Anemia occurs when the number of red blood cells in your blood becomes too low. Since the oxygen is carried to all the tissues of your body by the red blood cells, it will be problematic to face a reduction in RBC count. When the number of red blood cells becomes too low, your vital organs won’t receive enough oxygen to function properly.
According to statistics, around 1.6 billion people around the world suffer from anemia and it is mainly caused due to the inadequate intake of iron. For the red blood cells to mature, you need an adequate amount of dietary iron, folate, and vitamin B-12.
There are several plant foods that can provide enough iron for the production of red blood cells in your body. Let’s take a look at some of the plant-based foods that can provide an adequate amount of iron and prevent anemia.
Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of dietary iron. Among seeds, flaxseeds, sesame, and pumpkin seeds are packed with iron and they will be a great addition to your plant-based diet for preventing anemia.
Nuts such as cashews, almonds, pine nuts, etc. contain a good amount of non-heme iron. One ounce of each of these nuts contains around 1-1.6 mg of iron. Just like seeds, nuts are also packed with essential nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins, healthy fats, etc.
Soybeans are the most popular legume that is packed with iron. One cup of soybeans can provide around 8.8 mg of iron. The same quantity of Natto, a fermented soybean product, will provide almost around 15 mg of iron. Tofu, one of the popular vegan meat substitutes, is also rich in iron and many other essential minerals required by our body.
One cup of cooked lentils will provide around 6.6 mg of iron. Chickpeas and beans are also a good source of iron.
Kale, spinach, collard, etc. are some of the leafy greens that will provide you with enough iron for the production of red blood cells. It is found that 100 grams of spinach will provide 1.1 times more iron than 100 grams of red meat.
The skin of potatoes is also a great source of iron. One large-sized, unpeeled potato will contain around 3.5 grams of iron. You can also get a good amount of iron from tomato paste and may include the same in your plant based diet to ensure proper iron intake.