The iron mineral is essential to life. That’s because it helps to form the red blood cells that are essential to the functionality of our bodies.
Anemia is a common condition that indicates your body lacks enough iron. As a result, you’re tired and cold all the time because your body is not strong enough to function optimally.
Now, for some reason, plant-based people are more prone to anemia. There’s an assumption that because iron is a blood mineral, flesh and blood would need to be consumed to get iron.
Of course, that’s not true. The Earth has everything we need to be healthy!
As a matter of fact, carnivorous iron consumption is the least effective way to get a dose of iron.
The foods with the highest amounts of iron happen to be certain fruits and vegetables. Surprise surprise!
Some iron rich fruits include:
Dried fruits have a higher iron content because when the water level is reduced, the other components become more concentrated.
Iron heavy vegetables are easy to spot.
- Leafy greens (spinach, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, beet greens)
Beets are definitely on this list. After all, they are the same color as our blood. Don’t think about it too hard!
Other honorable culinary mentions: sesame seeds, molasses, pecans, pumpkin seeds.
Keep this in mind:
To get the most benefits from the above iron sources, consume them with some vitamin C rich foods.
Why Vitamin C?
Vitamin C and Iron are like friends who want to see each other succeed. When a vitamin C molecule senses that an Iron mineral molecule is nearby, it is attracted to it like a magnet. And then once they’re together, the iron is amplified, in a good way.
The body accepts this amplified iron much easier, it’s like the vitamin C reduces any barrier that is up. It’s all good.
Something else about the iron mineral… although it is a mineral that strengthens, also really needs to be protected. Very easily, it seems, iron can be leeched from the body.
The sure way to ensure that iron stays where it’s supposed to be – in Red Blood Cells – is to fortify the cells against free radical attacks. We can do this with vitamin C & also vitamin E.
Free radicals enter the body in various ways, including some cooking techniques and through environmental pollutions.
Antioxidants are good for protecting iron and all of the other minerals that our bodies thrive on.