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8 Surprising Sources Of Iron That Aren't Meat

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

Just because you don't eat meat doesn't mean you can't enjoy an iron-rich diet that will help you avoid tiredness and stay strong through the day.

The human body can't produce iron on its own, which sucks because this mineral is super-helpful when it comes to regulating cell growth. It even contributes to healthy muscles and a banging immune system—plus, red blood cells rely on iron to carry oxygen throughout the body. That's why iron-rich foods are so important.

But just because we're used to hearing that iron is found in foods derived from animals, like beef, pork, chicken, fish, and eggs, doesn't mean you can't enjoy iron derived from plant sources, like beans, lentils, peas, leafy green vegetables. That's why we've pulled together a list of 8 iron-rich, non-meaty foods. Enjoy.

1. Tofu

When it comes to vegetarian food, tofu is an absolute go-to, and not just because it boasts a. ton of protein, but because Tofu is an excellent source of iron. In fact, just four ounces contains 6.4 milligrams of iron, which means your a lot closer to your daily need.

2. Edamame

These are basically just young soybeans, and they're one of the tastiest vegetarian snacks out there. And they're not just for snacking on, they're also a great addition to proper meals, like paella, and that's because they're full of iron. Just one cup of these beauties and you're 40% of the way there.

3. Chickpeas

And it's not just chickpeas, it's beans in general, from black beans to navy beans, they're all super iron-rich foods. But keeping to chickpeas for now, just a single cup gives you 26% of your daily need. And they're delicious in either a salad or served with roasted garlic and diced tomatoes.

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal provides a huge iron dose, with just a single packet of plain, instant oatmeal giving you 40% of your daily need. And you don't just have to have it with milk for breakfast because you can throw oatmeal into smoothies, or whip up some overnight oats like a cinnamon-apple oatmeal. Mmmmm.

5. Lentils

Dried beans and peas are protein-packed, iron-rich foods, and lentils are no different. Eating just one cup of cooked lentils and you're 6.6 milligrams of iron better off, which equates to 37% of your daily requirement.

6. Broccoli

Check this out - just one cup of cooked broccoli gives you 1 milligram of iron, almost twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin C and - that's right, and - 20% of your daily recommendation for fibre. Awesome.

7. Almonds

It's time to go nuts because not only do almonds give you loads of fibre (the most important nutrient in your diet), as well as loads of protein, almonds are also loaded with iron. In fact, just a quarter-cup has over a milligram of iron, while 2 tablespoons of almond butter has the same.

8. Spinach

Who needs steak when you have spinach. The answer: no one. Simply add some to a dip, or sauté with a little olive oil to get a higher dose of iron per volume because, while a cup of raw spinach has about a milligram of iron, a cup of cooked spinach has more than six times that amount. Woohoo.

Thanks for reading! And you can find out more about our Iron Test here.

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