Iron is essential for healthy blood, muscles, nerves, digestion and energy levels.

Iron is often associated with red meat but even meat eaters get around 75% of their iron from vegetarian sources.

Children and women need more iron than men. Most people are able to get all the iron they need from a varied and balanced diet but always consult a doctor if you are concerned about your iron intake.

Temp kaleGood vegetarian sources of iron include:

  • Chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans and other pulses

  • Tofu
  • Sprouted beans and seeds
  • Breakfast cereals and bread

  • Green leafy vegetables like kale and cabbage, and also broccoli

  • Nuts, such as almonds and cashews

  • Dried apricots, dates and raisins

  • Date syrup and molasses

Recipe iconFind recipes with these ingredients.

OrangeVitamin C helps your body to absorb iron, while calcium, tannins and phenols hinder the process, so drinking orange juice – and avoiding tea or coffee – with an iron-rich meal can really help you make the most of the iron in your food.

nutrition iconLearn more about vegetarian nutrition


Find out more

In-depth factsheetsYou can find out more about how iron works in our bodies and the science behind the information above, by reading the in-depth iron factsheet.


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