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?
Iron Woman Gingerbread Smoothie
From Oh She Glows
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. Now add the molasses, a bit at a time, to taste. Serves one.