Vegan Foods Rich in Iron

Incorporating vegan foods rich in iron is important if you’re following a plant-based diet. Foods such as legumes, dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, fortified cereals, tofu, and tempeh are delicious and iron-rich options for vegans.

Iron is an essential mineral crucial for hemoglobin production and various bodily functions. To boost your iron consumption while sticking to a plant-based diet, try incorporating these iron-rich vegan foods into your meals:

1. Lentils

A pile of dried red lentils on a white plate.
Lentils

Lentils are a nutrient-rich option if you’re looking for plant-based sources. They’re packed with iron, protein and various nutrients. Try adding them to soups, salads, or main dishes. They’re a delicious way to get an iron boost while sticking to a plant-based diet.

Lentils Iron Content

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, cooked lentils typically contain 3.33 mg of iron per 100g.

2. Tofu

Tofu is a nutrient-dense choice if you’re looking for more vegan foods rich in iron. Not only is tofu a great source of plant-based protein, it also contains plenty of iron. Whether grilled, stir-fried, or blended into smoothies, tofu is a delicious way to increase your iron intake without relying on animal products.

Tofu Iron Content

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, firm tofu typically contains 1.61 mg of iron per 100g.

3. Fortified Cereals

Fortified cereals are one of the most convenient vegan foods rich in iron. Cereals are often fortified with essential nutrients, including iron. Enjoying a bowl of fortified cereal can be a simple way to incorporate iron into a plant-based diet. When choosing fortified cereals, consider opting for varieties with whole grains and minimal added sugars to maximize the nutritional benefits.

Fortified Cereals Iron Content

Fortified cereals typically contain between 12 and 24 mg of iron per 100g. However, specific amounts can vary among different brands and types of cereals.

4. Spinach

Spinach is another good option for those seeking vegan foods rich in iron. Spinach can be easily incorporated into various dishes, from salads to smoothies. It’s a great addition to a well-balanced plant-based diet.

Spinach Iron Content

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, raw spinach typically contains 2.71 mg of iron per 100g.

5. Quinoa

Quinoa, another vegan food rich in iron, is a nutrient-rich addition to a plant-based diet. Beyond its iron content, quinoa provides a complete protein source. Whether served as a side dish, in salads, or as a base for bowls, quinoa adds texture and nutrient density to a plant-based diet.

Quinoa Iron Content

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, cooked quinoa typically contains 1.49 mg of iron per 100g.

6. Pumpkin seeds

Many pumpkin seeds on a white plate.
Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are another good option for people seeking vegan foods rich in iron. These seeds, also known as pepitas, not only pack an iron punch but also contain essential minerals and nutritious fats. Try snacking on them by themselves or sprinkling some on salads, soups, or even pasta dishes for a little crunch.

Pumpkin Seeds Iron Content

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, raw pumpkin seeds typically contain 8.36 mg of iron per 100g.

7. Chickpeas

Chickpeas, packed with protein and iron, add flavor and nutrition to plant-based diets. Try adding them to savory curries roasting them for a crunchy snack. They’re a great way to boost your intake of iron as well as fiber and other nutrients while sticking to a vegan diet.

Chickpeas Iron Content

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, cooked chickpeas typically contain 2.89 mg of iron per 100g.

8. Black beans

Black beans are another nutrient-dense, vegan food high in iron. These legumes not only offer a good dose of iron, but also provide protein and fiber. Whether used in soups, salads, or as a filling for burritos, incorporating black beans into your meals adds flavor and essential nutrients to a vegan diet.

Black Beans Iron Content

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, cooked black beans typically contain 2.1 mg of iron per 100g.

9. Tempeh

Tempeh is another good option for anyone looking for vegan foods rich in iron. As a fermented soy product, tempeh not only provides an iron boost but also serves as a great source of protein and probiotics. Try marinating it then grilling it, or crumbling it into salads or stir fries.

Tempeh Iron Content

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, cooked tempeh typically contains 2.13 mg of iron per 100g.

10. Cashews

Roasted cashews on a white plate.
Cashews

Cashews are a great source of iron and provide other essential minerals too. Snacking on cashews or incorporating them into dishes adds a satisfying crunch and a nice nutrient boost to plant-based meals.

Cashews Iron Content

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, raw cashews typically contain 5.99 mg of iron per 100g.

11. Dried Apricots

Dried apricots are a delicious way to boost your iron intake. These nutrient-dense fruits are a convenient and satisfying snack. Including dried apricots as a regular part of your snacks or meals adds sweetness and an iron boost.

Dried Apricots Iron Content

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, dried apricots typically contain 2.66 mg of iron per 100g.

12. Edamame

Edamame, young soybeans, are a nutritious vegan food rich in iron. They add texture, flavor, and nutritional value to plant-based dishes. Try incorporating edamame into salads, stir fries, or just enjoy them on their own for a tasty and filling plant-based snack.

Edamame Iron Content

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, edamame typically contains 2.27 mg of iron per 100g.

13. Raisins

Raisins are a convenient option for anyone looking for vegan foods rich in iron. Snacking on raisins or incorporating them into meals adds a satisfying sweetness and a plant-based iron boost.

Raisins Iron Content

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, raisins typically contain 2.59 mg of iron per 100g.

14. Kale

Packed with iron, along with other essential vitamins and minerals, kale is perfect for adding to salads, smoothies, and pasta dishes. Incorporating kale into your meals adds flavor, vibrant color, and a nice iron boost.

Kale Iron Content

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, cooked kale typically contains 0.84 mg of iron per 100g.

Vegan Iron-Rich Recipes to Try

1. Vegan Meatloaf

Meatless meatloaf on a plate with two thick slices cut.
Vegan Meatloaf With Iron-Rich Chickpeas

This hearty, flavorful, vegan meatloaf is made with iron-rich chickpeas. Vegan Meatloaf Recipe

2. Vegan Asparagus Frittata

A slice of vegan frittata on a white plate.
Iron-Rich Vegan Frittata

This tasty, iron-rich frittata is made with tofu. Vegan Asparagus Frittata Recipe

3. Kale Pasta Sauce

Noodles smothered in a green kale pasta sauce.
Pasta With Iron-Rich Kale Sauce

This delicious pasta sauce is made with iron-rich kale. Kale Pasta Sauce Recipe

4. Vegan Black Bean Dip

Vegan black bean dip in a glass bowl next to some tortilla chips.
Vegan Iron-Rich Black Bean Dip

This mouthwatering black bean dip is loaded with iron. Vegan Black Bean Dip Recipe

You Might Also Like

  • This list of vegan sources of lysine is helpful if you’d like to boost your intake of this amino acid while sticking to a plant-based diet.