Are vegetarians missing out on nutrients?

Iron from food comes in two forms – heme and non-heme. Heme iron is found mainly in meat, poultry, and seafood, while non-heme iron is found in plant foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy greens. Heme iron is better absorbed than non-heme iron. Further, non-heme iron is inhibited by phytic acid present in plant foods like whole grains, legumes, lentils, nuts, etc. “It’s because of inadequate intake or low-absorption of iron in the body that vegetarians and vegans – especially females and people on simple food diets, are more prone to anemia than meat eaters,” says Kakaiya. Iron deficiency, further, has been found to reduce IQ, and impacts learning, memory, and attention.

The Open Magazine of India by Artmotion Network (

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