5 Iron-Rich Foods for Active Vegetarians
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.
Tualang Honey; A Gift From the Jungle
What is Tualang Honey?
A honey from the Malaysian jungles is attracting attention from researchers who are finding it has unexpected health properties beyond those of the famous Manuka honey of Australia and New Zealand.
While it has been used as medicine and food for thousands of years, researchers are confirming the therapeutic value of honey — accelerated wound healing, infection fighting, anti-tumor, and anti-diabetic properties, to name a few.
When a pollen-producing plant species has health or curative properties, those characteristics transfer to honey via the pollen harvested by bees. Until recently, Manuka honey from New Zealand has been the gold standard, with higher levels of methylglyoxal, a natural antibacterial, than other types of raw honey. By placing hives into Manuka groves, beekeepers produce and harvest this “monofloral” honey, meaning the hive worker bees have harvested pollen only from the Manuka tree blossoms, which gives the honey it’s unusual therapeutic properties.
Tualang honey is produced by the rock bee (Apis dorsata), a type of honeybee, that builds its colonies in one of the tallest trees in the world, the Tualang tree of Southeast Asia, and in particular, the Malaysian peninsula. Specimens as high as 260 ft. (80m) have been recorded. The species is found in lowland forests — indigenous people believe the giant trees are inhabited by spirits. This belief has spared the trees from the logging industry. Tualang honey is only found in these jungle giants — the tree’s smooth bark makes climbing difficult for honey loving predators like the sun bear.
Honey can be monofloral or polyfloral. Manuka is monofloral, with the Manuka tree species as the pollen source. Polyfloral Tualang honey differs in that the rock bees pollinate diverse Malaysian jungle plants and flowers, and those plant properties find their way in to the honey. The therapeutic potential of multiple rainforest plant species are captured in Tualang honey.