Have you been looking to add a little more iron to your diet? Whether you’re following a plant-based diet and need some ideas for additional iron sources, or if you simply need to make the most of veg sources of iron, today’s guide will hopefully help you find out more about the best iron-rich vegetables and fruits you could add to your diet.
WHY IRON IS IMPORTANT IN THE DIET
Why is iron so important in the diet? There are numerous key reasons why iron is important in the diet, and considering this may help you understand more about the importance of finding excellent rich veg sources of iron.
Of course, the crucial role of iron within the body is to form hemoglobin, which is responsible for transporting oxygen around the body. As such, it’s vital that your diet provides an adequate level of nutrition overall.
Generally speaking, according to National Institutes of Health, men over 18 and women over 50 years of age need 8mg of iron per day. Meanwhile, women between the ages of 19 and 50 typically need around 18mg of iron per day. Typically, foods such as red meats, liver, and the like tend to be higher in iron than other sources; as such, if you’ve been looking for plant sources of iron, you may need to be a little more creative. Fortunately, there are still plenty of fruits and vegetables that are high in iron. Hopefully, today’s guide will help give you some new insights into this topic.
THE TOP IRON-RICH VEGETABLES AND FRUITS YOU SHOULD KNOW
So, we’ve clarified the importance of iron in your diet – but can you get iron from plant sources? While plant sources of iron tend to be fewer and farther between, there are still several veggies and fruits which are high in iron that you may want to consider.
If you’ve been looking for iron-rich fruits, then the following options may be good points to consider. Of course, we should start by pointing out that dried fruits often tend to be among the most iron-rich fruits. As such, if you have been looking for a simple way to incorporate iron into your diet from plant sources, you may want to start by looking at different dried fruit options.
After considering iron-rich dried fruits, there are several other great options for iron-rich fruits that you may want to consider.
Apricots are one excellent choice of vegetables and fruits that you may wish to consider when it comes to high-iron foods; once again, dried apricots are among the best, offering 8mg of iron per cup; however, since dried fruit is naturally high in sugars, care should be taken not to eat too much at one time.
Peaches, especially dried peaches, are a close contender for iron content. With this in mind, you may want to consider a moderate serving of dried apricots and dried peaches together to get the most from your diet and ensure that you are eating plenty of iron overall.
Raspberries and Coconuts
Raspberries and coconuts, though not as high in iron, can still provide a moderate source of iron, too. Indeed, for every 200 calories of raspberries and coconuts, there’s generally between 1mg and 3mg of iron; as such, these could be excellent options to consider for other fruit sources. Coconuts in particular are incredibly versatile, as you can also source your iron content from toasted desiccated coconut, creamed coconut, or coconut milk.
Generally speaking, if you are looking for plant sources of protein, iron-rich vegetables are generally the top choice for most people. Indeed, there are several excellent veg sources of iron that you can enjoy to replace or otherwise supplement iron in your diet from other sources, such as mushrooms or meat.
One of the highest iron sources is spinach, which offers around 6mg of iron for every cup, or 31mg of spinach for every 200 calories. Spinach is also incredibly versatile and can be served up as a side or included within the main meal itself in many recipes, such as this excellent spinach and halloumi salad.
Asparagus is also an excellent source of vegetable iron, offering 3mg of iron for every cup. Plus, a cup of asparagus also contains just 27 calories. As such, asparagus is rapidly becoming a popular vegetable source of iron. Potentially, it could also be a brilliant addition to your diet.
Thirdly, why not consider acorn squash? Acorn squash is one of those pumpkin-like vegetables that many people aren’t aware of. Still, they can actually be a delicious recipe for use with your standard cooking and can provide a good boost of iron, especially if stuffed with other iron-rich ingredients.
Not sure where to source acorn squash? It’s not necessarily an ingredient you’ll find in every shop; as such, checking stock in advance through the Fish app may be a good option. Fish allows you to directly contact your local stores to confirm stock, place orders for collection, and more; as such, it’s a versatile tool. Plus, it’s one that makes everyone’s life easier and it could hence be an excellent option for you to consider using.
As standard, acorn squash offers around 2mg of iron for every cup cooked. One cup also provides 2.3g of protein and 9g of fiber, as well as 25% of your daily requirement (approximately) for vitamin C. Indeed, this vegetarian stuffed acorn squash recipe might be an excellent recipe to consider:
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