21 Vegetarian Foods That Are Loaded With Protein and Iron

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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