Iron Rich Green Smoothies

As you can imagine, this week has been all about iron!  What it is, how to get it and how to raise the iron levels in your body.  I don’t want to give up my vegetarian lifestyle, I love it!  So it’s all about finding balance between being a vegetarian and being a woman! Thank you to all those who kindly contacted me to share their experiences, it was much appreciated.Iron Boosting Green Smoothies

I’ve learnt a lot about how to tackle low iron levels.  I’ve come up with an easy system to tailor your greens smoothies to be iron rich. I’ve also worked out some great snacks and meals to increase the iron levels in my bones.  I’ve looked in some advice from Sally regarding Floravital by Floradix.  It’s a liquid iron supplement that seems to be very pure in origin. It doesn’t contain any nasties from what I can see.   I’ve just started my first dose this morning.  I’ll be doing another blood test for iron in around eight weeks.  I’m really interested to see if my iron levels have improved.

Here’s a few of the highlights I’ve learnt this week.  Iron and protein are not the same thing.  Protein helps to rebuild and repair the muscles.  Iron helps to carry oxygen around the body via the blood stream.  When iron levels are low, the amount of red blood cells is reduced, which in turn reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood stream.  An oxygenated body is a healthy body.

Low iron levels can cause a number of side effects. In more extreme case it can cause fatigue, paleness, breathlessness and dizziness.  It is possible to overdose on iron if you take an excessive amount. Make sure iron supplements are stored safely away from children.

Iron Rich Green Smoothies Formula

1. Choose a leafy green for your smoothie (greens are iron rich).
2. Add a fruit that is high in Vitamin C (this aids iron absorption).
You can also add any extra fruit or herbs you’d like to include in your smoothie.
3. Add water and blend.

Here’s some examples to get you started.  Choose any combination you like or make up your own iron rich combinations!

1. Choose a Leafy Green 2. Choose a Vit C Fruit 3. Add Water & Blend
Spinach Kiwi Fruit Coconut Water
Swiss Chard Berries Filtered Water
Bok Choy Citrus Fruit
Kale Papaya
Beet Leaves Pineapple

Iron Boosting FoodI came up with iron rich snacks to get me through the afternoons.  Slice firm tofu into small bite sized squares.  Top with hummus, sliced tomatoes and few of your favorite herbs.  The tofu and hummus will provide you with iron.  The tomato is full of Vitamin C and will help you to absorb the iron.  They taste great and certainly jazz up a piece of plain tofu!  Some other great iron rich foods you include in your meals are Quinoa, capsicum, chickpeas and dried beans.  I’m thinking felafels, Quinoa with lots of thinly sliced veggies and Mexican beans with salad. Yum!

Lastly on my quest to restore my iron, I’ve booked in for an ultra sound to make sure everything is okay.  I’m sure it is but it never hurts to be sure when it comes to your health!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  I will be busy ironing – yes literally!

If you found this helpful or know of someone who is also finding maintaining iron levels a challenge, please share it with them.  If you have any great iron rich recipes, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Paula Abdul’s Green Smoothie

While surfing the internet we found this great green smoothie recipe from Paula Abdul!  It’s a fantastic blend with lots of great super foods.  Hope you are all off to a great start this week and looking forward to some warmer weather.

Paula’s Green Smoothie

1 cup fresh kale
1 cup  fresh or frozen spinach
1½ tbsp hemp seeds
1 tsp chia seeds
½ avocado
½ banana
½ apple
1 cup coconut water

Green Smoothie – Energizer Bunny

 

I have done some brilliant courses this year.  The hours are long and it has been worth it.  Keeping alert and involved is really important to get the most out of the course.  I have been making this smoothie to keep focused and feel energized.  Some days have been around 15 hours and I don’t want to miss a thing.

A lack of iron can cause fatigue.  Your blood cells need iron to transport oxygen around the body.  Greens provide an excellent source of iron and will also help to stabilize blood sugar.  Sage is great for improving memory so add in a few sprigs if you have it handy.   There are a wide variety of greens, fruits and vegetables you can use in your smoothies for memory and energy.  Pepitas are also a fantastic snack as they add zinc into the body, which helps to improve memory and thinking.  Try this smoothie out for an added boost of energy.

The Energizer Bunny

5 sage leaves
1 banana
1 apple
1 pear
3 kiwi fruit
Ginger
3 dates
½  a bunch of spinach
Water

The Persimmon Princess

Today’s recipe is from our Super Green Smoothie range.  It’s a great way to use persimmons, which are now in season.  They are a water rich fruit, which contains twice the dietary fibre of an apple and is also rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene.  They are best used when they are soft and ripe. I find them an acquired taste to eat on their own, I do like them used in a green smoothie.

The Persimmon Princess

2 persimmons
1 banana
2 dates
1/2 a small cucumber
½ bunch of spinach
1 litre of water

Super Green Friday

I’ve started to notice a change in my palate.  I’m finding I want more ‘green smoothies’ with a little less fruit. Here’s the recipe I’ve made today.  It’s doesn’t have a lot of sweetness in it at all.  It really hits the spot.  This recipe makes two litres and is easy to drink due to the high water content.  It hydrates your body and gives you that concentrated hit of greens for cell nourishment.  You can add the water gradually until you find the best consistency for you.  It’s a great boost for the changing weather!

Lime Green Smoothie

1 pear
1 banana
1/4 lime with skin
1/2 cucumber
1 bunch bok choy
1 handful of spinach
750ml water

Sensational Sorrel

Sorrel is native to Europe and is also known as common sorrel and spinach dock.  It is considered more a herb than a vegetable in some countries.  It has a similar appearance to that of spinach.  It grows to about sixty centimeter high with roots that run deep underground.  The leaves are oblong shaped and can range from around seven to fifteen centimeters in length.  The younger leaves taste similar to kiwi fruit and slightly more acidic in the older leaves.  There is another variety of sorrel found in the Caribbean, which is deep red in colour.  It is not a close relative of the European variety.

Sorrel is a great source of iron, calcium, vitamins A, B and C, and magnesium. It also contains protein and potassium, and it’s low in calories. Sorrel is becoming more common to find in stores and nurseries.  It will last about three days in the refrigerator once harvested, so it is best to use it straight away if you can. If you are growing sorrel in your garden or in a pot, put a cabbage plant close by as white moth caterpillars love to eat sorrel and can strip back a plant quite quickly.  The cabbage plants acts as a decoy!

 You can also make creamed sorrel by placing a bunch of sorrel into your blender with some natural yoghurt, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Sorrel is perfect for your green smoothies had has a nice, mild flavor.  It is also great in salads, we often use it in place of spinach.  In Jamaica, they even make a drink out of sorrel using rum, ginger and pimento spices!

Carotenoids for Eye Health

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that I came across recently when researching health information.  They are not like beta-carotene or alpha-carotene and beta-cryptozanthin as they are not provitamin A compounds.  While they are generally found in yellow foods, they are also found in leafy greens.

The carotenoids family has been associated with anti-cancer and anti-aging compounds. They are a powerful anti-oxidant and help to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are organic molecules, which are responsible for aging, tissue damage and some diseases.  Antioxidants help to protect healthy tissue from free radicals.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are concentrated in the retina and lens.  People eating diets high in carotenoids are less likely to experience cataracts and age related muscular degeneration.  There are few options to restore damage at the onset of these conditions. They are able to filter out UV light and protect the eyes from light induced oxidative damage.  They have also been linked with helping to prevent cancer, arthritis, infertility and osteoporosis.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, turnip greens, collared greens, romaine lettuce, zucchini, peas and Brussel sprouts and eggs.  Add some into your next green smoothie for an added health boost.

The Seafood Lunch

Omega 3 is the essential fatty acids that are good for your body.  Your body needs obtain omega 3 fats from diet as it unable to produce it.  Large quantities are found in the brain and it supports memory, brain function and performance.  It also supports behavioral function.  It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer and arthritis. It also assists the body to break down blood clots.

You can add omega 3 to your diet with dark leafy greens, vegetables, ground linseed, walnuts, nut oils, broccoli and spinach.  Rich sources of omega 3 are also found in cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, scallops and tuna.

So this leaves me only one choice for a weekend lunch – Seafood and Salad.  Don’t mind it I do!