According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiencies are the most common nutritional afflictions on the planet. Untreated, an iron deficiency can develop into anemia, a medical condition in which red blood cell count is lower than it should be. While there are several different types of anemia, we're going to focus on iron deficiency anemia today since about 30% of women in the U.S. have been diagnosed with. It's super common in women who have a low-iron diet as well as women who have heavy periods.
The severity of these conditions varies from person to person, but common symptoms include feeling weak, dizzy, or lightheaded; being extraordinarily pale and tired; and having a rapid heart rate. Aside from taking iron mineral supplements, you can also adjust your dietary habits. In fact, eating iron-rich meals will help prevent and even treat anemia. With this in mind, we researched the top iron-rich foods and sourced some delicious meals that include them so it's easier for you to meet your nutritional needs. Scroll through to get the full details for six carnivore- and vegetarian-friendly options.
For Breakfast: A Pineapple and Spinach Green Smoothie
This green smoothie from Foodie Crush is packed to the brim with immunity- and iron-boosting ingredients. Specifically, it calls for spinach (a very iron-rich green) as well as kale, ginger, pineapple, and mango. It's perfectly sweet, too, so not a bad way to start the day.
For a Vegetarian Lunch: Lentil Bowl With Tahini Cream
Lentils are a tasty and versatile option if you have low iron levels since they have 37% of your daily value. This is especially valuable if you're a vegetarian. Make this black lentil bowl recipe from The First Mess for a satisfying and delicious lunch. It's full of nutritional and colorful veggies like carrots, beets (which are also iron-rich, as we mentioned before), avocados, Romanesco broccoli, and apples. It's pretty much a rainbow in a bowl.
For a Meaty Lunch: Carne Asada Burrito Bowl
Beef contains 31% of your daily value of iron, so if you love meat, this news should make you happy. This carne asada beef bowl recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon also calls for onions, avocados, cherry tomatoes, and brown rice, so it'll leave you happy and full. Just add a squeeze of time!
For a Snack: Roasted Beet Hummus Dip
Beets are another iron-rich veggie to include in your diet if you're worried about developing anemia. Plus, they boast a vivid magenta hue, making them ideal for a spread of goodies at a party. This beet hummus dip from Minimalist Baker is a great afternoon snack to nibble on if you get hungry between meals.
For a Fish Dinner: Coconut and Green Curry Clams
If you want to switch things up from chicken and beef, clams are a great way to meet your iron and lean-protein needs. In fact, they contain more iron than beef. This aromatic and sweet curry recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon is a flavorful delight. It's also great for summer because the lemongrass makes it refreshing, with some added balanced from its spicy undertones and creamy broth.
For a Vegetation Dinner: Crispy Tofu and Cauliflower Stir-Fry
This recipe from Minimalist Baker yields a heavenly batch of crispy peanut tofu that sits atop a bed of cauliflower rice. Not only does it hit the spot flavor-wise, but this recipe is also a great option for vegetarians because the tofu, peanuts, and cauliflower all have iron in them.
If you're iron deficient and you have any healthy living tips, please share them with us in the comment section below.