You may not realize this but iron deficiency is a cause of hair loss. Although it’s not as common a cause as DHT or stress, it is worth making sure you are not experiencing hair loss caused by an iron deficiency. The easiest and healthiest way to do this is to eat lots of vegetables that are high in iron.
While meat is one the most common and used sources of iron, it can also be found in some vegetables. Plant sources are better regulated and therefore less potential harm to the body can be caused. The recommended daily intake of Iron is 18 milligrams.
Here are the ten highest iron content vegetables (where number 1 has the highest iron content).
Often seen as a major part of a vegetarian diet, lentils are a great source of protein. But they are also one of the best sources of Iron. In fact lentils contributes some 37% to your daily recommended intake. They’re often served in soups and stews and makes a great healthy alternative to meat.
2. Sun Dried Tomatoes
Best known for their great taste, sun dried tomatoes contain nearly 30 percent of our daily recommended intake of Iron. They are also a good source of antioxidants, as well as Vitamin C and lycopene. This is a very versatile ingredient and be served in pasta dishes, omelets and even pizza, sandwiches and salads.
3. Fresh Parsley
We often simply regard Parsley as a piece of culinary decoration. However this ingredient that is used to add a little color to your plate is actually one of the best health foods, it contains many nutrients including Iron as well as Vitamin C, calcium and potassium. As a common garnish you could in fact use this as a natural Iron supplement. Its very versatile and can be used with a whole range of dishes.
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4. Swiss Chard
One of the most popular vegetables used in Mediterranean cuisine. It is second only to spinach in nutritional value. Although it is recommended to boil first to reduce its concentration of oxalic acid. It is not only Iron rich accounting for some 22% of the recommended daily intake but also rich in vitamin C the very nutrient that helps the body absorb Iron.
Olives, as well as a great ingredient are a great source of Iron. They are versatile and can be part of an Iron rich meal, which will really benefit your metabolism. Another great thing about olives is of course that they are a great source of vitamin C. A good serving of Olives could contribute up to 20% of the recommended intake of Iron.
This vegetable has been a delicacy since ancient times. The three year wait for this crop is definitely worth the wait. Not only does it provide over 15% of the recommended intake of Iron it has even earned its place in ancient Indian medicine. Being succulent and tender it would be great tasting part of any meal.
We often use Garlic to give our food a little flavor, or that something extra. Although it has much less Iron compared to other vegetables when used with other foods it does prove to be a good compliment with other health benefits. Although it can’t really be used on its own, due to its strong flavor. In its raw state it contains 1.7 mg of Iron per 100g.
This is a great vegetable that allows you to increase your intake of Iron naturally, without having to increase those calories. Kale has been promoted in recent years as a fat free super food that can be eaten raw, or cooked even as a soup. An average serving provides 6% of your daily recommended intake of Iron.
9. Collard Greens
This variety of vegetable could be the ultimate health food. It is loaded with many nutrients, as well as being a great source of antioxidants. This is also hugely popular with vegetarians as it is loaded with Vitamin C and Iron. It can contribute 12% of the daily recommended intake of Iron. So its a perfect source of Iron.
10. Brussels Sprouts
As a kid you probably avoided Brussels Sprouts. It turns out that they are good for us after all. Whether you love them or hate them they are a great source of antioxidants, many vitamins, fiber and many others. To top it all off it contributes 5% of your recommended allowance of Iron too.
More about Iron
Iron is one mineral that is essential to the body. When we don’t get enough of it the effects of Iron deficiently can vary from fatigue or anemia or in severe cases, organ failure. Excessive consumption of Iron can cause problems too. It can result in a build up of harmful free radicals in the body, these don’t just interfere with metabolism, they also affect major organs such as the heart and liver. Thankfully such occurrences are rare as the body is able to regulate Iron uptake.