Are you aiming for a meat free diet but worried that you might not get enough iron? If you've been thinking of cutting back on red meat, or totally removing meat from your daily diet but not sure if you'll be able to sustain your body with enough iron worry no more, here are some list of foods that can help you continue with your no meat diet. These foods will make sure your body has plenty of the essential mineral.
First off, just add some Vitamin C to your meal, it enhances the amount of non-heme iron your body absorbs by as much as six fold. Non-heme is the iron in plants and only 2% to 20% of these makes its way from your digestive system to your blood compared to heme (animal foods) that are 15% to 35% iron. Second is pair your iron rich plant foods with a fruit or veggie that are filled with Vitamin C. Below are the sample of iron rich plant foods. The pair can be mix and march depending on what you have available on your kitchen. There's no need to stick with the specific pairs below.
Spinach (iron) and red bell peppers (C) - Spinach is low in fat and even lower in cholesterol, spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein. Red bell peppers contain several phytochemicals and carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene. The highest amount of Vitamin C in a bell pepper is concentrated. You can pair these two in so many ways. You can do raw, sliced peppers sautéed with spinach, spinach cooked into a stuffed bell pepper then add minced peppers. These combo is perfect with olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper.
Lentils (iron) with Brussels sprouts (C) - Lentils are a rich source of dietary fibre. Brussels sprouts are rich in many valuable nutrients and an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. You can serve it grilled or oven-roasted Brussels sprouts over a bed of seasoned lentils, or add both to a fresh garden salad.
Broccoli (iron) and tomatoes (C) - Broccoli is also a good source of dietary fibre, vitamin E, manganese, phosphorus, choline, vitamin B1, vitamin AB6, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, zinc, calcium, iron, niacin, and selenium. Tomatoes are packed full of beneficial nutrients, whether you refer tomato as a fruit or a vegetable, there is no doubt that a tomato is a nutrient-dense, super-food that most people should be eating more of. You can do sundried tomato pesto then toss steamed broccoli florets. To get an iron boost at breakfast, add broccoli and tomatoes to an omelette or frittata.
Black beans (iron) and cabbage (C) - The fibre in black beans helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of manganese. Cabbage is a low calorie, fibre-rich, modified-leafy vegetable. You can opt for a black bean-stuffed cabbage rolls or combine these two in black bean tacos, each topped with a generous portion of vinegar-based slaw.
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