What Vegetarian Foods are High in Iron?

Iron is an essential nutrient for the human body, as it plays a crucial role in transporting oxygen to cells and tissues. Despite the fact that iron from animal sources (heme iron) is easier to absorb, many vegetarian foods are rich in non-heme iron.To enhance iron absorption from non-heme sources, you can consume them with vitamin C-rich foods. Here are some vegetarian foods that are high in iron:

What is iron?

disclaimer:- “As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” 

Iron is an essential mineral found in plant-based foods as well as animal-based products which our body requires for proper growth, maintenance, and repair of the body.

Why do we need Iron?

In red blood cells, iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen from your lungs to your body. When there is not enough iron in the body, there aren’t enough red blood cells to carry oxygen, which results in fatigue.

Lack of Iron can cause Anemia. In anemia, red blood cells do not carry adequate oxygen to the tissues of the body. You may feel tired and weak if you have anemia, which is also known as low haemoglobin. The most common cause of anemia is a lack of iron in the body.

Iron is needed for:-

  • Blood production.
  • Growth, maintenance, and repair of the body.
  • Healthy skin and hair.
  • Oxygen transport.
  • Iron is also important for energy production.
  • It can help to keep muscles and nerves healthy.

It is estimated that more than half of the iron in the body is used in the production of hemoglobin. When the red blood cells die, the iron is reused to make red blood cells.

Likewise, your body recycles 90% of your iron for most of your life.

The next question that can come to your mind might be how much iron we need per day. The answer is just 1 mg/day.

Despite eating iron-rich foods, why do people remain deficient if we only need that little? The main reason behind this is the lack of proper absorption of iron in the body.

What are the reasons for poor absorption of iron?

  • Poor gut health. :-Constipation, Inflammation in the intestines, poor gut bacteria makeup, the toxin in the gut, damage to microvilli, and poor nutrition. For example, if you are constipated, you absorb less iron. The body absorbs iron from food depending on the need so to improve iron absorption.
  • Lack of exercise:-Lack of physical activity causes poor iron absorption. Exercise will improve oxygen levels in the body.
  • Certain drinks such as tea, and caffeine:-

Caffeine affects iron absorption. So, it is always a better idea to limit these drinks and add some healthy options such as lemon juice or smoothies to our diet.

Nowadays, Iron deficiency is a very common problem. It affects around one in every eight people in the United States. Women are more likely to have iron deficiency than men. Iron deficiency can cause several problems, including anemia, fatigue, and poor performance at work or school. There are many things you can do to prevent iron deficiency.

Iron-rich veggie food can help you to ensure you are getting the right amount of iron. This is especially helpful for pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding.

Many vegetarian foods are high in iron. To get the most out of your iron intake, include foods that are high in iron in your regular diet, and take a supplement if you find that you are not getting the recommended amount.

If you are having difficulty obtaining enough iron, there are a few things you can do to help. First, make sure you are getting enough dietary iron. Second, make sure you are getting enough exercise. Third, make sure you are taking an iron supplement. Fourth, make sure you are getting a blood transfusion if you are having a rare blood disorder that causes an iron deficiency. Finally, make sure you are getting a check-up for iron deficiency.


Iron-rich Foods

  1. Dried Fruits such as dried apricots

disclaimer:-“As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” 


100 grams of prunes contain 0.93 mg as well as 100 grams of raisins and apricots contain 2.6 mg and 6.3 mg respectively.

 2. Iron Fortified breakfast such as cereals, pasta, and bread.100 grams of Fortified cereals contain 8-28 mg of iron 


3. Legumes such as red kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas. (One cup (198 grams) of cooked legumes contains 6.6 mg.)


4. Pumpkin seeds (28-gram) serving of pumpkin seeds contains 2.5 mg of iron).

Pumpkin Seeds

5. Quinoa(1 cup of cooked quinoa provides 2.8 mg of iron).


 6. Dark green vegetables such as spinach .About 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw spinach contain 2.7 mg of iron.

Green Leafy Vegetables in a pot

 7. Dark chocolate. (A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving contains 3.4 mg of iron).

Dark Chocolate

 8. Lentils (A full cup of cooked lentils provides 6.6. mg of iron.) Among all, Green lentils are high in iron.


9. Tofu (A half cup of tofu provides 3.4 mg of iron). In addition to this, a tofu is also a good source of antioxidants.



When do we need to take supplements?

A lack of iron can lead to anemia, which can cause fatigue, difficulty breathing, and a decreased ability to fight infection.

It is important to take iron supplements if you are not getting enough from your diet.


Iron is an essential mineral found in plant-based foods as well as animal-based products. The iron-rich plant-based foods are dried fruits, fortified cereals, quinoa, and dark green vegetables such as spinach, dark chocolate, lentils, tofu, pumpkin seeds, and legumes.

A lack of iron can lead to anemia, which can cause fatigue, difficulty breathing, and a decreased ability to fight infection.

You should take supplements prescribed by your doctor if you don’t get enough iron from your diet.

I hope you liked this article. I appreciate it if you could leave me a comment.


Can we get enough iron from a vegetarian diet alone?

YES. If you increase the intake of Iron rich foods mentioned in the article above and if there is proper iron absorption, you will not be iron deficient.

Does Vegetarians need more iron than Non-Vegetarians

Yes. because vegetarians usually absorb only 7-10% of the iron they eat, the recommended is 8 times more at 8mg/day.

Iron-rich Food

Leave a Comment