Contrary to belief, there are many vegan sources of iron that are superior to animal sources you might be used to hearing about. Animals essentially eat plants to obtain their nutrients, so maybe it's time we follow suit, what do you say? Iron is a mineral, therefore that means it is found in the soil - not in animals - by nature. Considering that eating animals comes with extra intake of cholesterol, saturated fats, pesticides and hormones, it’s much better for you and your body to just eat plants to get your iron instead. Lucky for you, there are tons of vegan sources of iron that taste great and are sure to keep your body healthy. Keep things simple - just eat plants!
Spinach is one of the best vegan sources of iron out there. It’s also a powerful source of vegan protein and is rich in magnesium, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, and chlorophyll.. Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, which makes spinach a great option since it is rich in both nutrients.
Lentils are so hearty and make the perfect stand-in for meat. You don't need to soak them before cooking them like you do with other beans and legumes either. Lentils are also plentiful in potassium, fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, protein, and have no fat or cholesterol.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are technically a legume, so they're a great source of iron, protein, and B vitamins. Enjoy them as hummus, in soups or salads, or even bake them to make a crispy snack.
Whether you choose raw cacao, baking chocolate, chocolate bars, or cocoa powder, all chocolate is a fantastic source of iron. Chocolate is also rich in magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, fiber, and cholesterol-free healthy fats. Just remember to choose milk-free varieties to keep it vegan and cholesterol-free.
Ever notice how energized you feel after you eat oatmeal? That’s thanks to a large dose of iron, B vitamins, magnesium, and healthy carbohydrates. Need a new oatmeal recipe to try? Try adding some new ingredients such as these suggestions: 9 Magical Ingredients to Put in Your Oatmeal Tomorrow Morning ... @Heather.
All beans are a great source of iron, so whether you choose black bean, kidney, pinto, cannellini, or white beans, they’re all a great option! You can make a tasty vegan chili and add a variety of beans of your choice. You can also use beans to make a vegan taco or in a delicious bean dip! Beans can be hard to digest so cook them down really well before using them. You can also take a digestive enzyme with meals to help you digest them better.
7. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a wealth of nutrients, including iron. They have approximately 30% of your daily intake per two tablespoon serving. They’re also high in omega 3 fats, fiber, B vitamins, and potassium.
Kale is the new beef, in case you haven’t heard. It’s richer in iron and protein per ounce than meat, not to mention higher in phytochemicals and vitamins. Kale can be enjoyed any way you please but pair it with a vitamin C rich food for optimal absorption. Kale with tomatoes and lemon juice or a kale strawberry smoothie would be two great options!
Quinoa’s nutrient profile goes way beyond the protein it’s well-known for. Quinoa is also a rich source of iron, not to mention potassium and magnesium. You can cook quinoa any way you like or buy the quinoa flakes and cook them up like you would oatmeal.
Spirulina is the most nutritious food in the world. It has 80% of your daily iron intake, more protein than any other food per serving, 880% of your daily vitamin A content, 50% of your daily vitamin B6 content, and 150% of your daily vitamin B12 content. All you need to do is use one teaspoon in a smoothie and you’re good to go!
Cashews are actually a legume and not a nut, so like most legumes, they’re very high in nutrients that support a vegan diet, with iron being one of the most abundant. Raw cashew butter is also an awesome alternative to peanut butter. Plus, cashews and cashew butter are high in vitamin B6 and magnesium to help lower your blood pressure and aid in healthy digestion.
Choose some of these vegan sources of iron next time you’re feeling a little draggy or need some energy. I promise you won't regret it! Do you eat any of these vegan sources of iron?