Iron is an important part of maintaining a healthy body. One way to ensure that you have the recommended amount is to include vegetables as part of your well-balanced meals. Iron, which is a trace mineral, helps to carry oxygen to your brain and the lack of it can cause fatigue and even anemia among other conditions. Avoiding low levels of iron can be easy once you know which vegetables and other foods to include in your diet.
Based on age and gender, the daily recommended total iron varies. If you are a woman, your recommended daily amount of iron is 18mg a day and men should have 8mg. If pregnant, your amount should increase to 27mg a day. Once you have determined the amount of iron required for a healthy body, you can now plan your meals accordingly. Here are five vegetables that will help you maintain the proper levels of iron each day.
Soybeans, a member of the legume family, are number one on the list. This vegetable contains an amazing 14.60mg of iron per cup. A woman would only need a cup of soybeans in a day to almost completely satisfy her daily recommended amount of iron. She would also get the added benefits of vitamin C (5.6mg), zinc (4.55mg) and calcium (258mg), which have there own important health benefits.
2. Black Eyed Peas
Another member of the legume family, black eyed peas, are extremely high in iron as well, coming in at 8.31mg per cup. They also have the added advantage of being high in protein (19.91g) and folate (534mcg). If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, beware of the 49.8g these peas contain.
Artichokes contain 1.64 mg of iron per cup and have a healthy dose of a variety of B vitamins as well. They have no cholesterol and are relatively low in carbohydrates (13.45g).
Potatoes are a popular side dish and can be a great way to boost your iron. They contain 1.55mg of iron per cup and may be higher with the skin intact. Potassium (969mg), fiber (3.6g), vitamin C (42mg) and magnesium (47mg) are also added bonuses with potatoes.
While not winning any popularity votes, beets do contain a fair amount of iron and are high in other nutrients as well, such as vitamin C (6.7mg) and calcium (22mg). If you are monitoring sugar levels in your diet, the sugar content per cup of beets is 9.19g.
These five vegetables can definitely help you to maintain a healthy level of iron and other nutrients in your body. These, however, are only a few of the beneficial vegetables that you can incorporate into your diet. You may find that some of your favorite vegetables are high in iron as well and you just need to adjust the levels to obtain the correct amounts.