21 Vegetarian Foods That Are Loaded With Iron

15. Spelt

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).

16. Oats

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).

17. Quinoa

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.

Certain foods do not fit in one of the food groups above, yet contain significant amounts of iron.

Incorporating them into your diet can help you meet your recommended daily iron intakes.

18. Coconut Milk

Coconut milk can be a tasty alternative to cow’s milk.

Although very high in fat, it’s a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, copper and manganese (69).

Coconut milk also contains a good amount of iron — more specifically, around 3.8 mg per half cup (118 ml), or around 21% of the RDI.

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