Above: I thought it was mint. It tasted like oregano. When you're primarily
eating plants, everything in the yard starts to look edible.
 Meat-eaters often grill me on vegetarian nutrition. So, here's the 411 on IRON, which your body needs to support proper blood health. How's your iron intake?

7 to 12 months1111N/AN/A
1 to 3 years77N/AN/A
4 to 8 years1010N/AN/A
9 to 13 years88N/AN/A
14 to 18 years11152710
19 to 50 years818279
51+ years88N/AN/A

While flesh and organ meat are tremendous sources for iron, there are more than ample plant-based options. The National Institutes of Health recommend:

per serving
% DV*
Ready-to-eat cereal, 100% iron fortified, ¾ cup 18.0100
Oatmeal, instant, fortified, prepared with water, 1 cup10.060
Soybeans, mature, boiled, 1 cup 8.850
Lentils, boiled, 1 cup6.635
Beans, kidney, mature, boiled, 1 cup5.225
Beans, lima, large, mature, boiled, 1 cup4.525
Beans, navy, mature, boiled, 1 cup4.525
Ready-to-eat cereal, 25% iron fortified, ¾ cup4.525
Beans, black, mature, boiled, 1 cup3.620
Beans, pinto, mature, boiled, 1 cup 3.620
Molasses, blackstrap, 1 tablespoon3.520
Tofu, raw, firm, ½ cup3.420
Spinach, boiled, drained, ½ cup3.220
Spinach, canned, drained solids ½ cup2.510
Black-eyed peas (cowpeas), boiled, 1 cup1.810
Spinach, frozen, chopped, boiled ½ cup1.910
Grits, white, enriched, quick, prepared with water, 1 cup1.58
Raisins, seedless, packed, ½ cup1.58
Whole wheat bread, 1 slice0.96
White bread, enriched, 1 slice0.96

But don't forget about: spirulina (1 tsp): 5 mg, pumpkin seeds (1 ounce): 4.2 mg, quinoa (4 ounces): 4 mg, tomato paste (4 ounces): 3.9 mg, white beans (1/2 cup) 3.9 mg, dried peaches (6 halves): 3.1 mg, prune juice (8 ounces): 3 mg. Look at the plethora of options. Easy, diverse, and cruelty-free.

Here are some tips to get the most iron out of your food:
  • Eat iron-rich foods along with foods that contain vitamin C, which helps the body absorb the iron.
  • Tea and coffee contains compounds called polyphenols, which can bind with iron making it harder for our bodies to absorb it.
  • Calcium also hinders the absorption of iron; avoid high-calcium foods for a half hour before or after eating iron-rich foods.
  • Cook in iron pots. The acid in foods seems to pull some of the iron out of the cast-iron pots. Simmering acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, in an iron pot can increase the iron content of the brew more than ten-fold. Cooking foods containing other acids, such as vinegar, red wine, lemon or lime juice, in an iron pot can also increase the iron content of the final mixture.

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