Which Legumes Are High in Iron?

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Legumes are a complete food on which many people depend for nourishment, including nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Depending on the kind of legume, minerals such as iron and calcium are present in variable levels.

Lentils, for example, are rich in iron, whereas soybeans are strong in calcium.

Unfortunately, the nutrients in legumes are less accessible owing to the presence of substances such as phytic acid, which bind to minerals and interfere with their absorption by the body.

Which legumes have the most iron?

Lentils and peanuts both provide around 3.3 milligrams of iron per cup serving.

In instance, black beans contain 1.8 mg of iron per cup serving, chickpeas have 2.4 mg, and kidney beans have 2.0 mg.

For a more visual comparison of these five regularly consumed varieties of beans, see the table below:

Type of legume Milligrams of iron per ½ cup serving
Black beans (cooked) 1.8
Chickpeas (cooked) 2.4
Lentils (cooked) 3.3
Peanuts (raw) 3.3
Kidney beans (cooked) 2.0

NCCDB information (retrieved from Cronometer)

People have various needs for the quantity of iron they should take in their diet based on a variety of variables.

The RDA for iron is 8 mg per day for males of all ages and postmenopausal women, however premenopausal, menstruating women have a greater demand for dietary iron and the RDA for this group is around 18 mg per day.

A single cup of cooked lentils or raw peanuts would thus provide around 41% of the RDA for a male or post-menopausal woman, and 18% for a pre-menopausal woman.

While striving to improve your iron status, bear in mind that there are various variables that restrict iron absorption in legumes.

A research titled Bioavailability of minerals in legumes found that

Legumes have a high mineral content, but their bioavailability is low owing to the presence of phytate, which is a major inhibitor of Fe and Zn absorption.

Certain legumes also have high levels of Fe-binding polyphenols, which impede Fe absorption.

Nevertheless, phytate and iron-binding polyphenols may be lowered by soaking, heating at high temperatures (i.e., boiling or pressure cooking), and fermenting the beans.

It comes to reason that if phytate and polyphenols are sufficiently decreased, the iron in legumes will be better absorbed by the body.

According to the study’s findings,

Fe and Zn absorption from legume-based diets has been proven to be poor.

It has also been proven that dietary Fe deficiency is more prevalent in communities who consume cereals and legumes.

A high consumption of legumes, on the other hand, is not regarded a danger in terms of mineral supply in a balanced diet incorporating animal protein.

To acquire enough bioavailable iron in your diet, you’ll probably need to consume certain animal foods like red meat, organ meats like cow liver and spleen, mussels, and oysters.

Depending entirely on legumes or grains for nutrients will almost certainly make you deficient over time.

Another research looked at many various kinds of legumes, including soybeans, black beans, lentils, mung beans, and split peas, and found that just 0.84-1.91% of the iron in the legumes was absorbed by the body, even when the beans were cooked and fed as a soup.

The research concluded that these five regularly consumed legumes are all low in dietary iron.

Again, the message seems to be that you should not depend primarily on legumes for iron, but they are probably good to include in a balanced diet that also includes plenty of iron-rich animal foods.

Which legumes are high in calcium?

Soybeans have a high calcium content, with 87.7 mg per cup serving.

Raw peanuts have around 67.2 mg of calcium per cup serving, but cooked chickpeas contain 40.2 mg per cup meal.

In contrast, black beans, lentils, and kidney beans all have less calcium.

Calcium RDAs vary from 1,000 to 1,300 mg per day, depending on age and biological sex.

For a more visual comparison of these six commonly consumed types of legumes, see the table below:

Type of legume Milligrams of calcium per ½ cup serving
Black beans (cooked) 23.2
Chickpeas (cooked) 40.2
Lentils (cooked) 18.8
Peanuts (raw) 67.2
Kidney beans (cooked) 31.0
Soybeans (cooked) 87.7

NCCDB information (retrieved from Cronometer)

This research shows how, like iron and other minerals, not all of the calcium found in legumes is absorbed by the body.

Many variables influence calcium bioavailability in the foods we consume.

For example, having dietary fat in your meal inhibits calcium absorption, but ingesting protein and phosphorus in your meal increases absorption.

Phytic acid, which is abundant in most legumes, reduces calcium absorption as well.

Since oxalic acid has the same effect, spinach is a poor calcium source (only approximately 5% of the calcium in spinach is absorbed).

Similar to soybeans, it is believed that 30-35% of the calcium in milk and milk products is absorbed.

How much sugar do legumes have?

Unless you buy a product with additional sugar, legumes contain no added sugar.

Legumes contain modest levels of carbohydrates, with simple sugars, monosaccharides, and disaccharides accounting for a portion of the overall carbohydrate content.

Legumes also include a lot of fiber, which slows down digestion and absorption of simple carbohydrates, which is beneficial if you have trouble controlling your blood sugar.

The table below compares five different varieties of legumes and the amount of total carbohydrates and fiber they contain:

Type of legume Grams of carbs per ½ cup serving Grams of fiber per ½ cup serving
Black beans (cooked) 20.4 7.5
Chickpeas (cooked) 22.5 6.2
Lentils (cooked) 19.9 5.8
Peanuts (raw) 11.8 6.2
Kidney beans (cooked) 20.2 5.7

NCCDB information (retrieved from Cronometer)

This indicates that 7.5 grams of the 20.4 total grams of carbohydrates in a cup of black beans are fiber.

Fiber is a form of carbohydrate that is not completely digested but rather fermented by bacteria in the colon.

In practice, this slows down digestion and supposedly allows for a slower, more regulated release of glucose into your system.

This may not necessarily result in weight loss, but it will help with blood sugar balance and insulin sensitivity.

How many calories do legumes have?

Legumes have a modest number of calories, the most of which come from carbs and some from protein.

The exception is peanuts, which contain a disproportionate amount of fat in their calories.

Peanuts and peanut butter are rich in calories, but black beans, kidney beans, lentils, and chickpeas are low in calories.

See the table below for a comparison of five distinct varieties of legumes, their total calories, and the proportion of those total calories that come from protein, carbohydrates, and fat:

Type of legume Total calories per ½ cup serving % of calories from protein per ½ cup serving % of calories from carbs per ½ cup serving % of calories from fat per ½ cup serving
Black beans (cooked) 113 23% 73% 3%
Chickpeas (cooked) 134 19% 68% 13%
Lentils (cooked) 115 27% 70% 3%
Peanuts (raw) 414 16% 12% 73%
Kidney beans (cooked) 112 24% 73% 3%

NCCDB information (retrieved from Cronometer)

It is critical to consider the proportion of total calories that come from protein.

Protein, according to Dr. Ted Naiman, author of The P:E Diet, is primarily employed as a building block inside the body, and calories from pure protein do not contribute to dangerous weight gain.

Calories from carbohydrates and fat, on the other hand, are either used as energy by the body or stored as potential energy, making them more likely to contribute to fat accumulation if you consume in a caloric excess on a regular basis.

This suggests that if you want to lose weight, you should focus on reducing the calories from carbohydrates and fat rather than the calories from protein.

Lentils, for example, have a high protein content (27% of calories), but peanuts have a lower protein content.

So, peanuts are not only incredibly calorie dense (414 calories per cup serving), but the majority of those calories are non-protein calories.

This does not inherently result in weight gain; it is dependent on how many total calories you consume and how much you expend on a daily basis.

But, eating more protein and restricting calories from carbohydrates and fat will make it simpler to lose or maintain weight in the long term.

How much legumes can I eat per day?

In general, you may consume as much legumes as you like as long as the following criteria are met:

  • Your overall caloric intake is in check.
  • Your diet includes sufficient bioavailable, complete protein (ideally from animal sources).
  • You enjoy legumes.
  • You digest legumes well.
  • You don’t have signs of chronic inflammation after eating legumes (I.e., skin irritations, energy crashes, indigestion).

How much beans you may consume per day is determined by many variables, including your daily calorie demands, weight and body fat percentage, exercise levels, and the other items in your diet.

Depending on their objectives, everyone should eat a different number of calories (based on their weight and body fat percentage).

If you want to lose weight, for example, you must eat less calories than you expend.

In such scenario, you should go for legumes that are lower in total calories and higher in protein, such as lentils rather than peanuts.

Another factor to consider when deciding how much beans to consume is if you have any health issues that worsen when you eat legumes.

Certain chemicals in legumes, for example, may aggravate symptoms in patients with autoimmune illnesses.

Can you eat too many legumes?

It is possible to consume too much of anything, even legumes.

Yet, since everyone’s circumstances are different, how much is too much will vary.

Pay attention to how you feel after eating beans, especially any indications of indigestion or chronic inflammation, to decide how much you should consume.

You should also be mindful of your own caloric objectives (whether you want to lose, gain, or maintain weight) and how legumes fit into your overall nutritional strategy.


What legumes have the highest iron?

Legumes 1–3
Red kidney beans and white beans, on the other hand, have the greatest iron concentration.
Numerous studies have also linked eating beans and peas on a daily basis to decrease blood pressure and cholesterol.
More to come…
•Jul 5, 2022

Which lentils are highest in iron?

Masoor dal is high in iron. Having said that, all dals are nutritious. They’re all high in plant protein and quite healthy.

What are the best beans for iron deficiency?

For an iron boost, combine black beans with vitamin C-rich vegetables. According to the USDA, boiled black beans provide 3.61 mg of iron per cup, making them a great source. Pair them with healthful foods like kale, bell peppers, broccoli, or cauliflower to boost iron absorption.

Which plant food is highest in iron?

The iron concentration of cup) is the greatest. cup), lima beans (4.5 milligrams cup), and soybeans (4.5 milligrams cup). Kidney beans (5.2 mcg)

What bean is highest in iron?

White beans have the most iron of any bean. 5.08 mg is included in one cup. Canned white beans are also a good source of iron for persons who don’t have time to pick and soak raw beans, delivering 4 mg per half cup, or 22% of the daily value.

What is the No 1 iron food?

Meat, fish, and poultry all contain heme iron. It is the most easily absorbed type of iron by your body. You absorb up to 30% of the heme iron you ingest. In general, consuming meat raises your iron levels significantly more than ingesting non-heme iron.

What foods raise iron quickly?

Iron-rich foods include red meat, hog, and chicken.
Spinach and other dark green leafy veggies.
Raisins and apricots are examples of dried fruit.
Cereals, breads, and pastas enriched with iron.
Jan 4, 2022

Do lentils or chickpeas have more iron?

In most ways, lentils outperform chickpeas in terms of nutrients. Lentils include less calories and carbs, more fiber and protein, and more iron, vitamins B6 and B9, and phosphorus.

Which dried bean has the most iron?

Although all beans contain iron, white beans have the most. In reality, one cup provides 7.83 milligrams of iron. If you don’t have time to select and soak dried beans, go for canned – just keep an eye on the salt level.

Which beans increase hemoglobin?

Iron-rich foods include kidney beans, chickpeas, soybeans, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, black beans, peas, and lima beans.

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