Need more oomph in your energy levels?

If you have lost your oomph and your get-up-and-go has gone you may need to take a look at how much iron you’re getting in your diet. Iron is an important mineral that is crucial in keeping many of your body’s functions going and it could be the key to your oomph! A word of caution though, too much iron can be toxic and excessive iron stores can lead to organ damage. So if you suspect that you need to do more than balance your diet, you’ve got to get some advice from your doctor or the Dietitians’ Association of Australia. The recommended intake of iron for men and women over 60 is 8 mg a day.

Here are some of the best iron rich foods.

Liver – Organ meats like liver and giblets are some of the best sources of iron.

Oysters – have plenty of  iron in them.

Chickpeas – These legumes provide your body with almost 5 mg of iron per cup, plus protein.

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Fortified Cereal – If you like your cereal – opt for a fortified version to start your day off with a dose of iron.

Pumpkin Seeds – They are packed with iron? One cup of whole seeds contains over 2 mg, while a cup of the kernels alone packs in a whopping 10 mg,

Soybeans – One half cup contains over 4 mg of iron, plus they’re an excellent source of important minerals like copper, which helps keep our blood vessels and immune systems healthy, and manganese, an essential nutrient involved in many chemical processes in the body.

Beans Beans – of all varieties are a wonderful source of iron, offering up anywhere from 3 to 7 mg per cup.

Lentils –  Cooked lentils offer up over 6 mg of the mineral per cup and are loaded with fibre that fills you up, lowers cholesterol, and helps keep blood sugar levels stable.

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Cooked Spinach – Both raw and cooked spinach are excellent sources of iron, though cooking spinach helps your body absorb its nutrients more easily. Just one cup of cooked spinach delivers more than 6 mg of iron as well as protein, fibre, calcium, and vitamins A and E.

This delicious recipe for quinoa porridge makes a great breakfast, it contains 60% of your daily iron and if you make a big batch it will keep well in the fridge for a few days.

1teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 cup quinoa

2 cups of milk

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1 teaspoon of sea salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 tablespoons of honey

2 dried pitted dates, finely chopped

5 dried apricots, finely chopped

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Toast the almonds in a pan over medium heat until just golden, 3 to 5 minutes; set aside

Heat the cinnamon and quinoa together in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through.

Add the milk and sea salt to the saucepan and stir; bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, place a cover on the saucepan, and allow to cook at a simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir the vanilla, honey, dates, apricots, and about half the almonds into the quinoa mixture. Top with the remaining almonds to serve.

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