Iron deficiency in the body is known as anaemia. Iron is an important mineral required by the body to make red blood cells and haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the various body parts. But that's not all - iron has many other important roles to play in the body. Iron is also important for boosting athletic performance and maintaining optimum energy levels. Some of the symptoms of anaemia include weakness, dizziness, pale complexion, loss of stamina etc. Most of us rely on food for meeting the iron requirements of the body. Non-vegetarians may rely on red meats, poultry, fish etc. However, there are a number of excellent iron-rich foods that vegetarians may include in their diet to ensure adequate supplies of iron like greens, beans, lentils, nuts etc.
Vegetarian Iron-Rich Recipes For A Healthy Body
One of the best dietary sources of iron is spinach, which is just one green that you need to have in your culinary repertoire. A 100 grams portion of spinach has 2.7 mg of iron, which is 21 per cent of daily value (as per data from the United States of Department of Agriculture). Even chickpeas or Bengal grams have 35 per cent DV of iron. This soup is loaded with iron and is also low in calories.
Vegetarian Iron-Rich Recipe: Spinach Chickpea Soup
Another rich source of dietary iron is lentils or dals, which Indians need no introduction to. Khichdi is one of the most loved dal preparations and this palak dal khichdi combines the iron reserves of both these foods. Every 100 gram of lentils has 18 per cent daily value of iron.
This traditional Rajasthani lentil curry has five different types of dals - moong, chana, masoor, urad and tuar. These dals bring more than just a whole lot of flavour and taste to the dish - they are also packed with antioxidants, protein, dietary fibre and, of course, iron. This dal is just one desi recipe that may help you meet your iron requirements.
This traditionally Sri Lankan recipe is made from iron-rich cashew nuts and peas and is just a unique way of adding a whole of nutrition and taste to your dinner table. A 100 gram of cashews contains 6.68 mg of iron, which is around 50 per cent of daily value.
Rajma is another stellar protein and iron-rich food that you may add to your diet to tide over an iron deficiency. A 100 gram portion of kidney beans contains 2.94 mg of iron (23 per cent DV). This smoked kidney beans salad also contains a rainbow of vegetables, protein-rich cottage cheese and even lychees and orange juice for a fruit kick.
Also Read: Why Do Women Need More Iron Than Men?
When it comes to iron absorption in the body, vitamin C is an important nutrient. So make sure you include adequate amounts of this essential vitamin in your meals as well.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)