Vegan Recipes High In Iron – List of the Top 10 Vegan Iron Sources That Don’t Include Meat or Dairy! This list is full of healthy plant-based ingredients that are high in iron!
We’ve spent a lot of time learning about nutrients, and today we’re going to focus on something very important: iron. Iron is one of the most important minerals in our body, but many people are also deficient in it.
Vegan Recipes High In Iron
I get a lot of questions about how to find iron in a plant-based diet and what are actually the best vegan sources of iron, so today I wanted to talk about all of that. We are going to learn why iron is important and what function it plays in the body, and why it is harder for vegans/vegetarians to include iron in their diet.
Iron Rich Foods For Diabetics
I’ll also walk you through the top 10 plant-based sources of iron and even give you my favorite high iron vegan recipes. I hope that after reading this post, you will better understand what, where, why and how with iron!
Iron is found in every cell in our body. The main function of iron in our body is the production of hemoglobin. Our hemoglobin molecules, which are essential for carrying oxygen throughout our system, contain 60-70% of our body’s iron stores. In addition to being just essential for oxygen, iron is also stored in our liver, spleen, and bone marrow, which can be extracted if we need a little more to produce hemoglobin.
The tricky thing about iron is that it’s a mineral that many people are deficient in, especially those on a plant-based diet. Heme iron, which is usually found in red meat, is more easily absorbed (absorption rate is about 10-30%). Non-heme iron found in plants is less absorbable (8-10%), so it’s important to know which are actually the best vegan sources of iron.
If you are iron deficient (aka anemia), this essentially means that you have a reduced number of red blood cells in your body. It can also make you dizzy when you stand, feel more tired or lethargic, and have dizzy spells.
Best Vegan Sources Of Iron + 10 Easy Vegan Recipes
If you’re trying to add more iron to your diet, or want to stop taking supplements and getting minerals from food, hopefully this list will give you a better idea of how to go about it. You can see where you are already getting iron, and maybe a few things you can increase (or add) to your diet to help you get even more iron.
Soy tends to get a bad rap in the health world, but it’s still a very healthy food. Soy is rich in protein and calcium and is the best vegan source of iron. When you buy soy products, make sure you buy those that are organic and non-GMO, and try to limit your intake to a few times a week. If you’re not already sensitive to it (via a sensitivity test), I think it’s perfectly fine to include a small amount of *high quality* soy in your diet.
Molasses is called one of the healthiest sweeteners because it is rich in many minerals. It has the lowest sugar content of any cane sugar product – it’s actually a by-product of the sugar cane processing process and therefore has all the nutritional benefits. Black molasses is high in iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, selenium and calcium!
I really love lentils! They are easy to prepare, very rich in protein and very tasty. Lentils are also rich in fiber, they are an excellent source of vitamin K, and they are also high in manganese and phosphorus. Plus, they’re incredibly versatile! You can use them in soups, stews, salads, and now you can even find lentil-based pasta!
Vegan Protein Energy Balls
Do I need to explain my love of quinoa? I don’t think so at the moment! But quinoa is one of my favorite cereals. It is high in protein and fiber, but also high in micronutrients, including magnesium, manganese, and iron. There are also a million and one ways to eat quinoa (as proof only on this site!).
I don’t eat pumpkin seeds very often, but I know it’s one of those foods that I could add more to my diet. They’re so easy to just mix into things – whether it’s on top of a salad, tossed into a smoothie, or used in a mix. They are very rich in vitamins and minerals and are also the highest source of iron in the nut and seed category.
Oh boy, I love chickpeas! As a person who eats mostly plant-based foods, chickpeas are a staple in my diet. They are rich in fiber, protein and very affordable. They are also rich in other nutrients like calcium, potassium, phosphorus and yes, iron! In fact, most beans are high in iron, so the amount varies depending on the type of bean, but since chickpeas are among the highest, this is what I’ve highlighted below.
Swiss chard is a green that is not talked about much. I personally don’t eat it often, but when I do, I really enjoy it. I just can’t find it in the store. This is changing in the future because Swiss chard has the highest iron levels of any other green. I will definitely add this to my weekly dinner rotation!
Plant Based Foods That Are High In Iron
You know I love spinach! Spinach should definitely be on my list of staples, and it’s an ingredient I eat almost every day. Spinach is rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as chlorophyll, calcium, protein and iron. I also think that spinach has the mildest flavor of all greens, so it’s easiest for me to include it in my diet. That’s probably why I eat so much of it!
I am obsessed with tahini. I pretty much put it on everything for now! I especially love tahini in salad dressing, but it’s also great as a condiment for stir-fried vegetables, quinoa bowls, and even stuffed peppers. Tahini is also very nutritious. It is rich in protein, rich in healthy fats, and is an excellent source of calcium and iron.
I have raved about my love for figs many times and this is another reason why they are one of my favorite fruits. Figs are not only tasty, but also rich in fiber, vitamins A, B1 and B2, as well as manganese, potassium and calcium! Dried figs actually contain more calcium than fresh figs, but both are good.
Now about food! Here are some of my favorite high iron vegan recipes (yes, they are 100% plant-based). You can also create your own high iron recipes by combining some of the foods we’ve included above!
Iron Rich Foods For Kids
Tag # on Instagram with your creations! We love sharing what you do with the community. We can’t wait to see!
Hi, I’m Alissa Rimmer, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Yoga Lover, Dog Mom, and Founder of Simply Quinoa. Glad to meet you! I created SQ to provide solutions for women like me who have struggled to find useful information on how to live a healthy and fulfilling life. I hope you find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in hundreds of health articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!
Simply Quinoa is an online resource offering simple, practical and personal steps to a healthier life so you can be healthy and truly healthy.
I’m Alissa, a certified holistic nutritionist and founder of SQ. My goal is to help you take simple, practical and personal steps towards a healthier life so you can be well + truly healthy.
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The Eat Clean program will help you realize how easy a life full of whole foods can be in a week of simple, healthy meals. The recipe is 100% gluten free and vegan!
This is a community that celebrates your unique path to health, no matter where you are on your journey. We will encourage you, inspire you and support you every step of the way. If you feel like you may be iron deficient, you are not alone. According to studies, more than 10 million people in the United States suffer from iron deficiency, and 5 million of them suffer from iron deficiency anemia.
Getting enough iron from today’s food sources is already difficult, and adding a vegan diet can make things even more difficult.
Many vegans are unaware of the abundance of available vegan sources of iron, leading to iron deficiencies in many vegans and vegetarians.
Spotlight On… High Iron
So the problem is, if vegans are more likely to develop iron deficiency, what are the best available vegan sources of iron? Where to find iron for vegans? Not all sources of iron are the same, so it’s important to do your research and find the right foods to help you absorb as much iron as possible.
Fortunately, we have created this article to teach you everything you need to know.
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