The 30 Best Vegan Phosphorus Food Sources

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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 30 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.

But first, how much phosphorus should you eat?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of phosphorus is 700 mg for both male and female adults.

phosphorus-rda

There’s no issue with getting more, as long as it’s not an extreme amount from supplements.

The Top Vegan Phosphorus Food Sources

Below is a table of the top 30 foods in terms of phosphorus per serving.

As you can see, you can reach your RDA with just a serving or two of many foods.

Food Serving Energy (kcal) Phosphorus (mg)
Oats 1 cup 607 816
Rye grain 1 cup 571 561
Buckwheat groats 1 cup 567 523
Hemp seeds 3 tbsp 166 495
Brazil nut 0.5 cup 438 482
Sunflower seeds 0.5 cup 409 462
Sesame seeds 0.5 cup 413 453
Pine nuts 0.5 cup 454 388
Adzuki beans 1 cup 294 386
Amaranth 1 cup 251 364
Lentils 1 cup 230 356
Cashew 0.5 cup 393 336
Wheat flour (whole-grain) 100 g 332 323
Pistachio nuts 0.5 cup 344 301
Soybeans 1 cup 254 284
Quinoa 1 cup 222 281
Chickpeas 1 cup 269 276
Peanuts 0.5 cup 414 274
Navy beans 1 cup 255 262
Almonds 1/2 cup 313 260
Vital wheat gluten 100 g 370 260
Chia seeds 3 tbsp 146 258
Kidney beans 1 cup 225 251
Black beans 1 cup 227 241
White potato 1 large 255 229
Lima beans 1 cup 209 221
Swiss chard 10 leafs 91 221
Fava bean 1 cup 187 212
Walnut 0.5 cup 383 202
Mung bean 1 cup 212 200
Hazelnut 0.5 cup 424 196

Legumes (beans and lentils mainly) are amazing for phosphorus.

There are several nuts also on the list.

But there’s also grains and vegetables as well. 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.

The Best Phosphorus Sources Per 100 Calories

If you’re counting calories, you’ll want to get as much phosphorus as you can without having to eat tons of calories to get it.

Here are the top 30 plant foods for phosphorus when we look at the amount per 100 calories.

Food Serving Energy (kcal)
Phosphorus (mg) per 100 calories
Watercress 10 sprigs 3 500
Rapini 5 stalks 21 329
Hemp seeds 3 tbsp 166 298
Bok choy 1 cup 9 289
Asparagus 4 spears 13 246
Swiss chard 10 leafs 91 243
Squash 1 large 52 237
Zucchini 1 large 55 224
Lettuce (red leaf) 0.5 head 20 215
Spinach 1 bunch 78 214
Mustard greens 1 cup 15 213
Water spinach 1 cup 11 200
Arugula 1 cup 5 200
Broccoli 1 cup 31 194
Artichoke 1 large 76 192
Okra 8 pods 31 187
Chia seeds 3 tbsp 146 177
Cauliflower 1 cup 27 174
Bamboo shoot 1 shoot 17 171
Celery 1 stalk 9 167
Napa cabbage 1 cup 13 162
Gourd 1 gourd 36 158
Cucumber 0.5 cucumber 23 157
Brussels sprouts 1 cup 56 155
Lentils 1 cup 230 155
Kale 2 cup 15 153
Amaranth 1 cup 251 145
Lotus root 1 root 85 135
Oats 1 cup 607 134
Peas 1 cup 117 134

 All of a sudden, leafy greens shoot up to the top of the list:

  • Watercress
  • Rapini
  • 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. 

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)

vegan phosphorus sources bubble chartWe 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.

About the author

Dale C.

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance writer. Trying to do my small part in making the world better by writing about the wonderful world of veganism.

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