It’s no secret that consuming beef is not only harmful for the health of our planet, and the poor animals that we kill, but also, it can be dangerous for the health of our body. And it is essential that we cut down our intake of meat, and find other replacements to make up for the lack of nutrients caused by reducing portions of red meat.
You see, when one reduces the intake of beef, one reduces one’s intake of iron, an extremely vital mineral that plays a pivotal role in providing body cells with oxygen, and keeping the body energetic. Now, beef is a very rich source of iron, and you can obtain 2.5mg iron with just one 4.oz serving of lean beef, which makes up 14% of your daily iron intake.
But the good news is that, you can make up for this lack of iron in far better and greater ways because there are several other animal and plant based sources of iron that will give you a far more powerful dose. Moreover, plant based iron sources tend to have fewer carbon footprints, and they pack a great deal more iron than beef.
You must also understand that that iron consumed from animal-sources absorbs much quicker as opposed to iron obtained from plant-based sources. Therefore, vegetarians must consume more iron in order to energize their bodies. For women between the ages of 31 to 50, 32mg iron is the daily requirement, while women above 50 should limit their daily intake to 14mg iron. And if you’re worried about the absorption, drink up some lemon juice to stock up some vitamin C, which will help speed up the absorption process of plant-based iron.
Now, take a look at these incredibly tasty foods that will pack your body with a lot more iron than beef:
Edamame is a powerful source of protein, and it contains even more potassium than a banana. It can also help you shed some extra pounds as it makes one of the healthiest, protein-rich snacks. All you need is 1 cup of frozen Edamame to enrich your body with 3.5mg of iron, which happens to be 19% of your daily iron requirement.
Spinach is one of the most nutritious leafy green veggies, and it provides nearly one-third of your daily calcium requirement.
Remember Popeye the Sailor man? Well, he certainly knew how to build up his strength, because one cup of cooked spinach fills up your body with a whopping 6mg of iron, which makes up 36% of your daily intake of iron. And the best part is, spinach also provides your body your entire daily requirement of vitamin A.
Lentils are the best ingredients for soups, gravies, salads, rice and casseroles, and with every cup of cooked lentils, you enrich your body with a massively powerful dose of 7mg iron, which makes up a whopping 39% of your daily iron requirement, isn’t that incredible?
Quinoa is literally one of the most special gifts of nature, and a powerful superfood that contains all the nine essential amino acids that your body requires but cannot generate on its own. Moreover, quinoa is your richest vegetable source of protein, and just one cup will also nourish your body with a whopping 3mg of iron, which happens to be 17% of your daily requirement of iron.
Oysters are packed with heaps of iron, and all you need is six oysters to enrich your body with 4mg of iron.
And the best part is, oysters are not only a delicious slurp, but they also provide your daily intake of zinc, which happens to be an extremely hard to find dietary nutrient.
6. Kidney beans
Kidney beans are your best non-meat source to obtain a powerful dose of protein and fiber. And just one cup of kidney beans fills you up with 4mg of iron, which makes up 22% of your daily iron requirements.
Kidneys beans can be added to any and every recipe, and they are literally the star ingredient for all kinds of healthy salads.
Oats are your healthiest pick for a wholesome and nutritious breakfast, and all you need is half a cup of oats to nourish your body with a powerful dose of 4mg iron, which makes up 22% of your daily iron requirement.
And the best part is, oatmeal is a delicious crunch that can be enjoyed with milk, and added to countless easy 2-minute breakfast and snack recipes.
8. Swiss chard
For those who can’t bear the sight of leafy green vegies like spinach, Swiss chard is a tastier option.
It’s a great addition to all Italian vegetable dishes, like pasta and lasagne, and all you need is one cup of Swiss chard to enrich your body with 4mg of iron, which makes up 22% of your daily iron requirement.