Are the Diets for Vegetarians Low in Iron?

Are diets for vegetarians really low in iron? The answer is a big NO!!! Why? There are more than 20 reasons to tell. Yes, below is a list of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and other organic foods that have high amount of iron.

 Iron Rich Formula

But before we go into specific iron-rich foods for vegetarians, it is important to know why iron is essential. Basically, this is one of the nutrients that the body must daily absorb. Its primary function is to provide oxygen by transporting it to all body parts. It is necessary to take iron regularly because deficiency of iron can cause health problems, which include anemia and chronic deficiency (possibly organ failure). Too much iron can also give issues. That’s why it is recommended to take only 18mg of iron a day.


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Some people think the only main source of iron is meat products. Little do they know that there are also other much healthier and vegetarian-friendly foods that contain iron.


1. Spinach


Spinach is a great source of iron. One cup of spinach contains 6.4mg of iron. Although this can be eaten raw, cooking it supplies  more amount of iron, along with other vitamins and minerals.

2. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

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Other than fiber and folic acid, this green leafy veggie has iron. It can supply 1.8mg of iron for one cup. It is also low in calories, so it’s a good food to add to your meal.

3. Broccoli


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Considered as superfood, broccoli is one excellent source of iron. It is also among the vegetables that contain a large amount of vitamin C, which helps absorbs iron. Probably, you remember disliking this veggie when you were younger, but now that you know how important vegetables are, there’s no second thought eating this.

4. Kale


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This leafy vegetable does not only contain 1.1mg of iron for one cup, but also it is low in calories. Yes, it only has 1.3 calories! Whether raw or cooked, it is among the foods that you should not miss in your diet.

5. Arugula

Arugula Salad

Another iron-rich green veggie is arugula. It also has low calories, which makes this food an excellent addition to the diet of people who want to maintain their average weight. Moreover, it helps improve red blood cells.

6. Collard Greens

Collard Greens

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A single cup of collard greens provides 2.2mg of iron. Aside from low calorie count, it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium.

7. Potatoes


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With potatoes, you can do a lot of cooking methods – baking, frying, steaming. It is one of the foods that are easy to prepare, whether for mains, entrée or a side dish. Though it has high calorie count, a whole piece of this vegetable can supply 3.2mg of iron.


1. Raisins


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Sprinkled in or mixed in other fruits, raisins are a good treat. For vegetarians, they can also find relief in these tiny bites. That’s because it contains 1.6mg of iron per 1/2 cup. However, it can provide around 250 calories, so moderate consumption is recommended.

2. Dried Peaches

Dried Peaches

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If you love peaches, opt for dried ones more often. A 1/4 cup of dried peaches can give you 1.6mg of iron with 96 calories. This makes a delicious snack at anytime of the day.

3. Dried Apricots

Dried Apricots

Another dried fruit you must eat on a regular basis to absorb iron is apricot. A handful of this food supplies your body 1 to 2mg of iron, which can be 35% of the recommended daily consumption of iron.

4. Sun Dried Tomatoes

Sun Dried Tomatoes

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Whether eaten as it is or topped on dishes, dried tomatoes can also provide you enough iron. It can give 4.9mg of iron per cup, not to mention the presence of other vitamins and antioxidants, such as lycopene.

5. Strawberries


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This succulent, juicy fruit is also packed in iron. You can have some for breakfast, dessert after lunch, or juice drink.

Beans, Nuts, Seeds, Legumes

1. Lentils


Can you believe that 1 cup of these tiny bits can give you 6.6mg of iron?! Yes, that’s a fact! But the downside is probably the calorie count (230), so make it moderate.

2. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

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An ounce of pumpkin seeds contains around 1mg of iron. You can also add these seeds to your fruit salad or smoothie.

3. Soybeans


If you need more iron, soybeans is your best option. This is packed up to 8.8mg of iron per cup. It also contains fiber, protein, and unsaturated fat.

4. Black Beans

Black Beans

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This particular type of beans is composed of protein, fiber, and, of course, iron. You can get 3.6mg of iron in one cup.

5. Black-Eyed Peas

Black-Eyed Peas


Another kind of peas that is rich in iron is black-eyed peas. This can supply 4.3mg of iron (1 cup).

6. Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans

With this bean, you can get about 20% of the recommended daily amount of iron. A cup of this contains 3.6mg of iron.

7. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds

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Sunflower seeds are not that much common, but truthfully, this has a high amount of iron. It contains 7.4mg of iron! Other than that, it is composed of other essential nutrients, including vitamin E.

8. Peas


Unlike sunflower seeds, this is a common type, but has lower milligrams of iron. It only consists of 1.2mg, but can still be very beneficial to add to some vegetarian dishes.

9. Lima Beans

Lima Beans

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For 4.5mg of iron, a cup of lima beans is enough. You may add to some dishes, or blend with other spices and herbs.

Whole Grains

1. Oatmeal


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For breakfast, shake, or even vegetarian dessert, this type of grain is a good ingredient. You won’t have to worry about the amount of iron either. A half cup of it contains 1.7mg of iron.

2. Brown Rice


For Asians, rice is a very convenient food. If you are into rice meals, choose the brown ones. There are more amounts of iron that you can get.

3. Whole Wheat Pasta

Whole Wheat Pasta

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Spaghetti, ravioli, macaroni, fettuccine, you name it, pasta is a great food to eat. Not only there are various types of pasta to choose from, you can also cook with a lot of dishes. Just make sure to choose whole wheat or based on vegetable ingredients.

4. Whole Wheat Bread

Wheat Bread

Bread is also a delicious food to eat. You can get iron, as well as protein, fiber, and B vitamins. A slice of whole wheat bread consists of 0.7mg of iron, with only less than 70 calories.


1. Dried Thyme

Dried Thyme

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A lot of people use dried thymes for flavoring. This is adaptable to many vegetarian dishes. But for people low in iron, this can be a good option to add to your every meal.

2. Tofu


The best alternative to meat in consuming protein is tofu. This one also contains iron. A half cup of it can have 3.4 milligrams. You can also make a lot of dishes with tofu. You will never get bored with it.

3. Molasses

Molasses Powder

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Powder molasses is also a good option for obtaining iron. You can add into your milk, juice, or even water. You may also include to your breakfast or lunch meals.

With this long list of iron-rich foods, can you still argue that vegetarians are low in iron?

Please share this important information with your family and friends and encourage them to be vegetarian and be healthy!


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