Phosphorus is an important mineral used as a material when building cell membrane and nucleic acids, among other roles.
In short, it primarily keeps your muscles and bones strong.
A phosphorus deficiency is not common, and you typically don’t need to pay any extra attention to getting enough. Even on a vegan diet, it’s not difficult to get.
I’ve put together a table of the top phosphorus sources so you can see where you actually get it from your diet. Note that many cereals and grain products are fortified with nutrients including phosphorus.
Table of Contents
How Much Phosphorus Do You Need?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of phosphorus is 700 mg for both male and female adults.
There’s no issue with getting more for most people, as long as it’s not an extreme amount from supplements.
The Top Vegan Phosphorus Food Sources
Below is a table of vegan foods in terms of phosphorus per 100 grams and per 100 calories. Click the headers to sort the data.
|Food||Phosphorus (mg) per 100 grams||Phosphorus (mg) per 100 calories|
|Wheat flour (whole-grain)||323||97|
|Vital wheat gluten||260||70|
|Lettuce (red leaf)||28||215|
|Red bell pepper||26||100|
|Green bell pepper||20||100|
As you can see, you can reach your RDA with just a serving or two of many foods.
The Best of Both Worlds: Phosphorus Dense Foods
For everyday diets, the perfect source of phosphorus has a lot per serving, and also per 100 calories.
It’s easy to identify these with a simple bubble chart. The foods that are most dense in phosphorus will drift to the top-right corner. (click to enlarge)
We see that oats and rapini stand out on the two extremes, but in terms of getting phosphorus as efficiently as possible, hemp seeds are by far the best source. They have a good amount of phosphorus per serving, while also having a lot per 100 calories.
After hemp seeds, nothing stands out other than the cluster of beans around the center of the chart. They have almost the same amount of phosphorus per serving, but not as much per 100 calories.
Types of Vegan Foods High in Phosphorus
When you look at the amount per 100 grams, certain foods gather near the top:
- Legumes (beans and lentils mainly) are amazing for phosphorus.
- Nuts in general rank highly.
- Certain grains and vegetables. As I said, there’s a diverse set of foods that have significant amounts of phosphorus in them that make it hard to not get enough.
And if you look at the amount of phosphorus per 100 calories, leafy greens shoot up to the top of the list:
- Bok Choy
- Swiss chard
In addition, hemp seeds, squash, asparagus, and zucchini also rank well.
These are all foods that have a good amount of phosphorus in them, and very few calories. The downside is that you’ll have to eat multiple servings.
They’ll fill you up really well, which is perfect if you’re trying to lose weight, but could be inconvenient otherwise.