What are good sources of iron for vegetarians?

The following foods are vegetarian-friendly sources of iron:

  • Dried beans
  • Dark green vegetables such as spinach and beet greens
  • Dried fruits
  • Prune juice
  • Fortified breads and cereals
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Potatoes (eaten with skin)
Ms. Vandana  R. Sheth
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Dark green leafy vegetables and dried beans are good vegetarian sources of iron. Interestingly, iron found in plant based foods is absorbed better if it is enjoyed with a vitamin C rich food. For e.g., dried beans cooked with tomato sauce, stir-fry vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli and spinach. Broccoli and bok choy are both good sources of iron and vitamin C.

Anna-Lisa Finger
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Other good sources of iron are:

  • tofu and soy based meat alternatives
  • blackstrap molasses
  • the use of cast iron skillets
  • soaking and sprouting beans, lentils and grains enhances iron absorption

When eating vegetarian foods that contain iron, choose some that also have vitamin C, which helps you absorb more of the iron in the food.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.