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Top 3 Iron-rich Meals

By Sarah Wilson, RHN on March 11, 2016, categorized in Health, Plant-based Nutrition

Top 3 Iron-rich Meals

Healthy doesn’t mean boring bland salads, or mind-numbing workouts you hate.  Health is about finding something that gets you super pumped and excited about your overall wellness. I’m a holistic nutritionist that loves taking the ordinary, and making it kick a$$!  It’s time to get creative, step outside the box, and discover your own way to thrive. My mission is to help you find that path.  

Iron: it’s not just what we use to get the wrinkles out of clothes. It’s an essential mineral our body needs to function. Iron helps in delivering oxygen to our cells, which supports your metabolism.1. It’s really quite easy to incorporate this important mineral into our diets through the foods we eat.  Your daily intake can vary due to factors such as gender, and age.

WomenNational Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. (2013). Health Professional Fact Sheet: Iron. Accessed 2/24/15 from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/

  • Ages 14-18 15mg
  • Ages 19-50 18mg
  • Ages 51+ 8mg

MenNational Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. (2013). Health Professional Fact Sheet: Iron. Accessed 2/24/15 from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/

  • Ages 14-18 11mg
  • Ages 19-50 8mg
  • Ages 51+ 8mg

Iron can be found in many plant-based foods, which make up a staple in our lives—like two of my favorites: beans and green leafy vegetables.1 We can even increase our body’s ability to absorb iron, just by combining the right foods together.


How to Increase Iron Absorption 

Ensuring you consume iron-rich foods is one thing, and whether or not you’re absorbing the iron from plant-based foods is another.  Eat plant-based foods high in non-heme iron with foods that are rich in vitamin C.1 This will help increase your body’s ability to absorb iron. Red bell peppers, berries and citrus fruits are all rich in vitamin C. Just by adding these into your meal will not only make for a tasty addition they’ll help you get the iron you need.


Top 3 Iron-rich Meals 

Kale “Cabbage” Rolls

This is one of my all-time favorite meals and a crowd pleaser. Not only does this dish contain kale, which has iron, it also contains tomatoes which have iron and vitamin C. Feel like adding your own special touch? Dice up some red pepper to go along with the chopped seeds in the filling and really take this dish to the next level. This will increase the total vitamin C content of the dish.


Red Velvet Smoothie

One of my favorite ways to get in extra nutrients for my day is with a smoothie.  Smoothies are a great way to be creative and incorporate variety and food combing all in one meal.  This smoothie uses cooked beets, and is a great way to use up the leftover beets you had for dinner the night before. Each serving of Vega Essentials shake has 20% of your DV of iron.


Red Dragon’s Pie with 1 Cup Steamed Kale

Try this take on a classic comfort food dish. The star of the show goes to the lentils, which are a have iron, with the MVP going to the sweet potato topping. Not only are lentils a source of iron, they also have protein and fiber as well as many vitamins and minerals. If lentils weren’t such a heavy hitter, the sweet potato topping of this dish would steal the show. This topping is super flavorful and each serving meets a 1/3 of your vitamin C intake,  thanks not only to sweet potato but also tomato paste. Add a side of steamed kale (with a touch of olive oil) to meet over 20% of your daily iron needs.


What are your favorite iron-rich foods?

Sarah Wilson, RHN

Sarah is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and works at Vega as a Product Specialist. Sarah educates from experience! Drawing on her retail leadership in the natural health industry, her own nutrition consulting, and a personal passion, she equips audiences with tools and inspiration to feel their absolute best from the inside, out. Specializing in sports and fitness recommendations, Sarah is active as a runner, playing soccer or enjoying the Rocky Mountains on her snowboard.
Sarah Wilson, RHN

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