Are you looking for the best iron rich foods for vegetarians?

One commonly known nutrition fact is that red meats are rich in iron.

Some people are surprised to hear that wide range of plant foods are also rich in iron.

Research shows that people eating plant-based diets consume just as much and even more iron than people who regularly consume meat products.

Many plant foods like spinach and Swiss chard contain more than 20% of a daily iron requirement per serving.

Another benefit from getting your iron from plant foods is that generally have fewer calories per serving than animal foods.

Iron is an essential mineral and an important component of proteins and is found in every human cell.

The World Health Organization considers iron deficiency the number one nutritional disorder in the world.

Smaller amounts of iron are found in myoglobin, a protein that helps supply oxygen to skeletal muscles and the heart.

Red blood cells distribute oxygen from the lungs to tissues throughout the body.

The oxygen carrying ability of red blood cells is directly affected by the presence of iron in the hemoglobin molecule.

About 15 percent of your body’s iron is stored for future needs and only utilized when your dietary intake is inadequate.

People who are most at risk of an iron deficiency include:

  • those that donate blood regularly,
  • women with excessive menstrual bleeding,
  • people who use medications that interfere with the absorption of iron,
  • children and adolescents in their rapid growth phases and
  • pregnant and lactating women.

So what are the best iron rich foods besides meat?

iron rich foods besides meatOne cup of spinach can provide 36% of your daily requirement

Our list of iron rich foods are suitable for vegetarians that do not get their required iron food intake in the form of meats.

The facts that these fruits and vegetables can be juiced improves your ability to easily absorb this important nutrient.

Our list of iron rich foods helps you to keep the calories in check because we rate the foods in terms of their nutrient density.

Iron intake is negatively influenced by low nutrient density foods.

The best iron rich foods for vegetarians


Percentage of your daily requirement

Quality rating


36% per cup


Swiss chard

22% per cup


Beet greens

15% per cup

Very good

Collard greens

12% per cup

Very good


9% per cup

Very good

Mustard greens

7% per cup

Very good

Turnip greens

6% per cup

Very good


6% per cup

Very good

Chilli peppers

5% per cup

Very good

Romain lettuce

5% per cup

Very good

Legumes with the highest level of iron content


Percentage of your daily requirement

Soy beans

49% per cup


37% per cup

Garbazo beans

26% per cup

Lima beans

25% per cup

Navy beans

24% per cup

Kidney beans

22% per cup

Black beans

20% per cup

Pinto beans

20% per cup

The most beneficial nutrient that helps you increase your absorption from the iron rich foods is vitamin C. If your meal or juice contains at least 25 milligrams of vitamin C it can possibly double your absorption rate.

Iron rich foods in easily absorbed form

All of the foods listed above can be included as part of your juicing recipes.

Why should you consider juicing the iron rich foods listed above?

For the simple reason that plant based iron are seriously depleted by way of the water in which they are cooked.

Take the example of spinach. If it is boiled for longer than three minutes, almost 90% of iron will be lost in the water.

Juicing these vegetables with iron content makes the nutrient available in its most potent "live" form.

Several herbs, spices and seeds are surprisingly good sources of iron.

  • Turmeric
  • Thyme
  • Sesame seeds
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Turmeric

  • Black pepper
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Coriander seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Chili pepper

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Our list of foods high in potassium

Our list of foods high in magnesium

Why foods high in fiber have so many important benefits.

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