What Foods Are Rich In Iron? I Am A Vegetarian?

Iron is an essential nutrient for humans, and is especially important for red blood cells, which are the cells that transport oxygen to tissues all over the body. Iron is needed for a number of other complex physiological processes, but its use in red blood cells is probably the most important. A deficiency of iron usually results in anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin. Although anemia can be caused by many other factors, iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of this condition.

Being a vegetarian does not really have much impact on your iron metabolism. It is true that meat products are high in iron - this includes poultry, fish, and red meat too - however, these are not the only foods that are rich in iron. There are several plant sources of food that are rich in iron, and you can easily meet your iron requirements by consuming these foods. Leafy vegetables, lentils, and beans have substantial quantities of iron. (Spinach has a reputation for being high in iron, but it also contains substances that block iron absorption.) If you consume milk products, then you have an additional source of iron - tofu. If for some reason you are unable to get enough of these foods, you can also choose from a number of iron fortified, packaged foods that are available today. Most breakfast cereals and muesli these days are fortified with varies vitamins and minerals, and iron is usually included here. Other products that are often fortified with iron include wheat flour and bread.

In some cases of anemia, a person may need to take iron supplements - this is only if the anemia is caused by an iron deficiency, and should only be done with medical supervision. Excessive consumption of iron is toxic, as the free iron helps to convert hydrogen peroxide into free radicals, which then damage and destroy cells. In the long term, high levels of iron in the blood can thus result in organ damage, and even in death. An excessive amount of iron in the body is also thought to increase one’s susceptibility to bacterial infections. This is because bacteria also need iron to survive, and they typically get this iron from the host. If there is no excess of iron that is available to the bacteria, they find it much more difficult to survive. Iron toxicity is extremely unlikely to result solely from dietary habits - it is usually the result of taking iron supplements without medical supervision.

answered by G M

Eating food that is rich in iron is a great way to lose weight. Iron is necessary in our body in order to produce red blood cells. These red blood cells are the ones which carry oxygenated blood to muscles. That is why we are able to exercise with energy, thus burning more calories. However not all of us have sufficient amount of iron in our bodies. For those whose body lacks sufficient iron, this affects them by making them lethargic. Such people are usually very tired and unable to be as active as people with sufficient amount of iron in their bodies. However, this does not automatically mean that having more iron in the body is good for you. Usually food that contains a large percentage of iron comes for animals. That is why liver and kidneys of animals are a rich source of iron. However, this does not mean that a vegetarian person cannot find and eat the food that contains enough amount of iron to make up the deficiency.

A vegetarian can eat vegetables like broccoli and bok choy since these provide a rich source of iron. Other vegetables that contain a high amount of iron are spinach and other green leafy vegetables. Seeds and pulses are other vegetarian options for food that is rich in iron. Other vegetables like watercress, parsley and even edible seaweeds can be consumed if you are looking for vegetarian options of iron rich food. Soya flour and black molasses are also rich in iron. However since they are not used on a regular basis, these food items are only eaten rarely and are not suitable to be counted among regular, constant contributors of iron. Dried fruits are also a rich source of iron and can be consumed by a vegetarian regularly. Raisins and figs are very good for people looking for food items rich in iron. You can eat raisins as they are. While figs can be eaten fresh, in case you are unable to find them you can use dried figs. These can be soaked overnight and then eaten. Similarly dates are very good for people looking for iron rich food items. Dates too can be eaten every single day and will help fulfill the requirement of iron.

If you cook food for yourself, you can try and use ironware during this. It is believed that using ironware contributes some amount of iron to the eater.

answered by S C

Warning: home-remedies-for-you.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. see additional information
Read more questions in Nutrition