10 months ago
Last edited at 8:10AM on 2/8/2013
Lots of possible sources of iron in a vegetarian diet such as: * Fortified breakfast cereal/bread * Green leafy vegetables (e.g. broccoli) * Nuts (e.g. almonds) * Dried fruit (e.g. raisins) * Pulses (e.g. kidney beans, tofu) * Sprouted beans (e.g. sunflower seeds)
Vitamin C is also useful to help absorb iron (e.g. citrus fruit, sweet peppers, tomatoes)
I'd recommend iron supplements, if possible. Spinach does not actually contain more iron than your average leafy green, and anyone who believes otherwise has a poorly spell-checked chemistry textbook from the mid 1960's to thank for it. Pinto beans do have a bit, though not enough to supplement your lack of meat ingestion on its own. While I strongly recommend an omnivorous diet in combination with regular exercise, the way nature intended, for one to stay fit, I'd have to say that supplements are probably your best shot.
10 months ago
Last edited at 5:20AM on 2/10/2013
It would be wise for you to get a nutrition almanac. This would provide you with the information needed for how nutrients work with each other. Spinach, nuts and grains (chocolate too) contain Oxalic acid. This binds with magnesium and prevents absorption. Magnesium is necessary for proper functioning of the muscles, including the heart. It is also necessary for calcium absorption which is needed to harden bones and tooth enamel. Blackstrap Molasses contains iron and the B vitamins needed, especially B-12. I have read vegetarians can become deficient in B-12 because it is mostly found in animal protein.
I have been a vegetarian for 30+ years. I have never had an iron deficiency. In fact, twice I have had too much iron in my system, per my doctor. B12 is the tricky one. In order not to take a supplement, you have to combine your foods in specific ways. Takes a little research.