Sources of Iron

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

Today, I’m sharing some information about iron because many women in their menstruating age are likely at some point to have low iron levels due to the loss of blood every month. Often the Doctor will prescribe Iron tablets which are usually quite harsh on the stomach, not only that but they can cause many side effects like tummy pain, dark stools and nausea. It is sometimes recommended to take iron tablets alongside a meal or gradually increase the dose.

I am sharing two Iron alternatives to get your levels up and help you feel more energised throughout the day. Of course I would say that food is your best option however, it is not always that effective and you would usually have to be consuming copious amounts of a specific item for it to actually make a difference. As a child, my mother introduced us to Floridax, commonly sold in a dark bottle from Holland & Barratts. The taste is okay once you get used to it and it contains fruit juice concentrates and herbal extracts. Floridax is best taken on an empty stomach, approx. 30 minutes before a meal or 2 hours after. More recently, I have become aware of Spatone, which is natural source of iron and fast absorbing. The great thing about Spatone is that it come in a box with 30 individual sachets inside so can easily carry some with you when travelling or on the go making it easier to achieve your intake.

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Low Iron symptoms can include:

  • Low energy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches

Iron food soucres:

  • Liver
  • Oysters
  • Beef
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Raw cashew nuts
  • Sesame seeds

Iron found in animal flesh products is called heme, which supports the body in many cardiovascular processes. Iron found in plant foods is non-heme iron, usually added to iron enriched/fortified foods. Non-heme iron is not as easily absorbed by the body therefore it is always advised to consume a varied, balanced diet. Iron helps to reduce tiredness and supports a healthy immune system and normal cognitive function.

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*If you feel you have any low iron related symptoms, please seek professional help.

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Warm Quinoa and Kale Salad

Hey Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

This meal was completely inspired by the Ovulatory phase of the monthy cycle and I’ve included foods which will support your body during this time. The Ovulation phase is the hot phase of the cycle so eating raw foods is beneficial for your body at this stage. For example, I’ve used ingredients like kale and Brussels Sprouts which have been lightly sautéed but could also be eaten raw. This meal was super tasty, very flavoursome and makes a great light lunch or dinner.

This recipe has a range of flavours from the vegetable stock, turmeric and vegetables but for added flavor you could even season your prawns. I opted for chilli powder, garlic powder, and paprika for a fiery kick. From the final photo, you can see that the quinoa and lentils were slightly over cooked but it didn’t affect the taste at all, with the toasted pumpkin seeds and the sauteed vegetables there was honestly so much texture with each bite.

Recipe: Quinoa and kale salad (serves 1)
Ingredients

30g dried quinoa

20g red lentils

240ml vegetable stock

1/5 tsp turmeric powder

10g pumpkin seeds, toasted

30g kale, shredded

3 Brussels Sprouts, shredded

50g prawns

1/3 spring onion, sliced

Method

  • Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan and set aside.
  • Slice the spring onion and set aside with the pumpkin seeds.
  • Boil the kettle. Use tap water to thoroughly wash the quinoa in a pot. Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions, adding in the lentils. Once cooked drain off any excess liquid and leave for 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, add a drop of oil to a pan and cook the shredded kale and sprouts for 3-4 minutes. Add the prawns to the pan and cover with the vegetable mix, cooking for a further 3 minutes until the prawns are fully cooked.
  • Once everything is cooked, mix together in the pan and serve.


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Recipe inspired by book: In The Flo by Alisa Vitti

Cauliflower, Kale and Tuna Pasta Bake

Hello everyone, Thanks for checking my blog out today.

This is a quick meal I rustled up after work. To be honest it does require a bit of effort to prepare but once its in the oven you can relax or get on with other things. I love adding as much vegetables to my meals as possible, especially pasta. As you can tell from the ingredients, I literally just added things here and then so the measurements aren’t that precise but you get the idea, as long as you have enough sauce to cover the filling, it should be fine. Also, it’s nice when you have extra food leftover for the next day’s work lunch or a portion to freeze for next weeks dinner which I’ll be doing. I even added a bit of nutritional yeast for that B12 which helps with DNA production, a healthy nervous system and the creation of red blood cells.

Recipe: Cauliflower, kale and tuna pasta bake (serves 3-4)

Ingredients

2 handfuls of Penne

Pinch of salt

Bunch of kale, sliced

Handful of pea’s

Handful of corn

2 handfuls of cauliflower, chopped

Few slices on red onion, diced

1 tin tuna

Sprinkle of nutritional yeast

50g cheese, grated

Pasta sauce

1 tbsp tomato puree

Method

  • Firstly, bring a pot of water to boil with a little salt and cook the penne according to the packet instructions.
  • In the meantime, prepare all of the vegetables and then set aside in a large bowl.
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 6.
  • Once the penne is cooked, add to the large bowl along with the tuna, nutritional yeast, cheese, pasta sauce and tomato puree.
  • Combine everything together and place into an oven tray and cover with foil
  • Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, then take the foil off and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until everything is fully cooked and slightly golden on top.
  • Serve with salad, garlic bread or simply enjoy alone.

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Food for the eyes?

Hi everyone and welcome to my blog, today I wanted to briefly write about macular degeneration because vision is necessary to us all and it’s important to know whether or not there’s anything we can do to improve it!

Macular degeneration is the main cause of visual loss in older people. Deterioration of the macular area in the eye can lead to a loss of central vision and eventual blindness.

Preventative factors could be supplements such as:
Omega 3 fatty acids
Folate
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B12
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Beta-carotene
Zinc
Lutein
Zeaxanthin

Based on the supplements, it may be useful to consume a bit more wild salmon, sardines, spinach, kale, mustard greens, collard greens, red grapes, peppers, corn mangos and melon. These foods should be consumed as part of your 5+ portions of fruits and vegetables each day making sure you eat a wide variety that are bright in colour.

There was also a published study carried out in the US where researchers found that people who had the highest intake of lutein and zeaxanthin in their diets were less likely to develop age related macular degeneration. These nutrients are found in green leafy vegetables and eggs.

Do you think a macular rich diet would improve a person’s vision?

*Information is from NHS website and Understanding Nutrition.

Immunity Boosting Foods

Hello everyone, I hope you have all been enjoying your day. The weather has been quite sunny this morning and I had crispy prawns in homemade wraps for my lunch with a little salad.

So… I’ve been thinking a lot recently and I thought I’d do a little research about the immune system. As the days go on I’m starting to feel more and more anxious about the current situation going on around the whole world, I think because I have so much time on my hands throughout the day my mind just wonders. The more I think the more I realise the reality of the situation and its set in my mind that things won’t ever be the same. In a way its quite hard to stay hopeful because everything seems so uncertain but being grateful for what I have is a good distraction.

The body’s immune system is dependent on protein, which is needed to form white blood cells and antibodies that fight disease. The immune system is quite sensitive to changes in nutritional status and everyday it needs adequate amounts of fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to be maintained.

The nutrients listed below are known to benefit your immunity:

  • Protein
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C and E
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12 and folate
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

I hope this post has been an easy read and useful to everyone, I know that now more than ever, many people are trying to understand how their body’s immune system works. It will always be best to eat a balanced diet and consume everything in moderation. I think it is super important to enjoy your  food and have a good relationship with what you eat, to give your body what it needs.

Definitions Immune system: the organs and processes of the body that provide resistance to infection and toxins.

Immunity: the body’s ability to defend itself against diseases

Information is from Google, Food and Nutrition and Understanding Nutrition