How To Eat More Iron and Feel Like A Superhero
I wanted to create a smoothie that brought together the strongest sources of plant based iron. It was pretty easy to come up with a name. Thanks Robert Downey Jnr and the comic book that came before you.
Why Is Iron Important?
I wasn’t really sure. That is until my partner Lindsay got pregnant with our daughter. Turns out iron is crucial. Due to some complications we had to see a private haematologist who alarmingly told us we need Lindsay’s iron count to jump quickly or she is at risk of complications, including a blood transfusion.
You see, iron is used to create and transport blood from Mum to bub. And a pregnant woman needs a whopping 27mg per day. Which is the equivalent of three steaks. So this plant-based smoothie should really be called Iron Woman. But there’s no such blockbuster movie just yet.
Thankfully, Lindsay’s diet became rich in iron and we were able to avoid all complications. Lindsay fought off doctor recommendations for a premature induction (they were wrong, seriously) to deliver Pia naturally. No drugs. No inductions. #gangster
And If I’m Not Pregnant, What Does Iron Do?
Iron is in your haemoglobin and it carries oxygen in the blood from the lungs to the rest of the body. That oxygen is crucial to feeling good. Not only does it fuel your muscles and help you move but iron is critical to brain concentration. Studies show that an iron deficiency is a well-known cause of impaired cognitive, language, and motor development. Which is seriously alarming. So it’s really important for children and teenagers, as they develop. But iron is also important for every day cognitive performance and for prevent degenerative diseases when we age.
If you’re feeling foggy and flat upstairs, check your diet for heme (meat sources) and non-heme (plant) sources.
The Best Sources Of Iron
- Pumpkin and squash seeds
- Chicken liver
- Oysters, mussels and clams
- Cashews, pinenuts, peanuts, hazelnuts and almonds
- Beef and lamb
- White beans and lentils
- Spinach and swiss chard
- Dark chocolate and tofu
Our smoothie recipes combine the best blender-friendly iron sources and throw in some blackstrap molasses too. The infamous horse food is another monster source of iron but it’s also polarising to the palate. If you don’t like it in the recipe below, swap in raw honey, maple or dates.
Iron Man Smoothie
- Takes 5 minutes
- Makes 1 serving
- Frozen banana — 1
- Spinach — 2 cups
- Pumpkin seeds — 1/2 cup
- Cocoa powder — 1 tablespoon
- Blackstrap molasses — 1 teaspoon
- Ice — 1/2 cup
- Coconut Water — 1 cup
- Blend until creamy