Importance of Iron

Ever since I was really young I have avoided most meats, and now I only eat fish and chicken. This has health benefits such as lower cholesterol, decreasing your calorie intake, making your body less acidic, feeling less bloated, and decreasing your cancer risk. But it also deprives my body of iron, which is why I want to talk about some healthier iron packed options! I wanted to know why iron was so important and found out that iron is a component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body. If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells. A lack of red blood cells is called iron deficiency anemia. Iron is clearly super important so here are four healthy iron packed food options!

The first iron filled food I’m going to talk about are legumes. The most common types are beans, lentils, chickpeas, and soybeans. Legumes are also rich in potassium, magnesium, and folate. One cup of cooked lentils contains 6.6 mg of iron. Legumes may also help you lose weight. They’re very high in soluble fiber, which can increase feelings of fullness and reduce calorie intake.

Legumes and some quinoa

The next food is quinoa. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 2.8 mg of iron as well as folate, magnesium, copper, manganese and many other nutrients. Quinoa is also gluten free, and has more antioxidant activity than many other grains. Antioxidants help protect your cells from the damage done by free radicals, which are formed during metabolism and in response to stress.

As for a portable, great tasting snack food containing iron pumpkin seeds are a great option. One cup contains 4.2 mg of iron. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of vitamin K, zinc and manganese. They’re also one of the best sources of magnesium which many people are deficient in. Magnesium helps reduce your risk of insulin resistance, diabetes and depression.

organic pumpkin seeds

Spinach is another amazing iron rich food is spinach and in general most dark, leafy greens. 3.5 ounces of spinach contains 3.6 mg of iron and contains few calories. Spinach is also rich in vitamin C which is important since vitamin C significantly boosts iron absorption. Spinach is full of antioxidants called carotenoids that can reduce your risk of cancer, decrease inflammation, and protect your eyes from disease. Consuming spinach and other dark leafy greens with fat helps your body absorb the carotenoids, so try to eat a healthy fat like olive oil with your spinach.

Salad with spinach, arugula, goat cheese, apples, butternut squash, almonds, and cranberries

Hopefully this displayed the importance of iron and gave you some options that are healthier than just having red meat. These items are all great in salads, but the legumes, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds can all be consumed on their own and are actually all really delicious. I am going to work more to increase my iron intake in a healthy way, and hopefully you’ve been inspired to do the same!

Natural Immunity Boosters in Everyday Eats

Whenever I feel like I need to eat better I have this idea of elaborate salads and all organic meals. I am looking for a way to make eating healthier easier and more enjoyable. I figure the simpler it is to help your eating habits the more willing you’d be to do so. I have found four immunity boosting foods on Dr. Oz’s website that can be eaten everyday with about any simple meal you have. So let’s get started!

These immunity boosters can be added to food you love and eat everyday!

The first immunity boosting food I found was avocado. Adding avocado to you diet supports adrenal function and health. They contain essential amino acids, healthy fats, and antioxidants to balance hormone production as well. Having a half a cup of avocado a day is pretty simple considering all the things you could add it to. My personal favorite is avocado toast but putting avocado in your salad, having guacamole, or even eating it plain with olive oil and salt easily adds it to what you eat daily.

The next simple immunity booster is ginger. Ginger warms the body and helps break down toxins in the organs, especially in the lungs and sinuses. It also helps clense the body’s lymphatic system. By breaking down the accumulation of toxins in your body ginger decreases your risk of infection. I really love ginger tea in the morning and before bed during the cooler months. When it is warmer you can also make ginger infused water to drink iced. Ginger is a great flavor booster and is used in spices, sauces, and many flavored drinks as well.

Ginger can be used in drinks, spices, sauces, smoothies, and more

Next is oatmeal. This health food contains soluble fiber which reduces LDL, also known as you “bad” cholesterol. This fiber rich food can be eaten warm in the morning with brown sugar as a nutritious way to start the day. if you are looking for an easier to go snack oatmeal also has you covered, with overnight oatmeal.You can prepare the oatmeal then place it into small separate jars with a bit of sugar and whatever else you want to add. I add flax seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds to add a couple more health promoting ingredients. You then place your little snacks in the fridge and you can either heat them up or take them cold.

The final quick immunity booster is pomegranate. Pomegranate juice contains ellagic acid and Punic alagin which fight the damage cause by free radicals and preserve the collagen in your skin. Pomegranates are also a powerful source of phytonutrients that promote healthy skin. You can eat pomegranates plain as a simple snack or place them in a salad, smoothie, or berry bowl.

This berry bowl is packed with nutrients and tastes great

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle I think the most important thing is consistency. Whether it is exercising a few times a week of attempting to maintain a healthy diet the reasults won’t show unless you commit to what you are doing and work to achieve your goal!