🔊🎶🥕H E A L T H Y R A P Q U O T E S🍏🎶🔊
There’s so much myth and stigma surrounding being a vegan or vegetarian and one of the most commonly asked questions is, “Where do you get your protein from?” Ugh, OMG the amount of times someone has asked me that in life.
However, with being vegan or vegetarian comes another important question, especially for women in general: “Where am I getting my iron from?” That is a legit question because iron is an important mineral in our body and it provides oxygen to our cells to produce energy.
Most people think you can only get your iron from red meat. WRONG. Both plants and animals contain iron, but there are two types of iron, HEME-IRON (animal based) and NON-HEME IRON (plant based). Animal based iron actually contains both types strangely enough.
Now true, your body does absorb iron from animal sources easier but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to absorb iron from vegetarian sources like kidney beans and green veggies. Also, plant based sources are often healthier than eating hamburgers all day (P.S. WHY are they called hamburgers, when they aren’t made of ham?)
How do you know if you have low iron? You gotta do blood work. There are signs of low iron/anemia like tiredness, anxiety, fatigue, brittle hair or hair loss for example (geez, who doesn’t have that nowadays), but to know if low iron can be some of the cause, you need to get your blood work report.
Through my practice over the years I’ve learned, you should always get your blood work double checked by a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) you trust. The amount of times I’ve seen people at the clinic who have been told their iron is “fine” only to have it double checked by an ND upon my request and there and behold - low iron. Just because your iron level is “normal” doesn’t mean its good. Feel me?
Here are my top 5 recommended iron sources from veg sources:
1. Pumpkin Seeds - 1/4 cup = 16% of your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) - so throw some of these bad boys on your oatmeal in the morning!
2. Lentils, Beans, Chickpeas - (RDA) for these are quite high: 37% Cooked Lentils, 29% Red Kidney Beans, 26% Chickpeas
3. Broccoli - These are actually mini trees of so much good good on top of being high in iron
4. Amaranth - A grain with one the highest iron counts! (Soak them overnight if you’re going to make breakfast grains out of it to increase the absorbability of the iron
5. Oats - ½ cup of oats has 4mg of iron in it and bonus: oats are also a nervine relaxant. Check out my recipe for ‘Flour-Free Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins’ HERE.
Other things to consider are taking supplements recommended by your Licensed/Registered Health Care Professional like AOR’s OrthoIron, or see a TCMP (Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner) and talk to them about Ba Zhen Wan, an herbal formula great for treating symptoms that are related to low iron/anemia.
KNOWLEDGE DROP: Foods that can limit iron absorption ion are coffee, tea, dairy (has dairy done ANYTHING for anyone lately?!), eggs, and some types of chocolate (noooooooo!). So keep this all in mind when trying to balance out your iron levels.