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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Pasta Toppings

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

A quick post for a healthy salad topping idea. Just a simple thing you can rustle up to add more nutrients to your meal with minimum effort. You also get a range of textures to add some crunch to your meal. Simply prepare the ingredients below and sprinkle over your salad. The cucumber is light and refreshing and provides the body with water and soluble fiber, being low in calories. Radish is a delicious root vegetable, which can spice up a meal as they sometimes have a peppery taste. Walnuts have so many health benefits but my favourite is the high source of phytochemicals that support brain function and health. Sesame seeds although small are a great source of nutrients that support optimal immune function, including iron, zinc, and copper.

Ingredients:

  • Radish
  • Cucumber
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame seeds

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*Check your countries portion recommendations for optimal nutritional benefits.

Red Pesto Pasta with Sweet Potato Fries and Salad

Hello Everyone, thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Some recipe inspiration for you this evening, a delicious pesto pasta with a side of sweet potato fries and a refreshing salad. It’s a fairly simple dish as the red pesto is shop brought there isn’t really much to prepare. This is a tasty meal to make after a long day of work.

This is a dish that contains many ingredients for your luteal phase such as sweet potatoes, radish, cucumber, walnuts and sesame seeds. For example, the sweet potato will help your body replenish B vitamins and re-boost dopamine and serotonin level, this is particularly helpful if you experience mood swings.

Recipe: Red pesto pasta with sweet potato fries and salad (Serves 1)

Ingredients

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into fries

Oil for frying

1/2 portion of pasta

1 tbsp red pesto

1 inch cucumber, sliced

3 radish, sliced

1/2 tsp sesame seeds

3 walnuts, chopped

Method

  • Prepare all of the ingredients and set aside.
  • Heat some oil in a pan to fry the potatoes.
  • Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and once cooked, drain and set aside.
  • Once the oil is hot for 6 minutes in total turning occasionally. Once cooked fully, drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
  • Mix the red pesto in with the pasta and place back on the heat for 2 minutes to keep warm.
  • Place the pasta, sweet potatoes and salad onto the plate and sprinkle sesame seeds and walnuts over the pasta.

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Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry

Hi Everyone, I hope you’ve had a great day.

This recipe is great and can be eaten alone, with a side of rice or even homemade bread that can be dipped into the sauce. It is very nourishing and hearty but still great for this time of the year when the weather is cool and you fancy something hot. It’s nice and easy to prepare with minimal preparation. I’m cooking with a great range of vegetables; broccoli, garden peas, sweet potatoes and lentils but you could easily substitute them with your favourite vegetables. I always enjoy cooking with sweet potatoes because they offer such a delicious flavour that really compliments the curry paste used in this recipe. Sweet potatoes are also a great source of fibre which aid in the healthy digestive system, not only that, but cooking sweet potatoes is known to increase their vitamin C content.

Recipe: Sweet potato and lentil curry (serves 1)

Ingredients

1/2 tsp oil

1/3 small onion, finely diced

1/2 tbsp curry paste

Pinch of turmeric

30g lentils, soaked overnight in water

300ml stock

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes

Handful of broccoli florets

50g garden peas

Method

  • Heat the oil in a pan, once hot, add the onion and cook for a few minutes until soft.
  • Next, mix in the curry paste, turmeric, lentils and stock. Cook for 10 minutes on a low simmer.
  • After that, add the sweet potato and broccoli.
  • Cook for a further 5 minutes before adding the garden peas. Give it a final stir and leave on a low heat for a further 5 minutes and serve.

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*Nutrition information sourced through Google Scholar.

Curried Lentils and Rice

Hello everyone, I hope your day has been well.

So when I was making this recipe I never had curry powder in the cupboard so I looked online and found a mixture of spices (turmeric, cumin, coriander and ginger) that when combined make a great curry alternative. I have really been enjoying eating lentils recently, they have an earthy and nutty flavour to them that would really compliment any dish.

Lentils are a great staple food to have in your cupboard because you can sprinkle them into most dishes, like curries, soup or any rice dish. They are a great source of fibre and protein and a healthy gluten free option. This recipe overall is full of flavour and definitely one to try!!

Recipe: Curried rice and lentils (serves 1-2)

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 small onion, finely diced

1/2 tsp curry powder (or an even mixture of turmeric, cumin, coriander and ginger)

Sprinkle of thyme and salt

300ml boiling water (you may need more)

48g lentils

64g rice

Method

  • Heat the oil in a pot for 1 minute before adding the onion, cook this for 5 minutes on a low heat stirring regularly. Add the curry powder, thyme and salt, cover with a lid for 2 minutes to continue cooking.
  • The onions should be slightly soft at the point, add the boiling water to the pot and bring to boil.
  • Next add the lentils and rice, leave on a gentle simmer until fully cooked, roughly 20 minutes but keep checking.
  • Give the ingredients a final mix to combine everything together and serve.

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