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What are the best foods for vegetarians to get iron from?

by Clare Deville (follow)
Editor in Chief of www.healthyhints.com.au
Nutrition (253)      Questions (2)     
There are thousands of vegans and vegetarians out there at risk of iron deficiency without red meat in their diet - particularly women who lose iron each month at menses.

It is possible to get all the nutrients required from a meat-free diet however, so what are the best foods, and food combinations for vegetarians to include in their diet?



best foods for vegetarians, iron sources for vegans, foods with iron
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There are several foods which I eat instead of meat -these include tofu, nuts -and I think cashews are the best, eggs, spinach, pumpkin seeds, and I think lentils though I cannot tolerate these.

I think you need to combine iron foods with vitamin C foods to best absorb them.

Even though most vegetarians seem aware of these facts, I have several friends who have had to go back to meat due to getting very low in iron.
by Finy
I eat a varied diet with lots of different vegetables. I also use Quorn meat replacements. Eggs are good for protein (we have free range chooks). All the dark leafy greens are good for protein. Nuts, especially cashews. I also supplement with a glass of water with one teaspoon of Spirulina powder. Lentils, beans and quinoa are also staples.
Lentils, chickpeas, any dried bean is a good source.

You can also get iron from prunes, blackstrap molasses, parsley, tahini, sunflower seeds, cooked kale and dried apricots (the dark unsulphured ones). Just try and incorporate these foods into your diet as often as possible - have a cup of molasses with hot milk or water instead of a tea or coffee for example. Or make a tahini and lemon sauce for your vegetables. You can add parsley to just about anything! They go well in green smoothies also.

The key is to get creative, eat consciously, and not fall into the trap of buying heavily processed iron fortified foods.
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