Dark, leafy greens ought to be your become your friend if they aren’t already. Including greens in your smoothies, sandwiches, wraps, and salads is a great way to incorporate micronutrients such as folate, iron, and vitamins A, C, & K into your diet. It’s also a nice source of fiber which promote healthy digestion.
When people think of iron, they often think of spinach (thanks, Popeye). However, this comes with 2 small caveats: 1) plant based iron is nonheme iron which is less readily absorbed by our bodies. 2) spinach contains oxalic acid which preferentially binds to iron, further decreasing its bioavailability.
If you choose to maintain a plant based diet, you must be mindful of your iron intake. Supplementation is always an option. If you choose to eat your way to health (no supplements), there are ways to increase absorption.
- Incorporate pumpkin and sesame seeds into your meals.
- Incorporate cooked beans into your meals
- Avoid consuming iron-rich foods with tea or coffee–the tannins inhibit absorption.
- Eat iron rich foods alongside vitamin-C rich foods such as oranges, broccoli, cantaloupe, kiwis, tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts.
Happy eating/sipping. Cheers!