Vegetarians Pump Iron

This is the picture of
pretty darn healthy.

When people first learn that I am a gluten intolerant pseudo vegetarian they instantaneously and incredulously ask “What do you eat?” As if I were about to starve to death. Anyone looking at me can see that’s not true. I eat vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains (quinoa, rice, corn), eggs, dairy and occasionally fish (frequency of which is in that order). Then they state as if it is a matter-of-fact “You probably have an iron deficiency.” That is actually highly unlikely.

I eat many things that are high in iron, some of them on a routine/daily basis. I used to give blood and upon learning I was vegetarian they would say something to they effect of, “Oh? Well we better check to see if you have enough iron to give blood today” and I can tell you I always had a healthy amount of iron pumping through my veins.

If you are a vegetarian (or considering becoming one) or even a vegan, there are still plenty of iron sources out there for you.

Seeds – While squash, pumpkin and sesame seeds have higher amounts of iron (23% of daily value per ounce) than most other seeds sunflower (11%) and flax (9%) seeds are also a good source or iron.

Nuts – 1 oz of cashews (9%), Pine nuts (9%), Hazelnuts (7%), Peanuts (7%), Almonds (7%), Pistachios (7%), or Macadamia (6%) nuts will soon add up.

Legumes – Per cup of cooked beans Soybeans (49%), Lentils (37%), Kidney beans (29%), are highest in iron but Garbanzo beans (Chickpeas) (26%), and Lima beans (25%), Navy (24%), Black Beans (Frijoles Negros) (20%), Pinto (20%), and Black-eyed Peas (20%) all have a good dose of iron in them. So when I am eating my black bean burritoes, I am getting a good 20% of my daily iron dose.

Grains – I can’t have wheat, but Oatmeal has 12% of my daily needs in each cup. I can also have Rice (11%) and Buckwheat (7%).

Dark Leafy Greens – Another great source of iron. Cooked Swiss Chard (22%), Cooked Turnip Greens (16%), Raw Kale (6%), and Raw Beet Greens (5%) all have a nice dose per cup. I always eat more than 1 cup of greens.

CHOCOLATE – Oh yes. You can get 66% of your DV in 1 cup of cocoa powder. Go for the all natural, super dark, organic, unsweetened chocolate and if anyone complains, tell them you need more iron in your diet.

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