Do You Get Enough Iron in Your Diet?
When we need more iron in our diet, we need to understand that there are two different types – non-heme iron and heme iron. Heme iron is only found in non vegan sources like eggs, fish, poultry and meat. Non-heme iron comes from plant foods like leafy green vegetables, beets and beans. If we have been diagnosed with an iron deficiency then it is best to consume animal sources of heme iron since we digest it at least twice as easily as non-heme iron.
However, for strict vegetarians, vegetable sources of leafy green vegetables in large quantities, such as green juices, is still a great second option. Green juices are also a great addition to animal sources of heme iron.
Some of the leafy greens that are highest in iron are swiss chard, kale, amaranth and bok choy. Any of these greens make great juicing recipes for iron. Even so, just about every leafy green is a good source of iron too, with one exception – spinach. Spinach should be avoided altogether since it is lower in iron and more importantly it contains substances called oxalates that inhibit the absorption of iron from the stomach into the blood stream! Spirulina, the extremely nutritious seaweed that can be found as a dried supplement is one of the very best plant sources of iron and is a great thing to stir into your juice.
Getting plenty of vitamin C in our diet is a great way to increase iron levels too. Studies show that vitamin C improves iron absorption by 30%. If we are making juicing for iron then we don’t have to be concerned about this because the leafy greens mentioned above that are high in iron are also great sources of vitamin C.
Juicing Recipes for Iron
1) Green Supreme
2 green apples
2 cups of kale
2 cups of bok choy
2) Beets & Greens
2 whole beets – raw
2 cups of amaranth leaves
1 cup of bok choy
For each of these juicing recipes for iron, any of the leafy greens can be changed for any other type of leafy green. Leafy greens are not known for being very palatable so apples and beets are a great way to sweeten and dilute them.