Best Iron Rich Vegan Foods
Iron is one of the critical nutrients we need to lead a healthy lifestyle. It’s critical to many functions of our bodies, and helps us to stay our best selves.
Even though iron is crucial to our health, it is one of the most common deficiencies people suffer from. But what makes iron so important, anyway?
Iron is essential to our body’s growth. We need iron to produce hemoglobin, which is a protein that can be found in red blood cells. Hemoglobin is responsible for the carrying of oxygen to our lungs and muscles, as well as producing hormones. Iron also helps to maintain our skin, hair and nails, as iron also produces collagen. Additionally, iron provides us with energy, as it is a major player in our energy metabolism. We need iron on a daily basis to continue these functions effectively, but the amount each person needs is largely based on their sex, age and diet.
When you consume iron, you either get heme iron or non-heme iron. Heme iron can be found in fish and meats, while non-heme iron can be found in plant foods. Non-heme iron is responsible for much of the functions iron performs, and too little of it can have harmful effects.
Those who do not get enough iron in their daily diets are generally diagnosed with anemia. Depending on how iron deficient one is, the anemia can be more minor or severe. Some of the most common symptoms of anemia include fatigue and weakness, pale skin, dizziness, headaches and more.
To avoid iron deficiency, you want to make sure you’re getting the right daily dosage depending on your unique body makeup and lifestyle. Many people get iron from consumption of red meat, which is rich in nutrients. For vegans, however, it can be more difficult to get your daily dose of iron.
If you’re following a vegan diet and struggling to get the right amount of iron in your system, no need to worry - there are plenty of iron-rich vegan foods you can incorporate into your diet to ensure you’re getting the right amount of iron to be your healthiest self.
A staple in many people’s vegan diets, lentils are packed with iron. You can enjoy brown, green or red lentils depending on the dish you are making. You can find around 6.6 milligrams of iron per cup, which is a sizable portion of your recommended daily intake.
Beyond being a great vegan source of iron, lentils are also full of other vitamins: potassium, fiber, vitamin B and more can be found in all types of lentils.
One of the most common sources of vegan protein, tofu is also high in iron. Containing around 6.6 milligrams for every half cup, making up a significant amount of your daily need from just one meal.
Tofu is a great food to add to any vegan meal, as it can be prepared and enjoyed in a number of different ways.
We’re all aware of how good spinach is for us, but did you know it’s also a fantastic source of iron? Just a cup of cooked spinach provides 6.4 milligrams of iron.
You can add spinach to nearly any dish as a side, or incorporate it into smoothies and soups to ensure you’re getting your daily amount. If you really love spinach, you can even enjoy it raw as a base to a salad.
Beans are another great source of both iron and protein for vegans - two nutrients that are somewhat harder to get when following a vegan diet.
Kidney beans, soybeans and lima beans have the highest iron content compared to the other types. In just a cup, you can get at least 4.5 milligrams of your daily iron intake.
Quinoa is a great whole grain source of iron for vegans. From just a cup of cooked quinoa, you can consume close to 3 milligrams of iron.
Quinoa is also a great antioxidant, and helps to prevent certain ailments like cancer and high blood pressure.
Nuts are particularly high in iron, especially almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts. You can get at little more than 1 milligram of iron for every handful of these nuts consumed.
If you want to incorporate more nuts into your meals, try using various nut butters to also increase your healthy fat and fiber intake.
The Bottom Line
Iron is an important part of our daily nutrition, and accounts for the health and productivity of many of our vital organs. Iron is responsible for our body getting the oxygen it needs, along with many other functions.
Getting enough iron as a vegan may seem difficult, but it is very easy to get your daily intake. Many vegan items are rich in iron and help to ensure you’ll get enough to stay happy and healthy.
Japanese Vegan Town has a rich variety of vegan food items that are packed with iron and other vital nutrients that keep you healthy and energized. Made with all vegan ingredients, Japanese Vegan Town’s products are non-GMO and made without MSG or refined sugar. They're healthy, macrobiotic, and a great source of the various vitamins and nutrients you need to live a healthy vegan lifestyle.
If you’re looking to incorporate more vegan and vegetarian sources of iron, be sure to take a look at Japanese Vegan Town’s products. Here is a list of 7 healthy iron-rich food.
- Good For Vegans Chili Con Carne With Chickpeas and Kidney Bean
- Good for Vegans Falafel Seasoning
- Vegetable Keema Curry with Soybean Meat and Lentil Beans (Medium Spicy)
- Japanese Vegetable Curry with Chickpea (Medium Spicy)
- Organic Cereal Bar (Golden Berry)
- Organic Cereal Bar (Original)
- Organic Cereal Bar (Cacao)