Are you looking for vegan foods high in iron or for good vegan sources of iron for your vegan friendly diet?
In today’s article we are talking about iron rich vegetarian foods for vegans and vegetarians to enjoy in their diet.
You would be amazed at just how many of our foods naturally contain high amounts of iron. Even without animal products you can eat an iron rich diet effortlessly.
Iron is an important vitamin that our body needs to function properly. So, try to make sure that you are consuming plenty of foods high in iron.
So, keep reading to find out which 15 vegan foods will supply you with the necessary iron!
Vegan Foods High in Iron
One of the most common vegan deficiencies is iron deficiency. Which we most certainly want to try our best to avoid!
The good thing is that iron rich foods that are also completely plant-based are very plentiful if you just know where to look.
As long as you eat a balanced diet and strive to include some of these high iron foods into your meals. You shouldn’t have to worry about an iron deficiency.
It is always best to try to get all of the necessary nutrients through your diet and these iron rich foods help you out with that.
So, that you don’t have to fall back on a vitamin.
- Related: Food High in B12 for Vegans
1. Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are all great ways of getting in plenty of much needed iron into your diet.
All beans and legumes contain pretty decent amounts of iron. As well as protein, fiber, and many other nutrients. Beans are great because they contain so many vitamins and minerals, many of which come from the outer skin!
If you want to eat beans that have the highest amounts of iron try to eat more chickpeas, black eyed peas, and red kidney beans.
These create an extremely easy way of consuming more vegan foods high in iron.
Lentils: 6.6 mg iron per cup of cooked lentils.
Beans: 6.6 – 4.4 mg iron per cup of cooked beans.
2. Soy Products
Soy products are a wonderful source of iron. And you have many different types of soy product that you could choose from.
If you want to find the best vegan sources of iron, soy is one of the best options out there. In order to get high amounts of iron without having to eat too much of it.
And the best thing is that you have many different kinds of soy products to choose from. From tofu to tempeh to soy milk and so on!
Tofu: 3 – 3.6 mg iron per 6 oz.
Soy Milk: 1.6 mg iron per cup.
Tempeh: 3 – 3.6 mg iron per 6 oz.
Soybeans: 8.8 mg iron per cup.
Tip: I personally always recommend this delicious organic soy milk! It is rich and creamy and enriched with plant of vitamins and minerals.
3. Hemp Seeds
Hemp seeds or hemp hearts are a great way to consume more amounts of iron through your diet.
They are easy to eat as they can be added to just about anything and have a very mild flavor. Making them easy to incorporate into meals, snacks, and desserts.
They are also a great source of vegan omega-3 fatty acids! Hemp hearts are wonderful seeds for heart health as they contain so many healthy fats and vitamins and minerals. They are the perfect seed for adding a nutritional boost to food!
Iron: 2.38 mg per 3 Tablespoons.
4. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are a good way of getting in your iron also. As they are easy to add to meals and don’t affect the flavor of what you add them to.
They are also very nutritious and can help you to get other necessary vitamins and minerals into your diet.
Finely ground flax seeds are also an excellent egg substitute which just provides another way to eat them regularly!
Iron: 1.8 mg per 3 Tablespoons
5. Leafy Greens
There are many vegan foods high in iron in the produce section that you might not often notice!
Leafy greens provide an excellent source of iron. Such as spinach, kale, swiss, collard, and chard.
Even a leafy green like spinach can contain more iron then most types of meat or fish.
It is best to eat the greens cooked because that allows you to eat larger quantities without having to eat a huge salad.
Iron: 2.5 – 6.4 mg per cup of cooked greens.
6. Tomato Paste
Though tomatoes in their fresh state have little iron to offer, tomato paste has much more since it is a concentration of tomatoes.
And the great thing about tomato paste is that it is easy to add into your normal meals without having to change them up much.
Tomato paste goes great in pasta, soups, or made into pizza sauce.
Iron: 3.9 mg per half a cup.
7. Oyster Mushrooms
Many types of mushrooms contain a decent amount of iron, but oyster mushrooms are the best choice amongst them all.
Oyster mushrooms make great meat substitutes because of their texture, nutrients, and iron content.
They make great additions to stir-fry’s or any other meal that could use a meaty texture.
Iron: 1.3 mg per cup.
Olive aren’t just a good source of healthy fats or vitamins; they also contain a good amount of iron if you are looking for vegan food’s high in iron.
Olives are a great vegan source of iron and are also very easy to incorporate into your daily diet.
They make a flavorful addition to all kinds of dishes or could even be munched on as a midday snack!
Iron: 3.3 mg per cup.
Amaranth is a food that is often used like you would a grain, though it is not technically a grain at all.
Not only is it one of the iron rich vegetarian foods, it is also a complete protein source! Which is always a good thing when you have cut meat out of your diet for good.
Organic amaranth grain can be used in the place of other grains for a healthy and more nutritious option.
Iron: 5.2 mg per cup of cooked amaranth.
Oats are a great way to incorporate more vegan sources of iron into your diet in an easy and effective way!
They are easy to add into your diet and provide an incredibly filling meal that is also very nutritious. One of the best foods for people new to a vegan diet is oats, because they are so filing and satisfying!
They are full of soluble fiber which will help your digestion as well as keep you feeling nice and full. Instant oatmeal is an excellent way to take advantage of this iron rich food source!
Iron: 3.4 mg per cup.
11. Coconut Milk
This may not be a food, but coconut milk definitely provides an excellent source of plant-based iron.
It is rich in good for you fats, as well as several minerals and vitamins.
Not to mention how easy it is to add to your diet. Whether you decide to drink it, bake with it, or add it to dishes like curry or creamy soups!
This brand of organic coconut milk is my favorite, as it is much easier to use than canned coconut milk and doesn’t have as much coconut water in it.
Iron: 3.8 mg per half cup.
12. Dark Chocolate
Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate still maintains some level of nutrition since it is mainly made of cocoa.
Dark chocolate not only provides iron, but it also contains many different minerals that are good for you as well. This makes dark chocolate a wonderful sweet treat that not only curbs those cravings but is nutritious as well.
It is a great sweet treat that can be enjoyed daily while still providing some nutritional benefits! This Lindt dark chocolate is a great healthy option to curb your chocolate cravings.
Iron: 3.3 mg per 1 oz.
13. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses is one of the best vegan foods high in iron to eat daily!
You don’t need a lot to get in plenty of iron, and it can be used in all kinds of dishes or simply taken on its own. It provides a fast and easy way to get in some extra iron everyday without having to sit down and eat something.
This pure blackstrap molasses goes great in desserts, used to sweeten drinks, or taken by the spoonful or over oats.
Iron: 3 mg per 3 Tablespoons.
14. Dried Apricots
Not only are these chewy little dried fruits great to snack on, they also provide plenty of iron.
Dried apricots are a fruit high in iron. Eating them dried helps you to get all of the benefits of the iron without having to eat several fresh apricots.
Make sure to get the unsweetened variety like these unsweetened dried apricots. Dried fruit is sweet enough on its own without the addition of more sugar.
Iron: 3.5 mg per cup.
15. Prune Juice
Prune juice is a great fruit juice to drink if you are wanting to consume more iron.
This is an easy way to get in some extra iron so that you don’t have to resort to taking an iron pill.
Prune juice can be taken on its own or added to smoothies or other fruit juices. In order to reap the full benefits, buy 100% pure prune juice.
Iron: 6 mg per cup.
How Much Iron do Vegans Need?
Because vegans do not eat meat, the amount of iron that we need is going to be different from other people.
Which is why it is important to understand the proper dosages for vegans opposed to meat eaters.
Vegans can often get iron deficient rather easily, so it is important to try to consume plenty of iron rich vegetarian foods on a daily basis.
Here are the recommended doses for those who follow a vegan diet:
Men: 14 mg iron per day
Post-Menopausal Women: 14 mg iron per day
Menstruating Women: 32 mg iron per day
Pregnant Women: 49 mg iron per day
How to Increase Iron absorption
Like any vitamin or mineral, iron can sometimes be hard for our body to completely absorb.
For the most part, meat-based iron is easy for the body to absorb, easier than plant-based sources are.
In order to make sure that you are really absorbing your iron rich foods properly here are a few things to do:
Avoid Coffee and Tea with Meals
Coffee and tea are both known to interfere with your body’s ability to absorb iron in food or vitamin form.
Because of this, it is best to avoid drinking these drinks around meal time. Avoiding coffee and tea at meals can increase your ability to absorb iron much more!
Cook with a Cast Iron Pan
This is a great tip when it comes to getting in more high-quality iron into your meals!
Try replacing your cooking pans with a high-quality cast-iron pan. Food cooked in a cast iron pan will yield much more iron than it would otherwise.
Eat Vitamin C
Vitamin C may be able to increase your chances of properly absorbing the iron in your diet.
Many vitamins help each other to be properly absorbed and iron is one of those vitamins that is helped out by vitamin C.
Try drinking a vitamin C drink with your meals or include foods rich in vitamin C into your diet.
What Does Iron do for Your Body?
Iron is an important vitamin for your body because it is used to make hemoglobin. A protein that is a part of your body’s red blood cells.
It also helps to make a protein called myoglobin which provides oxygen for your muscles. Iron is also needed to make certain hormones.
Because of these actions iron is very important for your diet!
Without enough iron in your diet you can become iron deficient which will leave you feeling extremely fatigued. Over time, if not treated it will begin to make you anemic.
How to Eat Enough Vegan Foods High in Iron
I tried to include a very broad list of vegan foods high in iron so that you would have plenty of variety.
This way you can create a diverse mix of meals and treats that are tasty and high in iron!
This way these foods can be effortlessly added to your daily meals and can be eaten regularly in order to help you have an iron rich diet.
In order for this to stick you have to find enjoyable ways of eating more vegan sources of iron.
The best way to do this is to incorporate these foods into meals that you already enjoy. This way you know you will be eating iron rich foods on a regular basis.
Iron Rich Meals
In order to naturally consume enough iron through your diet try to create meals with plenty of iron sources.
A great way to do this is to eat something like oats and seeds for breakfast or a hearty bean chili for dinner. try to think of ways to incorporate more iron rich foods into your normal meals.
Throw some seeds onto your soups or salad, add beans to more meals. There are all kinds of ways to incorporate more iron into your daily diet.
And once you start to do so, it will become like second nature and won’t take any extra thought at all.
I hope that this article on vegan foods high in iron has been helpful to you. And that now you can feel more confident in creating nutritious and vitamin rich vegan meals.
Just because you no longer eat meat doesn’t mean that you have to resort to taking a bunch of vitamins. Most if not all of our foods contains vitamins, we just have to know where to look for them.
And lists like this one make it that much easier to find iron rich vegetarian foods to fill your diet with plenty of nutrients.
Do you eat any of these iron rich foods on a daily basis? Which one is your favorite and how do you like to eat it?