Anemia diet - top 25 vegetarian iron sources

According to the NIH, adult men need 8 mg of iron per day, women need 18 mg per day, and pregnant women need 27 mg per day.  Adding 50 mg of vitamin C to an iron-rich meal may make it possible to double or triple the absorption of iron.

Warning: Iron supplements represent one of the most common poisoning risks in children.

Top plant-based natural sources of iron

100% pER DAY = 18 mg 

Foods rich in iron app

Foods rich in iron app

1. Tofu - 1 cup raw 74%

2. Spinach - 1 bunch raw 51%

3. Guava nectar - 1 cup 44%

4. Baking chocolate - 1oz 28%

5. Soybeans - 1/2 cup cooked 25%

5. Hemp seeds - 1/4 cup 23%

6. Sesame seeds - 1oz roasted 23%

7. Swiss chard - 1 cup cooked 22%

8. Coconut milk - 1/2 cup 21%

9. Parsley - 1 cup raw 21%

10. Wheat germ - 1/2 cup 20%

11. Tempeh - 1 cup cooked 20%

12. Dark Chocolate - 1oz 80% Cacao 19%

13. Canellini beans - 1/2 cup cooked 18%

14. Hulled barley - 1/2 cup raw 18%

15. Lentils - 1/2 cup cooked

16. Beet greens - 1 cup boiled 15%

17. Lemon grass - 1/2 cup raw 15%

18. White mushrooms - 1 cup boiled 15%

19. Seaweed - 6 tbsp irishmoss, raw 15%

20. Black turtle beans - 1/1 cup cooked 15%

21. Mulberries - 1 cup raw 14%

22. Teff - 1/2 cup cooked 14%

23. Amaranth - 1.2 cup cooked 14%

24. Pepitas - 1/4 cup roasted 13%

25. Chickpeas - 1/2 cup cooked 13%

Source: Wholesome sources it's data from the USDA

Nutrition goal calculator for pregnancy

How to set Wholesome app to pregnant setting

Click on the menu icon on the top left, then click on "My Profile". Change the setting to Pregnant as shown on the right and then recalculate your goals. The app will auto-adjust your nutrients goals for the recommend amounts for pregnancy, such as 600 mcg of folate per day and 27 mg of iron per day. To customize your goals further, click on the 'daily goals' tab and click 'edit goals'.

An easy way to calculate the iron in your recipe

Wholesome analyzes 80 nutrients in foods and recipes including micronutrients, phytonutrients, omega 3s (like DHA), and antioxidants. You can track what you eat and monitor your progress against your nutrient goals. The app also has healthy recipes and scores them out of a possible 10 points for how healthy it is. You can add your own recipes or pin them from the web to get nutrition information. 

Food diary and nutrition tracker for pregnancy

About the author

Jessica Glago is the CoFounder of the Wholesome App. After having two different cancers in  her childhood she developed the app with the help of her husband to get more healthfulness out of her diet. To date, Wholesome for iOS has had over 250,000 downloads and over 1.5 million whole foods tracked. The app has been featured on BuzzFeed, LikeHacker, CultofMac, and The Seattle Times. 

How the Wholesome app Personalizes Your Nutrition Goals

We've had many questions about how Wholesome personalize's your nutrition goals and why the %'s in Wholesome don't always match up to the %'s on nutrition labels. We're going to explain exactly how it works in this post. 

In order to print the daily value for each nutrient on a nutrition label, the food industry has to standardize the recommended amounts. The problem is that we all have different nutritional needs depending on personal factors. For example, women are recommended by the USDA to have 2x more iron than men each day and pregnant women are recommended to have 3x more iron than men each day.

Recommended Dietary Allowances for Iron [5]:

iron nutrition recommendations


The food industry sets 18mg of iron as 100% across all nutrition labels (since they only have space to print one value on the label). But adult men only need 8mg per day, while a pregnant woman needs 27mg per day. So if an adult man was to get 100% of the nutrition label, he would actually be getting more than double what is recommended. While the pregnant woman would only be getting 2/3s of what she is recommended to have.

Wholesome takes all your personal factors into consideration and tailors your daily goals according to the USDA recommended daily allowances recommended for you. All you have to do is enter in your profile information within settings. 

Here is another example. The food industry sets 100% Vitamin B6 as 2mg on nutrition labels. 

But in reality only a breastfeeding mother needs that much in a given day. Here are the real recommended amounts by age, gender, and pregnancy status:

Recommended Dietary Allowances for Vitamin B6 [1]:

Vitamin B6 nutrition recommendations NIH


Because Wholesome is a digital experience (instead of a static nutrition label), Wholesome can adjust your daily goal for each nutrient based on any your age, gender, and pregnancy status. 


Let's assume you are entering a Vitamin B6 supplement into Wholesome as a custom food. The nutrition label says that 100% daily value for Vitamin B6 is 2mg and you enter that into Wholesome. 

Wholesome already knows that 100% is 2mg based on this table provided by NIH:

Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling, Based on a 2,000 Calorie Intake, for Adults and Children 4 or More Years of Age

Because Wholesome is more precise based on your age and gender, it knows that you only really need 1.3mg. Thus, Wholesome will show the Vitamin B6 supplement that you entered as 154% of your daily Vitamin B6 for that day because it is based on your personalized target rather than showing 100% which is the non-personalized industry standard. 


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