Vegan Option

Vegan foods that are high in iron

  1. Legumes: Legumes are rich sources of non-heme iron. This category includes:
    • Lentils
    • Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
    • Black beans
    • Kidney beans
    • Pinto beans
    • Soybeans (including tofu and tempeh)
  2. Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens are excellent sources of non-heme iron:
    • Spinach
    • Kale
    • Swiss chard
    • Collard greens
    • Beet greens
  3. Nuts and Seeds: Many nuts and seeds are packed with iron:
    • Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Sesame seeds
    • Hemp seeds
    • Cashews
    • Pine nuts
    • Almonds
  4. Whole Grains: Certain whole grains are iron-rich:
    • Quinoa
    • Oats
    • Brown rice
    • Whole wheat bread and pasta
  5. Fortified Foods: Some plant-based foods are fortified with iron for added nutrition:
    • Iron-fortified cereals and oatmeal
    • Iron-fortified plant-based milk (e.g., almond milk, soy milk)
    • Iron-fortified nutritional yeast
  6. Dried Fruits: Dried fruits are convenient sources of iron:
    • Raisins
    • Apricots
    • Prunes
    • Figs
  7. Beans and Peas: Besides legumes, other beans and peas are rich in iron:
    • Black-eyed peas
    • Green peas
  8. Tahini: Tahini is a sesame seed paste often used in hummus and dressings.
  9. Potatoes: Potatoes, especially when consumed with the skin, provide a small amount of iron.
  10. Molasses: Blackstrap molasses is a concentrated source of iron.

Remember that non-heme iron, which is found in plant-based foods, is not as readily absorbed by the body as heme iron from animal sources. To enhance absorption, pair iron-rich vegan foods with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, strawberries, or bell peppers. Additionally, avoid consuming iron-rich foods with substances that inhibit iron absorption, such as tea and coffee, during the same meal. Balancing your diet with these iron-rich vegan foods and mindful meal planning can help ensure you meet your iron needs on a vegan diet.