10 Iron-Rich Foods for Vegetarians

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4 min read

Iron is an essential nutrient for the body. According to the US NIH, it helps the red blood cells carry oxygen to the organs of the body. The daily value of iron to be consumed through food should be 18mg. The body uses the iron from the storage in the body and it is important to replace the used nutrient with the daily food intake.

According to the NIH, if the used amount is more than the daily intake, it might lead to iron deficiency causing health issues like anemia and fatigue. The menstruating women must ensure that they have an iron-rich diet since they are at a higher risk of iron-deficiency.

Meat and animal liver have been a great source for iron but vegetarians have a variety of options as well. Here's a list of 10 iron-rich food that can be consumed by the vegans or vegetarians without a doubt.



You can consume 3-ounces of this green leafy vegetable for your 2.7mg which is 15% of the daily iron content required by the body. Spinach also contains vitamin C which enables the better absorption of iron. The caretonoids present in the spinach reduces inflammation, prevents the risk of cancer and protects the eyes.


Legumes like chickpeas, peas, lentils and beans are filled with nutrients and a cup of cooked legumes contains 6.6mg of iron which is 37% of the daily iron requirement. They are rich source of folate, magnesium and potassium as well. They help reduce inflammation in diabetes, improves metabolism and prevents the risk of heart diseases.

Legumes can be eaten with tomatoes, lemon and other sources of vitamin C for better absorption of iron. They are filled with fibers that keeps a person full for longer with increased satiety and hence helps reduce weight.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a full power pack of nutrients and portable snacks that can be carried around easily making it a great snack as well. 1-ounce of pumpkin seeds contain 2.5 mg of iron which contributes to 16% of the daily required content.

It is also rich in vitamin K, manganese and magnesium which helps reduce the insulin reisitance, keep the blood sugar levels at optimal level and helps lower the stress hormones as well.


1 cup of quinoa, also know as pseudocereal contains 2.8 mg of iron which is 16% of the daily requirement. Moreover, the gluten free property makes it a great option for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

It is also a rich source of folate, magnesium, manganese, and copper. The antioxidants present in quinoa helps improve the metabolism and reduce stress.


According to the NIH, one cup or 126 mg of brocolli contains 6% of the daily required iron content and 112% of vitamin C that helps the body absorb iron in a better way. It is also a rich source of folates, vitamin K and fibers.

Brocolli is one of the cruciferous vegetables and contains anti-cancer properties due to the presence of glucosinolates, indole and sulforaphane.


Tofu is a soy based plant food and a great source of iron, half a cup of tofu contains 3.4mg of iron which comprises 19% of the daily required value. It also contains nutrients like thiamine, calcium, magnesium and selenium with other health benefits. It is a rich source protein as well.

According to the US NIH, tofu improves the insulin sensitivity, lowers the risk of heart diseases and helps fight menopausal symptoms.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is not only a tasty but a healthy source of iron. According the US FoodData Central,1-ounce of dark chocolate has 19% of the daily value of iron the body requires.

It is also rich in magnesium and copper. It contains prebiotic fibers that is beneficial for gut health. It keeps the cholesterol in check and prevents any heart diseases. The flavanols are responsible for the heath benefits of dark chocolate and you can enjoy these health benefits with dark chocolates containing at least 70% cocoa.


Oats is an easy way to increase the iro =n content in your diet and keep the problem of iron deficiency at bay. 3.4 mg of oats contain 19% of daily iron requirement and it is also rich in plant protein, fibers, magnesium, zinc and folates.


They also contain the soluble fibers that increase the satiety and curb the appetite of the person making him feel full promoting weightloss, keeping the cholesterol and blood sugar levels in check.


Amaranth is another whole grain which is considered as a pseudocereal as it doesn't grow from the grasses as other grains. 1 cup of cooked amaranth contains 3.5 mg or 29% of the dail iron requirement of the body which contains the plant proteins, fibers, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and complex carbs.


The red shiny tomatoes are rich in hemo-iron which means they require their vitamin C content for the better absorption of iron in the body. Tomatoes have the high iron content when they are dried or concentrated. Half a cup of tomato paste contains 3.5 mg or 22% of the daily required iron and they also protect the skin against sunburns due to the presence of lycopene in them.

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