11 Iron-Rich Foods for Vegetarians (Updated List for 2020)

iron-rich foods for vegetarians

Last updated on September 26th, 2023 at 01:25 pm

This article idea has come after uploading a recent guest post on boost energy.

I thought my blog will have an article on iron-riched foods for vegetarians or non-vegetarians for sure.

But I was shocked when I came across that I did not write up on this vital topic.

Never mind!

Here I am with the list of iron-rich foods for vegetarians.

Which are easily available daily.

Why Iron is Essential for Our Body?

One point I have already mentioned is boost energy.

Check out this article for how iron-rich foods help for boosting energy.

Iron is an essential nutrient that has a vital role in body function.

But most importantly this nutrient transport oxygen throughout our body.

So it’s prominent that lack of iron will lead to low energy, muscle pain, anemia, dizziness, breathing problem, headache, etc.

18 mg per day is recommended but it completely depends on individuals to individuals.

It is depending on age, gender, health requirements, and stages of life.

For growing girls or menstruating women, this varies 27-35 mg per day, and for lactic mothers, it’s 21 mg per day.

For post menstruating women 8 mg is enough.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency :

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Hair loss
  • Depression
  • Muscle pain
  • Anxiety
  • Irritation
  • Brittle nails
  • Breathing Problem
  • Colds hand and feet
  • Dizziness
  • Soreness of your tongue
  • Poor appetite (especially for infant or children)

Two forms of iron can be found in foods.

Heme: This is only found in animal foods.


Non-heme: This form of iron is a planned base.

Non-heme-based iron is less easily absorbed by our bodies.

That’s why non-vegetarian always concern about their iron intake.

But there is always another way to absorb non-heme iron.

You need to include vita c based foods in your diet.

Vitamin c helps to absorb non-heme.

For this reason, vegetarians and vegans should take more than 1.8 times iron riched food than non-vegetarian daily.

Let’s start with the list of high iron-rich foods for vegetarians or vegans.

1. Soybean :

Soybeans and foods from soybeans like tofu, natto, tempeh are very high in iron.

If you take one cup of soybeans then it is 8.8 mg of iron which is 49% of your RDI (Recommended Daily Intake).

But if you consider the same quantity of natto which is a fermented soya beans product, that has 15 mg of iron and which is 83% of RDI.

For tofu and

Along with iron soya products are very rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

2. Lentils :

This is another great source of iron.

6.6 mg iron which is 37% of RDI per cooked cup of lentils has.

It has a significant protein portion this is 50% of RDI.

Besides, a good amount of complex carbs, fiber, and magnesium is present.

3. Peas & Beans :

Other beans like white beans, kidney beans, lima, etc they too have a decent source of iron.

It is like 4.4mg-6.6mg iron which is 24-37% of RDI.

Black-eyed peas and chickpeas also have a high iron portion.

For one cup cooked peas have around 4.6-5.2 mg of iron which is 26-29% of RDI.

They are good sources of complex carbs, potassium, manganese,  fiber, phosphorus, and other benefits of plant compounds.

Beans and peas are very good for overall health.

Your heart will be healthy and taking peas and beans leads to low blood pressure.

The combination of these two is very famous in the weight loss industry.

4. Seeds and Nuts :

Seeds are a very good iron-rich planted source.

Pumpkin, flaxseeds, sesame, hemp are high in iron.

1.2-4.2 mg iron is there only per two tablespoons which is 7-23% of the RDI.

The seeds are tiny but loaded with protein, magnesium, zinc, selenium, antioxidants, fiber, calcium, and many more.

Nuts and butter from nuts are useful sources of non-heme iron.

Nuts like almonds, cashews have 1-1.6 mg of iron per ounce which is 6-9% of the RDI.

Like seeds, nuts are also very good sources of other nutrients.

But remember not to roast nuts.

Roasting them will damage their nutrient.

5. Green Leafy Vegetables :

Green leafy vegetables are the best source of iron.

Vegetables like, spinach, fenugreek, collard, lettuce, kale all provide 2.5-6.4 mg of iron which is 14-36% of the RDI.

100 grams of spinach has 1.1 times per extra iron of the same amount of red meat and fish.

They are very rich in potassium and sodium which is very important for our overall body.

You can add more iron riched veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

Always recommended to have them cooked.

Try to have them with tomatoes.

It will improve the absorption of non-heme iron in green leafy.

6. Potatoes :

iron-rich foods for vegetarians

Yes, potatoes have a very decent amount of iron mostly in their skins.

One large unpeeled potato (300gm) has 3.2 mg of iron which is 18% of the RDI.

Potatoes are also a good source of fiber too.

Besides, one potato can cover your daily vitamin C, B6, and potassium requirements.

7. Mushrooms :

Not all mushrooms are rich in iron.

But yes this is among prominent iron-rich foods for vegetarians.

White button mushrooms are very high in iron.

one cup of cooked mushrooms contains 2.7 mg of iron which is 15% of the RDI.

Other varieties of mushrooms are in iron are Morels, Oyster, and Shiitake.

8. Olives :

We take it as a vegetable but olives are more into fruits.

They have a good amount of iron.

Every 100 gm of olives has 3.3 gram of iron which is 18% of the RDI.

They are high in fiber, vitamin A and E.

Olives have other health benefits like having olives can reduce the chances of heart diseases.

9. Mulberries :

These sweet and sour fruits have very significant nutritional value.

It has an impressive amount of vitamin c.

1 cup of mulberries has 2.6 mg of iron which is 14% of the RDI.

But this quantity of mulberries has 85% of the RDI for vitamin C.

It has a high level of antioxidant properties, protects from cancer, heart disease, diabetes.

10. Whole Grains :

Whole grains like oats- 3.4 mg of iron which is 19% of the RDI.

quinoa- One cup has 2.8 mg of iron which is 16% of the RDI.

amaranth- one cup cooked has 5.2 mg of iron which is 29% of the RDI.

They have a good amount of od fiber which is very good as digestive foods.

They are good sources of complex carbs, fiber, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, vitamin B, protein.

11. Other :

Other sources are

  • Coconut Milk
  • Dark chocolate
  • Dried thyme
  • Prune Juice
  • Palm Hearts
  • Tomato Paste

Conclusion :

I have shared iron-rich foods for vegetarians in this article.

Add these iron-rich foods to your diet for your daily dose of health.

Please share it with your beloved ones who might find it helpful.

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Iron-rich foods FIC: Pixabay

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About the Author: Moumita Jana

Moumita is the Editor-in-Chief here at BlissLife. She is also the H.R. Head at Amazing Electronics. She loves to Cook and Travel the World in her leisure time.


  1. Thank u for sharing… I am anemic.. this will helps me a lot ? I always search for iron rich foods in my diet .. like the content

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