Eat Healthy

Best Plant-based Foods to Fight Anemia

Feeling tired all the time? Are your nails breaking and lungs feeling deflated?

These are some of the most telling signs of anemia.

While there are a handful of reasons that may cause anemia, diet usually plays a large role. This is especially true for those on a strict plant-based, vegetarian or vegan diet. It all comes down to iron and vitamin B12 consumption.

People switch to plant-based diets for many reasons. However, eliminating meat and all other animal products such as milk, eggs, cheese and even honey, can cause iron deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency.  This can severely increase the risk of anemia. It is a potentially serious condition in which the body does not make enough oxygen-bearing red blood cells.

By adopting a plant-based diet the right way, you can avoid anemia while also cutting out animal products. Eating a carefully balanced diet which enables you to get iron and vitamin B12 from other sources is the correct approach to prevent anemia.

1) Potatoes

Somewhere deep down, all of us are massive potato-heads. This starchy and filling food is truly the ‘meat’ of plant-based diets.

A good chunk of the essential nutrients in a potato live within its skin. Therefore, in order to get the most iron bang for your buck, try to use recipes that include the potato skin. Potatoes are incredibly delicious and fat free. They are also known for being extremely nutritious in addition to their great taste. Apart from a lot of iron, potatoes contain protein, fibre, carbs, sodium, vitamin C and vitamin B6.

One cup of baked sweet potato without the skin provides 1.4 milligrams of iron. On the other hand, a large-unpeeled potato (295 grams) offers 3.2 milligrams of iron.

2) Quinoa

Quinoa is one of the most iron-rich grains available out there. Pronounced as keen-waah, this superfood originated in South America. This highly nutritious and delicious seed also has more protein than other whole grains out there. Quinoa is a gluten-free superfood that is widely used in restaurants and home kitchens around the world.

Quinoa has a host of essential nutrients such as fibre, complex carbs, vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, it also has complete protein i.e all nine of the essential amino acids required by the human body. Another health benefit is quinoa’s anti-inflammatory properties which are good for your gut. Mix them in rice or have them as a cereal after cooking in milk to nourish your body.

One cup of cooked quinoa offers 2.8 milligrams of iron whereas cup of uncooked quinoa offers a whopping 7.8 milligrams.

3) Legumes

Legumes include some of the major plant-based diet staples such as lentils, beans, and peas. Lentils are leading the pack in this list and part of a daily diet for most Indians. They are tasty and offer a plethora of nutrients. These iron rich legumes are abundant in protein, dietary fibre and omega fatty acids. Additionally, they also contain vitamins A, B6, C, E and K.

One cup of cooked lentils offers over 6 grams of iron, which is over half of the allotted RDA for men and at least half of the allotted RDA for women. 

The legume family also has other worthy foods such as beans and peas.  They also include bean-based product such as tofu. One cup of uncooked, red kidney beans offers a little over 15 milligrams of iron. On the other hand, one cup of uncooked peas such as snow peas or snap peas, offers a little over 3 milligrams of iron.

4) Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are yet another plant-based diet staple and they’re great for snacking too! You simply cannot go wrong with healthy snacks when it comes to these delicious bite-sized foods. They are rich in protein, fibre, magnesium and vitamin E. They are essentially superfoods high in antioxidant levels that keeps your body healthy.

They are easy to carry and are also an incredibly diverse ingredient in plant-based recipes. They can be pulverized and whipped into creamy homemade spreads such as basic almond butter (9.3 milligrams of iron per tablespoon) or cashew butter (1 milligram of iron per tablespoon).


The priority, in this blog, is to supply the reader with clear and unambiguous information. However, neither The New Me nor Gagan Dhawan makes promises, or guarantees regarding the completeness of the information found here. The content is not a replacement for advice of a licensed professional. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the writer’s.

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