As iron is crucial to many bodily functions, it's essential to include a lot of iron-rich foods in your diet. A sufficient daily iron intake helps you maintain a stable body temperature, prevents anemia, and contributes to good gastrointestinal health.
Many foods contain a good amount of iron per serving, and lentils are one of them.
But can adding them to your meal plan keep you from becoming iron-deficient?
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Are Lentils High or Low in Iron?
Lentils are an excellent source of iron, especially for those following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Besides iron, lentils are rich in B vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. They also contain antioxidants, which help keep you healthy and prevent disease.
Lentils are certainly a healthy addition to a balanced diet.
How Much Iron Is in Lentils?
A one-cup serving of cooked lentils contains about 6.6 mg of iron, about 37% of the recommended daily intake; this makes lentils one of the best dietary sources of iron.
However, the iron in lentils is non-heme, which is harder for your body to absorb. Vitamin C aids in iron absorption, so eat your lentils with a good source of this important nutrient.
Can You Get Enough Iron from Lentils?
Adding lentils to your diet can definitely help you reach your daily iron requirement.
Also, one cup of lentils provides you with about 21% of the daily recommended vitamin C intake, allowing your body to absorb the iron they provide.
Can Eating Lentils Help Prevent Anemia?
As lentils are such a great source of iron, adding them to your meal plan can certainly help prevent anemia.
A serving of lentils also contains 90% of the recommended daily intake of folate (vitamin B9), which supports the bone marrow in producing red and white blood cells, transforms carbs into energy, and helps prevent anemia.
Lentils also contain a large amount of protein, with a one-cup serving providing 17.9 grams. Protein aids in the production of red blood cells, further protecting you from anemia.
Are Sprouted Lentils High in Iron?
A one-cup serving of stir-fried lentil sprouts contains about 6.1 mg of iron, or about 34% of the recommended daily intake.
Although this is slightly less than lentils, they're still a great addition to your diet.
Sprouted lentils also contain a lot of vitamin C, folate, thiamin, manganese, and copper.
Sprouted lentils taste slightly different from lentils and can be used in other dishes.
Is Lentil Soup High in Iron?
One cup of lentil soup contains about 15% of the recommended daily intake of iron. Less than freshly cooked lentils, but lentil soup is one of the best soups to choose if you want to increase your iron intake.
Lentil soup also contains a good amount of potassium, calcium, and vitamin C.
However, like other soups, lentil soup is high in sodium, which could increase your blood pressure and stroke risk. If making soup at home, choose low-sodium ingredients to lessen these risks.
Are Pink Lentils High in Iron?
Pink lentils contain the same amount of iron as regular lentils and are often used in Italian cuisine, soups, and sauces.
They are just as nutritious as regular lentils, so they can be used as a colorful substitute.
Lentils are an excellent dietary source of iron, and adding them to your meal plan can help prevent anemia.
They also contain a good amount of fiber, protein, B vitamins, phosphorus, manganese, and copper.