“If you’re a vegetarian, how do you get your iron?”, said everyone, ever.
For all the non-meat eaters out there (hi guys) this question sounds like something Karen from Mean Girls might ask. This is, of course, because you’ve been tucking into your spinach and kidney beans to get your recommended daily iron intake for, like, ever.
Recently, Dr Jess Ivany told us how to distinguish between ‘normal’ exhaustion compared to the signs that point to iron deficiency, and to be honest, it doesn’t sound all too fun. Breathlessness and mood swings? No. Thank. You.
And, if you’re a woman between the ages of 19-50, the reccommended daily intake (RDI) for iron is 18mg a day – and according to Dr Ivany, most of us aren’t getting enough. Here’s a primer of some meat-free sources, whether you’re a vegetarian looking for something beyond spinach, or if you’re looing for an iron-rich side to all that protein you’ve been consuming.
Just 4tsp of this nostalgic drink is equal to 6mg of iron, so with a few other sources throughout the day, a cup of milo might be a better start to your day than you might have realised. We’re not complaining about this one, but like all good things remember: everything in moderation.
Lentils, beans and chickpeas
These are vegetarian cupboard staples and a delicious alternative to meat – black bean burgers are the best. And did you know one cup of chickpeas has more iron than 100g of lamb? Not to mention, that they contain a lot of fibre to keep your digestion moving. Dr Jess reccomends you have one cup a day, which is equal to 2.7mg of iron. Enjoy with that milo we mentioned earlier (ha!) or with these delectable maple-roasted brussel sprouts. Dinner. Is. Served.
Wheat Bix and All Bran are some of the highest plant-based iron sources. These cereals are a great way to get your iron intake in the morning, plus you’ll can spend the rest of the morning satisfied and energised. Just 30g of each will yield over 3mg of iron.
Liquorice is probably the most unexpected form of iron on Dr Jess’ list . A serving of 50g will get you 4.4mg of iron, compared to say, 100g of oysters, which will only get you 4mg. Maybe we will finally venture into the confectionary aisle this week without feeling guilty.
Some more choices include tofu (75g is the reccommended serving size, which will get you 3mg of iron), cashews (30g will get you 1.5mg of iron) and rolled oats (30g is the reccomended serving size, and will get you 1.1 mg of iron). Also, did anyone ever tell you that just one slice of wholegrain bread has the same amount of iron as 100g of chicken?
Now, we’re not suggesting you all go vegan (that’s a totally personal choice) but a diet with more variety that’ll up your energy levels? That’s something we can all get behind.
October 4, 20164:00pm