Spelt is another iron-rich ancient grain.
It contains around 3.2 mg of iron per cup cooked, or 18% of the RDI. Moreover, spelt offers around 5–6 grams of protein per portion, which is approximately 1.5 times more protein than more modern grains, such as wheat (61).
Spelt contains a variety of other nutrients, too, including complex carbs, fiber, magnesium, zinc, selenium and B vitamins. Its mineral content may also be slightly higher than more conventional grains (62).
Oats are a tasty and easy way to add iron to your diet.
A cup of cooked oats contains around 3.4 mg of iron — 19% of the RDI — as well as good amounts of plant protein, fiber, magnesium, zinc and folate (63).
What’s more, oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which may help promote gut health, increase feelings of fullness and reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels (64, 65, 66, 67).
Like amaranth, quinoa is a gluten-free pseudocereal rich in complete protein, fiber, complex carbs, vitamins and minerals.
It offers around 2.8 mg of iron per cup cooked, or 16% of the RDI. Plus, research links quinoa’s rich antioxidant content to a lower risk of medical conditions, including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes (68).
SUMMARY:Whole grains generally contain more iron than refined grains. The varieties listed above are particularly rich in iron but also contain several other nutrients and plant compounds beneficial to health.