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01 Feb 2018 By AMC

Green Vegetables and their Iron Potential

Iron is a mineral that is essential for life. It is found in many forms and is required for various functions in our bodies. Quite often, when we think of iron, we only think of red meat such as a large serving of steak to satisfy our body’s requirements of iron however, we forget our humble green vegetables.

Green vegetables are abundant, easily accessible and are a great source of iron.

When looking at dietary forms of iron there are two forms, haem and non-haem. Haem iron is found in all animal meats and non-haem iron is what’s found in vegetarian sources, like green leafy vegetables and lentils.

The requirements for iron vary depending on ages and stages. The following are at greater risk of iron deficiency:

  • Women of menstruating age
  • Toddlers
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • Vegetarians or vegans
  • Elite athletes
  • Users of blood thinners
  • Alcoholics
  • People with stomach and other gastrointestinal disorders

Dark Green Vegetables Highest in Iron content:

  • 1 cup of cooked spinach 8.1mg of iron (45% of recommended daily intake)
  • 1 cup of swiss chard 4mg of iron (22% of recommended daily intake)
  • 1 cup of cooked collard greens 2.6mg of iron (14% of recommended daily intake)
  • 1 cup of cooked kale 1.2mg of iron (7% of recommended daily intake)
  • 1 cup of cooked broccoli 1.2mg of iron (7% of recommended daily intake)
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley 0.5mg of iron (3% of recommended daily intake)

If you have been diagnosed with iron deficiency anaemia, it is best to speak to our friendly team of naturopaths and nutritionists. Depending on your requirements, you may benefit from haem iron.