Vegetarian or not, we all can agree that it is crucial to consume iron-rich foods.
One of the main reasons why some health professionals discourage a vegetarian diet is due to iron deficiency concerns. 70% of our body’s iron, which is found in our red blood cells called hemoglobin and muscle cells called myoglobin, is primarily obtained from animal products, such as red meat, poultry, and mollusks (clams, oysters, and scallops). Without sufficient levels of iron in the body (depending on age and gender, we need anywhere between 8-18 mg of iron a day), our blood, heart, and lungs are starved of oxygen (which is transferred by hemoglobin).
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Iron deficiency is the condition in which the body does not have enough red blood cells to perform optimal bodily functions. Side effects from such devoid of iron include fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and insomnia.
New research shows that a number of plants, however, provide substantial sources of iron. So, whether you’ve been vegetarian for a while, or are a meat-eater who simply wants to consider including more iron-rich plants in your diet, tune in to the following slideshow of the top 10 plant sources for iron; you will not only protect yourself from Iron deficiency, but improve your overall organ health.
Better known as Edamame, cooked soybeans provide 8.8 mg of iron for a 1-cup serving. Note: It is imperative that you buy only organic, NON-gmo soy.