed about the vegan diet, ingredients, how to start as a beginner, and challenges to face at the beginning. You must know several healthy snacks, desserts, and nutritious meal recipes to prepare. Wraps, vegan chocolate, crunchy plantain chips , nuts, dates, fruits, plant-based cheese, or coconut milk could be your favorite ingredients.
It is also imperative to know about essential macronutrients including in your plant-based eating pattern. Among these iron is one of the relevant components present in your rich vegan food combinations. Here, you will get to know 15-best iron-rich vegan ingredients to become a part of your diet and nutritional benefits.
Iron is a much-required essential mineral for your health. It functions as the essential component that allows oxygen to reach seamlessly to your body cells. By consuming iron-rich vegetables, fruits, and vegan snacks , you will get the energy to do multiple tasks with ease. Iron deficiency is the most common issue among people due to not including much of the iron-loaded food items in the meal. As a result, several individuals suffer from loss of energy, anemia, fatigue, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and more.
As per the health research, it has been recommended for vegan people to consume 1.8x more iron per as compared to people who follow a mixed diet pattern (plant & animal-based). It implies you need to add more iron-rich vegan sources to your daily diet requirements, prepare well in advance, and calculate the macros. Moreover, it is essential to give due importance to an iron diet that has long-term benefits of enhancing your food absorption capacity.
Iron food absorption could be difficult at times, especially for vegan people. It is essential to follow a specific dietary way to consume the required iron-rich healthy snacks and complete meals to experience easy absorption. Concerning the same, there are few measures to adopt while adding iron ingredients to meals.
* Do add an adequate amount of vegetables and fruits full of Vitamin C with iron food.
* Avoid taking caffeine (tea and coffee) at least one hour before consuming the meal.
* Consume enough lysine in your daily diet pattern that comes from vegan ingredients like legumes, beans, and lentils.
* Use cast iron or iron fish utensils to cook your food.
Quinoa is a gluten-free, pseudocereal vegan ingredient. It is a versatile choice of ingredient that can be added to your salads, dark chocolate desserts, wraps, and a variety of others meals. Even savor the healthy and protein-rich quinoa puffs readymade snacks obtained from the Ojas Vegan brand.
It offers 2.8 mg of iron per cup cooked which meets 16% of the daily requirement. Moreover, quinoa acts as an anti-oxidant ingredient that lowers the risk of medical conditions and several diseases.
Lentils are another great source of iron food item that provides you approximate 6.6 mg per cup of iron when the same is cooked. It meets 37% of the daily requirement of iron in your healthy meal pattern. Moreover, lentils are one of the best sources of plant-based proteins , complex carbs, fiber, and manganese.
Beans are a good source of iron content that include different varieties like red kidney, lima, and navy beans. All such varieties offer 4.4 to 6.6 mg of iron per cup cooked which meets 24 -37% of the daily requirement. Similarly, peas offer a combination of iron, healthy carbohydrates, fiber, folate, and numerous minerals content inside. Moreover, consuming peas regularly will help lower the cholesterol level and maintain the blood sugar level.
Numerous kinds of seeds like flaxseeds, hemp, pumpkin, and sesame provide an adequate amount of iron content required for your body. You will get 1.2 to 4.2 mg of iron by taking two tablespoons of seeds.
Even you can make particular combinations of seeds with other ingredients to increase the iron intake. For example, two tablespoons of tahini mixed with the sesame seeds paste provide you with 2.6 mg of iron. On the other side, make chickpeas hummus and tahini that provide you 3 mg of iron per half-cup.
Did you know that tomatoes are also an essential source of iron? You can include the essential quantity of tomatoes in your meal. But the only catch is between the normal and the dried or concentrated tomato. A farm-fresh tomato gives you only 0.5 mg per cup of iron. However, use dried tomatoes and turn the same into a paste to get 3.9 mg of iron content. Even sun-dried tomatoes can provide you with 1.3 to 2.5 mg of iron per half-cup.
It's hard to ignore the essential nutrition of green leafy vegetables. No matter what, you have to include greens in your vegan diet to get all the minerals. Specifically, iron is there inside spinach, kale, beet greens, swiss chard, and collard. Every green leafy vegetable provides you with 2.5 to 6.4 mg of iron per cup cooked.
Even 100 grams of spinach itself provides you 1.1. times more iron than the equitable amount of red meat. The best part is to consume a high amount of greens in meals without feeling heaviness in the stomach.
Not all, but certain varieties of mushrooms offer you the desired amount of protein intake. You can cook one cup of mushroom to avail of 2.7 mg of iron and meet 15% of the daily requirement. Additionally, oyster mushroom provides you twice the quantity of iron in comparison with shiitake and portobello mushrooms.
Eating potatoes periodically is also healthy and provide you with the required carbohydrates and energy. In terms of iron also, potatoes provide 3.2 mg of iron after cooking at 10.5 ounces and meet 18% of the daily requirement. On the other side, sweet potatoes provide you with 2.1 mg of iron content.
Technically a fruit but olives are best used in salads, vegan pizzas, and burritos. It contains 3.3 mg of iron in 3.5 ounces of quantity. It further provides healthy fiber, good fats, and fat-soluble Vitamin A and E. Consuming olives in your vegan diet pattern also prevents heart-related diseases.
Prunes act as ideal fruit that provides a mild laxative effect and relieves constipation. The other characteristic of prune is iron content inside. Mainly in the juice form, prune provides 3 mg of iron per cup of 237 ml. It equals around 17% of the daily requirement.
Soybeans, one of the best sources of plant-based protein provide iron content as well. It contains 8.8 mg of iron in one cup. Similarly, fermented soybean in the form of natto provides 15 mg i.e., 83% of the daily value requirement.
On the other side, 6 ounces of tofu or tempeh provides 3 to 3.6 mg of iron which is approximately 20% of the daily value requirement.
Adding oats mainly to a fiber-rich breakfast or a late-night snack is essential to stay on a healthy path. But do you know the additional characteristic of oats, which is providing 3.4 mg of iron content along with other essentials like magnesium, zinc, plant-based protein, and folate?
Undoubtedly, coconut milk is a nutritious and delectable alternative to cow milk. Especially for vegans, nothing compares to the protein and iron richness inside coconut milk. By consuming 118 ml of coconut milk, you get 3.8 mg of protein which is around 21%.
For those having sweet teeth, it’s difficult to resist the temptation of dark chocolate made of cocoa powder. It provides 3.3 mg of protein in about 28 grams of quantity and meets your 18% of the daily iron requirement. On top of that, dark chocolate is also a powerful source of antioxidant that helps protect you against several diseases.
Another gluten-free grain to add to your diet is Amaranth. It is also a pseudocereal and rich in iron intake. By taking per cup of cooked amaranth, get 5.2 mg of iron in the diet. Other healthy properties of the grain include complex carbs, manganese, fiber, magnesium, and phosphorus.
There are a few food combinations you can make to increase the intake of iron along with other essential macronutrients. Here, we have enlisted several combinations for your assistance.
1. Spinach + Quinoa (52% iron)
2. Blackstrap Molasses + Black Beans (30% iron)
3. Potato + Turnip Greens (36% iron)
4. Tempeh + Bulgur (23% iron)
5. Chickpeas + Quinoa (26% iron)
6. Tofu + Spinach (72% iron)
7. Soybeans + Boy Choy (34% iron)
8. Lentils + Quinoa (34% iron)
9. Blackstrap Molasses + Cashews (32% iron)
10. Black Beans + Quinoa (26% iron)
11. Turnip Greens + Black Eyed Peas (12% iron)
12. Bulgur + Kidney Beans + Tahini (36% iron)
13. Tofu + Bok Choy (46% iron)
14. Quinoa + Peas (30% iron)
15. Tempeh + Black Beans (23% iron)
Being vegan means to stay healthy and nutritious. Include all the essential macronutrients in diet, especially iron that maintains the level of oxygen. There are plenty of iron rich vegan food sources to add in your daily meal pattern and stay on a healthy spree. Also, make low-calorie snacks by adding crunchy picks from the Ojas Vegan brand.