Many families are eating a more plant-based diet these days. Eating vegetarian or vegan meals means you have to keep track of the nutrients in your diet—specifically protein, calcium, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and iron. The great news is there are plenty of plant-based options that contain all these nutrients. If you want to ensure your family is getting all the iron they need, we've compiled a list of plant-based foods that are rich in iron.

Not getting enough iron can lead to fatigue, weakness, and regularly feeling cold. Iron supplements do exist, and you should talk to your doctor about your family's iron needs if you feel concerned about it.

The recommended daily intake (RDI) is based on an average intake of 18 mg per day. The RDI can also vary by individual requirements, a person's sex, and age.

But if you're looking to jazz up family meals or snack time with some plant-based foods that contain iron, we've got you covered.

Beans, beans, and more beans

Legumes are loaded with iron! Beans, peas, and lentils are a great source of iron, and there's so much you can do with them.

  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Soybeans
  • Lentils
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Red kidney beans
  • White beans
  • Lima beans
  • Navy beans

Seeds and nuts

If you love a good, salty snack—you're in luck. Seeds and nuts provide a good amount of iron, and they're a great snacking option for anyone without nut allergies.

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Cashews
  • Pine nuts
  • Macadamia nuts


So many vegetables are loaded with iron—especially those leafy greens. Salads, smoothies, vegetarian stir-fry: the options are endless!

  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Potatoes (particularly the skins)
  • Mushrooms
  • Palm Hearts
  • Squash


You may not think fruit = iron, but you'd be wrong. Dried fruit can especially be rich in iron—a great snack!

  • Apricots
  • Prunes
  • Tomato paste
  • Mulberries


  • Quinoa
  • Spelt
  • Amaranth
  • Oats

Sweet stuff

    • Coconut milk
    • Baking chocolate/dark chocolate
    • Blackstrap molasses