There are two forms of iron out there: heme iron from animal products and non-heme iron found in vegetables. The heme form is absorbed more easily – but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get enough iron from vegetable sources.
Iron deficiency is definitely a risk for vegans and vegetarians if they don’t eat properly. However, if they’re conscious of nutrient intake, there are several studies that show a plant-based diet can deliver an adequate supply of iron.
I’ve been anemic or borderline anemic for more than 10 years. After popping countless iron supplements, I recently came to realize the futility of taking them. Until I get my digestion on track, I’m not going to absorb anything.
Now that I’m focused on healing my gut, I feel more equipped to bolster my iron stores. Being a foodie, I’d love to get as much as I can through things like pumpkin seeds, kidney beans, spinach and tofu.
I always knew that blackstrap molasses was high in iron, but never wanted to take it by the spoonful and didn’t really know how to use it. Which is why I was excited when this smoothie came along.
This recipe was really tasty, and reminded me of the banana bread smoothie I made a few months back. I went easy on the molasses, so it didn’t have an overwhelming gingerbread flavour, but next time I’d definitely add more.
Are you concerned about your iron levels?
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used homemade almond milk)
- 1-2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- Place all ingredients except for the molasses into the blender and blend until smooth.
- Add the molasses, a bit at a time, to taste.