We’ve talked about lentils before and how they are an excellent plant-based protein full of fiber and iron. Dark leafy greens, spinach in particular, are also a great source of iron. Iron is important in your body because it is a major component of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen through your bloodstream.
There are two types of iron: heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron comes from animal sources, and non-heme iron comes from plant sources, like spinach. Non-heme iron is not as easily absorbed as heme iron because our body must go through steps to convert it to heme iron after we eat it. To help maximize your absorption of iron from dark leafy greens, add an acid to your dish, like a fresh squeeze of lemon juice or a vinegar-based dressing.