I woke up yesterday with this bright idea to write one complete blog post on Iron but realised I have too much information to share in one post. So I will take time to write blog posts over the next months getting as much information as I can to you on obtaining enough iron. I started to write some information about the different types of iron and gave myself a headache so for this blog post I will make it really easy by giving you a quick spiel, a list of iron rich foods, a list of foods that help the body absorb the iron and a list of foods that inhibit the absorption of iron.
It is so very important to keep your iron intake up in order to function at the energetic level you are accustomed to. A lack of iron can result in extreme tiredness, dizziness, anemia, dryness to skin, nervousness, extreme anxiety, lower back pain, headaches and painful menstruation.
Whether you are vegetarian or not iron will be difficult to absorb if you have leaky gut syndrome, are gluten intolerant and unaware of it or are eating a lot of products containing gluten. Also purely from experience and from speaking to naturopaths along the way if you are working intensely or are under stress you will need to increase your iron intake, so when I know I am on a big job where I work sixteen hour days along with eating lots of iron rich foods I will also take an iron supplement.
Iron rich foods
Lentils and beans- (particularly soya beans, black eyed beans)
Dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, peaches, prunes
Leafy greens (kale and chard)
Spinach (if it is cooked)
Spirulina (great spirulina ball recipe in my fresh and vibrant cook book)
Dulse (I buy the flakes and sprinkle on salads and steamed veg)
Potatoes (also packed with vit c which helps with absorption)
Parsley and thyme
Sundried tomatoes (not the ones in canola oil- the real dried ones
Nuts- almonds and cashews, (these really need to be soaked) pecans and macadamias.
Foods that will assist the body in absorbing iron
Foods packed with vitamin c will assist in the absorption of iron so always eat good sources of vitamin c along with iron rich vegetables and whole foods.
Peppers, capsicums, chillies
Guavas (if you are lucky to live where they grow)
Foods that can inhibit iron absorption
Uncooked spinach and beetroot leaves
Teas high in tannins
Too much calcium including too much dairy
Un-soaked almonds and cashews- the toxins found in these nuts can inhibit the absorption of iron so it’s a good idea to activate first by soaking for at least 6 hours- changing the water every six hours. Brazil nuts are the same.
This dressing containing lemon juice and raisins will work well with salad vegetables and steamed vegetables which are high in iron to help the body absorb the iron. This recipe doesn’t contain any protein so eat alongside some tempeh, or beans or nuts and quinoa and sprinkle on hemp seeds.
1 cup of dried raisins soaked for ½ an hour in filtered water then roughly chopped
juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
Place the chopped raisins in a food processor and whizz for a minute or so then add all of the other ingredients and whizz until all combined. Serve with steamed vegetables or salad. For added iron intake choose vegetables rich in iron and sprinkle with dulse flakes.