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20 Vegetarian Foods That Contain Iron
20 Vegetarian Foods That Contain Iron
foods that contain iron:
Iron is one of the most important minerals found in the body and today let’s see the list of foods that contain iron. Though there is less than 5 grams which is as much as a tea spoon of iron present in the whole body, the role it plays is very important. Most of it is found in haemoglobin in the form of heme which is found only in animals and not in plants, so moving on to foods that contain iron (1).
Dietary sources of iron
Dietary iron occurs in two forms in foods, heme and non-heme iron (2). The primary sources of heme iron are haemoglobin and myoglobin from animal sources such as of meat, poultry, and fish among other foods that contain iron. Heme is part of haemoglobin in red blood cells and in muscles it is part of myoglobin.
Animal foods contain both heme and non-heme iron and are also foods that contain iron (1).
Here are 20 vegetarian foods that contain iron
On an average, different types of beans like kidney beans, red beans, mung beans etc have 6.7 mg to 9.35 mg of iron per 100 grams of beans is on the top of the list of foods that contain iron (3). Since they are eaten in substantial amount as they are the primary source of protein for vegetarians, they can be considered as a good source of iron.
Not only are soybeans one of the best sources of foods that contain iron and complete protein for vegetarians they also provide good amount of iron. Soybeans contain 15.7 mg of iron in 100 grams (3), which makes them one of the best sources of iron at least for vegetarians.
Lentils are another source of foods that contain iron and protein which is very important for vegans and vegetarians. Lentils provide about 7.39 mg of iron per 100 grams (3). Since they are eaten in a reasonably good amount, they can be counted as a good source of iron.
- Peas and pigeon peas
Green dried split peas contain 4.73 mg and pigeon peas (red gram) contain 5.23 mg iron per 100 grams (3). They are good sources of foods that contain foods that contain iron and protein and iron for vegetarians
Nuts in general are fair sources of iron, 100 grams of nuts provide about 4.2 mg of iron. They are also good source of protein and healthy fat. Cashew nuts contain 6.6 mg of iron in 100 grams and are good foods that contain iron (3).
Though mushrooms are considered to be vegetarian foods not many vegetarians like their texture. But for those who eat mushrooms they are a good source of foods that contain iron, providing 12.18 mg of iron per 100 grams of mushrooms (3).
- Amaranth grain
Amaranth grain is clubbed under pseudo-cereal group. They are used both as grain and flour. They contain about 7.6 mg of iron per 100 grams of grain and are good foods that contain iron. (3).
Quinoa also is a pseudo cereal which is one of the few sources of complete protein for vegetarians and it is gluten free. It also is a good source of foods that contain iron, 4.57 mg in 100 grams of quinoa (3).
- Ground turmeric
Turmeric contains curcumin which has several health benefits when consumed. It also provides 55 mg of iron per 100 grams (3). Therefore, make sure you use it regularly in cooking as well as while making beverages such as turmeric latte being good foods that contain iron.
- Ground ginger
Ginger is used in several recipes and also to make pickles and chutneys. Ginger provides about 19.8 mg of iron per 100 grams (3). Keep fresh ginger at home and use it regularly since they are the major foods that contain iron.
- Dried peaches
Peaches which are dried contain about 3.6 mg iron per 100 grams (3). Along with micronutrients fruits are good sources of antioxidants which have several health benefits.
They are dried plums and these contain about 3.5 mg of iron per 100 grams (3). For a plant source 3.5 mg per 100 grams can be considered a very good source of foods that contain iron.
Peanuts are used in several recipes such as bars, chutneys, powders and so on. 100 grams of peanuts contain 4.58 mg of iron are foods that contain iron (3). Keep your kitchen stocked with peanuts as they can be used in innumerable recipes and are also a good source of protein and energy.
These are very commonly found in almost all kitchens. Raisins contain 2.6 mg of iron per 100 grams and are foods that contain iron (3). They can be easily incorporated into desserts, added to breakfast muesli and even recipes which are savoury in nature. They can be eaten as such too.
Oats are grouped under cereals and are known to be good dietary fiber source and are foods that contain iron. They also provide about 4.72 mg of iron per 100 grams (3) and since they are eaten in reasonable amounts per serving can be considered as a fair source of iron
There are many types of berries available, from goji berries which contain 6.8 mg iron per 100 grams to mulberries which contain 1.85 mg per 100 grams. Raspberries and blackberries contain about 0.6 mg iron per 100 grams (3). Berries are good sources of foods that contain iron and antioxidants too.
The pulp of tamarind is used in many cuisines including Indian being foods that contain iron. Tamarind contains about 2.8 mg iron per 100 grams (3). It adds sourness to the food preparation it is added to.
- Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are fair sources of iron. For example, 100 grams of spinach contains 2.7 mg of iron (3). Green leafy vegetables are good sources of foods that contain iron, other micronutrients and dietary fiber too.
- Cumin seeds
Cumin seeds are loaded with iron, 66.36 mg iron per 100 grams (3). But since cumin is used as a spice it is used in small quantities. Make sure you have cumin seeds and also roasted, ground cumin powder in your kitchen. Use it regularly in food preparation so that you get at least some amount of iron and of course all the other phytochemicals it provides, being good foods that contain iron.
Pepper to coriander seeds, cardamom to mace contain anywhere between 13 mg to 16 mg of iron per 100 grams (3). And they are good sources of phytochemicals which exhibit several health benefits. Keep your spice rack always filled and use them regularly.
Most dietary non-heme iron is from plant sources like cereals, pulses, legumes, fruits, and vegetables are foods that contain iron. Non-heme iron is the primary source of iron for humans (1, 4).
- Wildman, R. (2009) The Nutritionist-Food, Nutrition, and Optimal Health, Second Edition; The Minerals of Our Body 233; Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, New York and London.
- Abbaspour, N., Hurrell, R. and Kelishadi, R. (2014) Review on iron and its importance for human health, Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences.19 (2).
- United States Department of Agriculture, USDA Food Composition Databases.
- Yeung, D. and Laquarta, I. (2003) Copper.132. Heinz Handbook of Nutrition, Ninth Edition. Distributed by H.J. HeinzCompany.