Vegan And Non Vegan Foods That Are Good For Anemia


When choosing vegan and non vegan foods, thinking about important nutrients is a must. Especially if you have anemia. You will prioritize foods that are rich in iron.

Iron plays important roles for the body such as carrying oxygen throughout the body. The daily suggestion for iron is 18 mg. If your daily intake is less than that, it is possible to suffer from anemia which leads to certain symptoms like fatigue.

Foods That Are Rich In Iron

Luckily, many foods are rich in iron from plant-based to meat. Make sure you include the following item in your diet.


Everyone agrees that fish is nutritious. Varieties like tuna are high in iron. In 3 ounces of canned tuna, there is around 1.4 mg of iron. It is 8% of the daily value.

Besides iron, fish is also rich in omega-3 acids. It is a healthy fat that provides many health benefits such as promoting brain health, boosting the immune system, and also supporting growth and development.

Other essential nutrients that are available in fish include selenium, niacin, and also vitamin B12.

Include varieties of fish like sardines, haddock, mackerel, and tuna in your diet because they are rich in iron.

Dark Chocolate

Most people eat dark chocolate because it is delicious and release stress. But do you know that dark chocolate is rich in iron? In one serving of dark chocolate (28 grams), it contains 3.4 mg of iron which is 19% of the daily value. Besides, it is also rich in magnesium and copper. The best thing about dark chocolate is the prebiotic fiber that helps you maintain the good bacteria in the gut.

According to Healthline, dark chocolate and cocoa powder have more antioxidants compared to juices and powders made of blueberries and berries. Besides, studies also show that dark chocolate is beneficial in controlling cholesterol. It helps the body reduce heart attacks and strokes.

Keep in mind that not all chocolate has the same benefits. It is not created equal. The compound that is responsible for the chocolate benefits is flavanol. Dark chocolate is much higher compared to milk chocolate.

Consume at least 70% of cocoa to get the most benefits.


Yes, tofu! It is popular in Asian countries. It is a good news also for vegetarians. in a 126-gram of tofu, it contains 3.4 mg of iron which is 19% of the daily value.

Besides iron, tofu is also rich in other important minerals such as calcium, selenium, and magnesium. It also contains isoflavones that are believed can improve insulin sensitivity, heart attack, and menopausal symptoms.


If you want a quick iron boost, try to eat broccoli. It is incredibly nutritious with 1 mg of iron per serving (156-gram), which is 6% of daily value. Besides, it is rich in vitamin C which is great for your body to absorb iron better. It is a great source of folate, fiber, and vitamin K.

Broccoli is a part of the cruciferous family that contains glucosinolates, indole, and sulforaphane which are believed to protect the body from cancer.


Choose dark turkey meat if you want more iron. A 100-gram of dark turkey contains 1.4 mg of iron. So much iron compared to the white turkey which is only 0.7 mg.

Dark turkey is also rich in protein, vitamin B, and minerals such as selenium and zinc. If you are on a diet, consuming turkey will help a lot as the protein keeps you feeling full and also increases the metabolic rate. It also prevents muscle loss during weight loss and slows down the aging process.


We can say quinoa is a superfood. It is a popular grain that is rich in iron. 185 grams of cooked quinoa, contains 2.8 mg of iron. It is gluten-free food which is great for people who have gluten intolerance and celiac disease.

Furthermore, quinoa is rich in grains, magnesium, folate, manganese, copper, and others. It is rich in antioxidant that protects your cells from free radicals.

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are also rich in iron. In a 28-gram, 2.5 mg of iron is great for your body. Pumpkin seeds also contain zinc, vitamin K, magnesium, and manganese.

You might now need to add pumpkin seeds to your diet because it reduces insulin resistance, improve depression and diabetes.

Red Meat

Red meat is one of the most favorite non vegan foods that is rich in iron. In 100-gram of ground beef, it contains 2.7 mg of iron. Red meat is also a great source of selenium, zinc, protein, and also B vitamins. For people who are prone to anemia, consuming red meat will help a lot.


Lentils, beans, peas, soybeans, and chickpeas are the most popular legumes, especially among vegans. They are rich in iron. A 198-gram of cooked lentil has 6.6 mg of iron. Other great iron sources are navy beans, kidney beans, and black beans which are great to boost your iron intake.

Besides iron, legumes are also rich in potassium, folate, and magnesium. It is a great food to reduce inflammation for people with diabetes as well as heart disease.

If you are planning to lose weight, adding legumes to your diet can be a good idea. It is a soluble fiber that keeps you full while reducing calorie intake.

To get a better result, consume legumes with other ingredients that are rich in vitamin C such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and greens.

Lives and Organ Meats

If you want to look for a quick boost, organ meats are extremely great! Take the kidneys, brain, heart, and liver into your diet. In a 100-gram of beef liver, it has 6.5 iron. Besides, organ meats are a great source of copper, B vitamins, and also selenium. The liver is also rich in Vitamin A which is great!

Organ meats are the best sources of choline which are good for the liver and brain.


Spinach is great because it is nutritious but it contains fewer calories. in a 100-gram of raw spinach, it has 2.7 mg of iron. It is also rich in Vitamin C which is very beneficial to help your body absorb iron better. Also, it has antioxidants that reduce the risk of cancer and also reduce inflammation. It also protects your eyes from disease.

To get the most benefits, consume spinach with olive oil.


Oysters, clams, and mussels are shellfish. It is rich in iron that in a 100-gram of clams, it has around 3 mg of iron. It is a heme iron, so your body will absorb it easier.

Shellfish-like clams contain vitamin C, protein, and a very high vitamin B12.

All types of shellfish are nutritious and they can boost the healthy HDL cholesterol in your body.

Non Veg Foods Rich In Iron

non vegan foods

Steak with Crispy Herbs and Escarole

This is one of our favorite non vegan foods that is rich in iron. This just takes 20 minutes to cook, meaning it is a perfect dinner meal. It is healthy, easy, and requires minimal cleaning. Check the recipe!


  • 1 pound sirloin steak (1/2 inch thick)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper (divided)
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil (you can also use canola oil)
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 3 sprigs fresh sage
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 16 cups escarole (chopped)


  • Sprinkle each side of the steak with pepper and salt. Then, heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the steak until it is charred on one side. Then, turn over and add thyme, garlic, sage, rosemary, and oil. Stir the herbs occasionally.
  • Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. See if it reaches 125 degrees F. Then, transfer it to a plate. Top the steak with herbs and garlic.
  • After that, add escarole, pepper, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Cook until it starts to wilt. Slice the steak and serve it with escarole along with the crispy herbs.


Which meat has the most iron?

There are two types of iron which are heme and non-heme. Heme iron is found in meat, seafood, and poultry. This type of iron is absorbed faster than the non-heme iron which is found in plant foods and eggs.

Top iron sources can be found in red meats such as pork, beef, and lamb. The redder the meat, the higher the iron is. Other meat that is high in iron is organ meats such as liver, kidney, and pate. Then it is followed by poultry, shellfish, and fish.

How can increase my iron quickly?

If you are anemic, probably the doctor will suggest you take pills or supplements to increase your iron level quickly. You can also increase it naturally by eating non vegan foods rich in iron such as red meat, liver, shellfish, and other iron sources. It is suggested to eat the heme one because it is easier to absorb.

You can also boost iron absorption by consuming foods that contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta-carotene.

What foods to avoid if you are anemic?

Some foods can hinder the body to absorb iron such as tea, coffee, milk, soy protein, and fiber. Try to avoid these foods if you are anemic.

What drink is high in iron?

You can drink prune juice, green juice such as spinach, beet greens, or purslane, pea protein shakes, beetroot juice, and pumpkin juice.

Are bananas high in iron?

Bananas are very nutritious, but it is not high in iron. In a 100-gram of banana (fresh weight), it contains 0.4 mg. However, bananas contain manganese, magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and Potassium.

Looking for more nutritious recipes? Check here.

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