Iron is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in keeping us healthy in diet. It helps support our immune system, transport oxygen throughout the body, and provide vital energy to our cells. Many people rely on red meat as their primary source of iron, but if you adhere to a vegetarian diet—or are looking for an alternative. To meat-based sources—you can still get enough iron from plant-based foods alone.
Here are 10 vegetarian foods that are rich in iron and make great additions to any balanced diet.
From lentils and chickpeas to black beans, kidney beans and more, legumes are some of the most versatile. And nutritious vegan sources of iron out there. Just one cup of cooked lentils contains up to 6 milligrams of iron, and a cup of cooked chickpeas contains 4.7 milligrams.
Tofu is an excellent source of plant-based protein and contains. Around 3.6 milligrams of iron in just one cup (168 grams). Not only that, but it’s also high in other essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, manganese and selenium.
These small beans are packed with nutrition—and they contain up to 8.8 milligrams of iron per cup (172 grams) cooked. Soybeans also provide us with healthy fats, carbohydrates, fiber and protein, making them a great addition to any vegetarian or vegan diet.
This dark leafy green is a popular favorite among vegetarians and vegans alike, and for good reason. Just one cup (30 grams) of cooked spinach can provide up to 3.2 milligrams of iron—not to mention high levels of other essential vitamins and minerals like Vitamin K, Vitamin A, potassium and magnesium.
5. Dark Chocolate:
Yes, you read that right—dark chocolate is actually high in iron! One ounce (28 grams) of dark chocolate contains around 3.3 milligrams of this important mineral, making it a delicious way to get your daily iron intake. Just be sure to choose a variety with at least 70% cocoa content for the highest concentration of iron.
This ancient grain is a complete source of plant-based protein and contains up to 2.8 milligrams of iron per cup (185 grams) cooked. It’s also high in fiber, magnesium, phosphorus. And manganese, making it an excellent addition to any vegetarian or vegan meal plan.
These small dried fruits are sweet, chewy and full of nutrition—including 1.4 milligrams of iron in just one quarter cup (45 grams). They’re also high in fiber, Vitamin C and antioxidants, making them a tasty way to get your daily dose of essential nutrients.
8. Pumpkin Seeds:
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of plant-based protein, healthy fats and essential minerals like zinc and iron. Just one ounce (28 grams) of these crunchy seeds contains up to 2 milligrams of iron, making them an easy snack to include in any vegetarian or vegan diet.
9. Prune Juice:
Prune juice isn’t just for constipation anymore—it also happens to be surprisingly high in iron. One cup (250 ml) of this tart beverage contains around 3 milligrams of this important mineral, making it a tasty addition to your breakfast routine.
10. Dried Apricots:
Dried apricots make a great snack and they’re also packed with iron—one quarter cup (40 grams). Contains up to 2.1 milligrams of this essential mineral. In addition, dried apricots are high in fiber, Vitamin A and potassium, making them an excellent part of any vegan or vegetarian diet.
These 10 vegetarian foods are a great way to make sure that you’re getting enough iron in your diet. Whether you’re looking for a meat-free source of nutrition or just want to add more variety to your meals, these plant-based options are sure to keep you healthy and happy. With the right mix of ingredients, you’ll be able to get all the iron your body needs while also enjoying some delicious vegan dishes.
Getting enough iron on a vegetarian or vegan diet doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right combination of plant-based foods, it’s possible to get all the iron you need for optimal health and wellness. The above foods are just some of the many vegetarian sources of iron that can help you maintain a balanced and nutritious diet. Make sure to include at least one or two of these foods into your daily routine to make sure you’re getting the iron your body needs.