5 Iron-Rich Foods for Active Vegetarians


By: Gaia Staff  |  August 17, 2013

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:

  1. 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.

  2. Lentils – Like other beans, lentils are a great source of iron, but what sets the lentil apart is their protein content: 16 grams/ serving.

  3. Dark, Leafy Greens – Spinach, Collards, and Chard are three easy greens to throw into your dinner to boost iron levels.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

Chocolate Mousse

  • 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.


 

Leigh Stewart

Taking her first yoga class at the age of 12, Leigh found the greatest challenge on the mat to be the stillness of savasana. Four years later, she was introduced to power vinyasa yoga and found the invigorating practice and breath-work energizing beyond any exercise she had experienced before. Throughout her college years, Leigh explored yoga to compliment her time spent on the basketball court.  Finding greater physical and mental balance between studies and social life, and experiencing the healing power of yoga; upon injuring herself during her sophomore season, Leigh set out to share the benefits of yoga with others in 2011. Certified through Yoga to the People, Leigh began bringing power yoga to her fellow students at Wesleyan University.  Additionally, she started offering free yoga workshops to explore topics at greater depths. During her collegiate years, Leigh introduced kid’s yoga to a local arts education center, Green St. Arts in Middletown Connecticut. In 2013, she completed her kids yoga certification at It’s Yoga Kids in San Francisco and her Street Yoga Training in Portland, Oregon. In February 2013, she and her yogi partner in crime, Shira Engel, led a free kids yoga teacher training, certifying 20 individuals to brings kids yoga to underserved populations. In Spring 2013, she and Shira also co-taught Yoga Theory and Practice, a student led Wesleyan University course.  The two launched their blog Sequence of the Day this July, which offers a daily yoga sequence to the online yoga community. Leigh currently resides in Fiji’s Yasawa Islands and teaches sunrise, kids, and sunset yoga daily at Paradise Cove Resort.
Website: www.leighstewart.com
Blog: www.sequenceoftheday.tumblr.com


 

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