It is not uncommon for vegetarians, especially active female vegetarians, to suffer from low iron counts. This is usually because red meat, eggs, and seafood are the easiest ways to keep iron levels high. Low iron and anemia can mean increased fatigue and exhaustion.
Here are five foods that all athletic vegetarians must try:
Sweet Potato - A great way to incorporate a sweet touch into your savory meal, sweet potatoes are enriched with both iron and B-6 – a vitamin known to prevent over 100 health conditions, especially those related to the brain and heart.
Lentils - Like other beans, lentils are a great source of iron, but what sets the lentil apart is their protein content: 16 grams/ serving.
Dark, Leafy Greens - Spinach, Collards, and Chard are three easy greens to throw into your dinner to boost iron levels.
Nuts and Seeds - These two food groups are a vegetarian must-have. Nuts and seeds contain natural fats as well as high levels of iron. Sesame seeds and pine nuts contain the highest levels of iron in their respective food groups. A handful of nuts or seeds on a busy day is a great way to get your iron, and fuel your body.
Raw Cacao - Calling all chocolate lovers: raw cacao is 16% iron, and is an indulgent way to get your daily fix. Check out my raw chocolate mousse recipe below.
- 1 cup peanuts (use macadamia nuts if you want to indulge)
- ¼ cup raw cacao
- 1 tablespoon agave or raw honey
- Splash of coconut milk
- Optional: throw in some flax or chia seeds for texture
Blend together in food processor or Vitamix.