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Top Foods With Iron That Vegans Eat

Vegans have top foods with iron in their typical diet. Strict vegetarians avoid meat products which are often the ones having abundant amounts. Not having adequate iron within one’s system could lead to a deficiency. This may also result in other health complications. Yet excessive consumption also brings about toxicity or hemochromatosis. Thus vegans need to structure their diet well to have only enough.

Everyone needs iron

Foods having iron and plenty of it are essential for committed vegans too. Fresh and organic produce can only provide non-heme kind of iron. It’s what the body does not absorb right away. Heme iron originates from meat products. Even though the body absorbs it well, it’s not a food source that is open for vegan consumption.
So it is up to vegans to discover which foods are a good source of iron. Also, they need to find out the ways how to consume them right to stay healthy and avoid problems.

iron for vegan

Vegans, Especially Women, Consume Top Foods With Iron

Vegans, in most cases, eat plenty of foods providing iron. Fruits and veggies have non-heme iron and only small traces of it. Women have their menstrual period so they need to cope by taking more of the element. All these are to avoid having an iron deficiency that causes anemia. After all, vegans who aren’t mindful of what and how they eat may experience being anemic.
According to WebMD and Healthline, adult men need about 8 mg only while it’s 18 mg for women daily. Infants, young children, and teens only need more for their growth and development. Pregnant women might need to consume 27 mg daily since they have babies inside of them to take care of.
Besides, anemia might also result from having a vitamin B12 deficiency. Strict vegetarians might not have enough of it because only a few greens have it. So it pays to know what we eat instead of taking random fruits and vegetables only.

When To Eat Food Enriched In Iron

Strict vegetarians may allow themselves to have top foods with iron daily. People, in general, can do the same. Folks who refrained from making them a part of their diet ought to incorporate them as soon as possible. Iron is a mineral that is essential for the body to work. There wouldn’t be issues as long as immoderation or overeating wouldn’t occur.
anemia health problem
Even so, there are times when folks need to increase their intake. This is usually when symptoms of iron deficiency surface.

Why Doctors Insist On A Diet With Foods Having Iron

Physicians often tell their patients which foods are a good source of iron when there is anemia. Even to those who might seem to have it, experts recommend a diet modification. Here are some signs that may show low iron levels.
  • A Complete Blood Count that reveals low hemoglobin levels.
  • Low numbers of immature blood cells mature to be those that transport oxygen. Small reticulocyte count.
  • A peripheral smear that shows small and pale red blood cells.
  • Serum iron is low in our bodies.
  • Transferrin levels are high but have no iron.

Plants That Are Top Foods With Iron

Vegans might have limitations on their plant food intake. But it’s still possible for them to get as many nutrients as their bodies demand. They only need to discover which foods are a good source of iron. That is while taking into consideration other nutrient requirements.
top foods with iron
Here are some examples of foods that give you iron among other things. More often than not, they supply the said element or mineral while giving other benefits.

Soy Products

These items are derivatives of the legumes called soybeans. Examples of these are soy milk, soy sauce, tempeh, tofu, and natto. They have plenty of iron. To be specific, for instance, a cup of soybeans provides about 6 to 8.8 mg of iron. A comparable amount of natto can likewise grant 15 mg of the element. So it can be quite dependable when it comes to getting the mineral.
They often have high amounts of macronutrients like fiber and protein too. A cup may supply 13 grams of fiber and 68 grams of protein. So, with it, we already have plenty for our digestion and muscle building. Likewise, it is free of cholesterols and also has low saturated fat. Thus it’s one of the recommended foods having iron.


Of the many food crops, this too is one of the food enriched in iron. There are brown, red, green, black, and yellow lentils. The brown ones often have an earthy taste while the green and red have peppery and sweet flavors. 100 grams of stir-fried, sprouted lentils already yield 3.1 mg of iron. You get 3.3 mg with the boiled version. So a cup that has a little over 200 grams will already give you 6.6 mg of iron.
It is also loaded with potassium which helps with iron absorption. 100 grams of boiled lentils give 369 mg of potassium. That amount also provides 36 mg of magnesium which is good for bone health. Take note that magnesium helps with bone density. Also, the production of red blood cells happens in the bone marrow. Thus it’s one of the foods having iron content that addresses anemia too.

Mixed Nuts

These are also top foods with iron because of their non-heme iron content. They are not only nutritious and edible but also tasty and come in a variety to suit different tastes. There are pecans, pistachios, cashews, Ginko, and macadamia to name a few. A cup or 134 grams of mixed and oil roasted nuts will already grant us 3.5 mg of iron.
Nuts often are high in calories and fat but this can be a good thing for vegans to have energy. 28 grams of mixed nuts can even already supply 5 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of fiber. Plus we can get vitamin E for antioxidants that can prevent iron toxicity. So we get a lot already for our bodies from having nuts as snacks.

Nutritional Yeast

9 grams of this can give you 1 mg of iron. It’s one of the foods having iron and other beneficial elements. It even has vitamin B12 which vegans often experience a deficiency of. Eating it involves sprinkling it over salads, rice, and pasta to add more flavor to dishes. It takes a bit like cheese and so people like it for that reason too. So it’s nutritious, flavorful, and versatile when it comes to eating.
It’s a dietary supplement that packs a lot of things like vitamin B complex. Since it does have the B vitamins, it aids in treating and preventing anemia, DNA, and nerve problems. It’s a great food choice for people with concerns about their iron levels. This supplement already helps improve blood quality and volume.

Green Leafy Vegetables

These food items are top foods with iron and are usually fine for consumption in raw or cooked forms. These greens are often what folks eat in vegan dishes like salads, pasta, and noodles. Sometimes they come in snacks like chips. There are enough of them to go around in community markets and groceries even if they are in season. So these crops make excellent sources of iron.
Examples of these are spinach and kale. Both have protein and iron yet one has more of the two nutrients than the other. Spinach has more iron than kale. Per 100 grams, spinach can give 2.7 mg of iron while kale has 1.5 mg of it only. But two are useful when it comes to being iron sources. Both are rich in carotenoids, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Calcium helps strengthen the bones where the blood comes from. Iron makes hemoglobin which makes blood oxygenated from the lungs. Vitamins A and C promote iron absorption. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting to prevent blood loss and also anemia. Thus green leafy veggies aid plenty in making sure people have enough iron.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

Avoiding food enriched in iron leads to anemia or lacking enough red blood cells. Having too many of those that inhibit its absorption of iron causes problems too. But knowing the reasons why anemia from lacking the mineral is only part of what ought to concern us. We must figure out the symptoms of the disease too. This is so we would know when to act on it and start eating better.
foods providing iron
These are the usual manifestations of the condition.
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Paleness of skin
  • Intense or many episodes of headaches and wooziness
  • Shortness of breath and chest pains
  • Upper and lower extremities are often cold to touch

In Conclusion

People who only eat organic produce and its derivatives need to have the top foods with iron. It’s no longer enough to have a diet that has fruits and vegetables. This is to avoid being anemic and being able to enjoy life as a strict vegetarian.
But it also wouldn’t be wise to only keep eating things that have iron. Excessive intake may lead to problems. So having tests to determine blood and iron levels might be necessary. Still, try to be mindful of your feelings and the things happening to you. They often give clues to what’s going on.
It pays to read the labels and read about the nutrient content of various food items before trying them. Even when eating fresh produce, we may want to do these things. For our iron needs, these activities may help us get enough to stay healthy and address health issues.

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