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21 iron rich vegetarian foods.
21 Vegetarian Foods That Are Loaded With Iron
Iron is an essential mineral responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients through red blood cells in the human body. Vegetarians are often found to have low iron in their bodies than non-vegetarians. This is because heme iron which is found in meat is easier to absorb as compared to the non-heme iron found in the vegetarian diet.
However, there are plenty of iron rich vegetarian foods that you can add to your diet:
- Green leafy vegetables: It is commonly known that green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are extremely good sources of iron rich vegetarian foods. 100 grams of spinach contains 1.1 times more iron than red meat and 3 times more iron than an egg.
- Lentils: Lentils are also a commonly available source of iron as well as protein. A cup of cooked lentil is considered to have about 6.5 mg of iron.
- Tofu: Made by coagulating the milk from soybeans, tofu is one of the best iron rich vegetarian foods, containing a high source of protein and calcium too. Half a cup of tofu contains about 6.5 mg of iron.
- Fortified cereals: Breakfast cereals, especially when they are fortified externally, contain iron in a good amount.
- Non-leafy vegetables: Foods such as broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts are also rich sources of iron and contain about 1-1.8 mg iron per cup.
- Corn flakes: Corn flakes contain up to 8.1 mg iron per cup, along with folate and protein, which help in improving satiety as well as the formation of new cells.
- Whole wheat flour: Iron content in whole wheat flour, a staple source of iron in vegetarians, is about 4.7 mg per cup.
- Wheat bran: One of three outer layers of the wheat kernel, wheat bran is often stripped and wasted during milling. However, it contains about 6.1 mg per cup of iron along with various minerals and fiber.
- Oats: Oats are a healthy and tasty source of iron rich vegetarian foods that can provide up to 3.4 mg of iron per cup of cooked oats.
- Quinoa: A gluten-free cereal, quinoa is an iron-rich ingredient that also contains antioxidants and can help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Amaranth: With up to 3.8 mg of iron per quarter cup, amaranth is also rich in Vitamin B6, Manganese and Magnesium and a must-add to the vegetarian diet.
- Soybeans: Soybean is considered to be one of the best sources of iron rich vegetarian foods with about 8.8 mg per cup of iron.
- Dried apricots: One of the top sources of iron in raw food, dried apricots contain about 3.6 mg of iron per cup.
- Beetroot: Beetroot is a commonly available source of iron and fiber that keeps the brain and heart-healthy.
- Almonds: Along with iron, almonds also contain Vitamin E and antioxidants which help improve heart health.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms have a high iron content of about 2.7 mg per cup, depending on the type of mushrooms.
- Dates: With up to 1.8 mg per cup of iron, dates help in preventing anemia and also improve blood pressure and circulation.
- Dark chocolate: This is a good option for people looking for iron rich vegetarian foods. If consumed in moderation, it can keep anemia and iron deficiency at bay.
- Sunflower and sesame seeds: These are packed with iron along with phosphorus and calcium.
- Peanuts: Peanuts help in improving hemoglobin levels.
- Cumin seeds: This spice is rich in iron and also helps improve digestion.