For many vegetarians, one of the biggest dietary concerns is getting enough iron. We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to worry about it any more, courtesy these fourteen foods that can boost your iron intake!
For most adults, The National Institute of Health recommends between 8 and 27 mg daily consumption of iron. For most adult men, the low end of that range is enough, and so sufficient iron isn’t difficult to find in nearly any diet. For women, however, especially if pregnant, breastfeeding, or older, significantly more iron is needed.
Most Americans get their iron from meat, which is why many vegetarians worry about getting enough iron. By adding more of these fourteen foods to their diet, however, there will be no need to worry any more.
- Baked Potato: Did you know a single baked potato can contain more iron than a piece of chicken? And if you eat your potato with broccoli, that’s a double dose of iron!
- Bok Choy: In addition to being a good source of iron, bok choy is also loaded with vitamin A.
- Broccoli: In addition to being a great source of iron, broccoli is also loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, and magnesium. Vitamin C is especially important, as it boosts our body’s ability to absorb iron in our diets.
- Cashews: In addition to iron, cashews are also a great source of proteins and healthy fats.
- Chickpeas: With nearly 5 mg of iron per cup, chickpeas make an easy addition to nearly any dish, or can be roasted for a snack. They’re also the main ingredient in hummus.
- Dark Chocolate: Many dark chocolates contain as much iron per ounce as some slices of beef, and dark chocolate has been proven to have beneficial mood-altering properties as well as many antioxidants, meaning it’s a treat you can feel good about (in moderation).
- Kale: While kale doesn’t pack the same iron as spinach, it’s still a potent leafy green, and the extra fiber of kale is additionally important for helping you feel full longer and aiding digestive health.
- Kidney Beans: A single cup of kidney beans contains up to 4 mg of iron, which is one of many reasons it stars in vegetarian chili and other meat-free options.
- Lentils: A single cup of lentils can add as much iron as 8 oz of steak, which makes them a great addition to soups and salads. Additionally, their proteins, fibers, and potassium will help you feel full longer and aid digestive health.
- Sesame Seeds: A single tablespoon of sesame seeds holds more than 1 mg of iron, making it an easy addition to any salad.
- Spinach: The dark leafy green is loaded with iron, as 3 cups of spinach contain 18 mg of iron – or more than most 8 oz steaks. As a result, a spinach salad daily is enough iron in most people’s diets.
- Soybeans: In addition to being rich in iron, soybeans are also one of the most protein-loaded vegetables, meaning they can pack double the punch as a meat replacement. A single cup of soybeans can pack 8-9 mg of iron – as much as most men need in a day.
- Swiss Chard: A single cup of chard packs 4 mg of iron – more than some hamburgers – and is also loaded with other vitamins and nutrients.
- Tofu: Courtesy it’s soy base, a single cup of tofu packs 6 mg iron – which is one of the many reasons it’s such a popular meat replacement.