We regularly associate anaemia with low iron concentrations in the blood, and rightly so. Iron is one of the most important minerals when it comes to maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system because it is essential for building red blood cells that transport oxygen from the lungs to where it is needed. A lack of iron results in fewer blood cells being produced and, therefore, less oxygen getting to where it needs to be. This results in tiredness and general fatigue.
Because of its primary role in producing blood cells that transport oxygen, iron also plays a secondary role in ensuring that the brain develops properly, muscles contract correctly and body temperature is regulated. All of these are affected by the levels of oxygen being transported around the body.
This particular smoothie provides an iron boost to any diet and has a wonderfully exotic flavour, thanks to the passionfruit. It includes plenty of iron-rich foods, namely pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, parsley, oats, spinach, passionfruit, banana and almond milk.
To make this smoothie, simply add all the ingredients to a blender and hit the blend button. Use a spoon to scoop out the contents of the passion fruit.
The health benefits associated with consuming pumpkin seeds include it helping to prevent heart attacks and stroke, boosting the immune system and encouraging a good night’s sleep. They are also a very good source of iron, with a one cup serving containing around 12% of the recommended daily allowance.
Chia seeds are powerful superfoods whose health benefits include maintaining blood sugar levels, preventing blood clots, lowering blood pressure and encouraging proper digestive function. They contain some impressive amounts of dietary fibre that help you to feel satiated and maintain a healthy weight. A 28g serving of chia seeds provides around 12% of the daily requirement of iron.
By regularly adding parsley to recipes you can hope to benefit from a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, protection of cells from damage caused by free radicals and even the prevention of recurring ear infections. One cup of raw parsley contains around 21% of your daily intake of iron.
A one cup serving of oats contains nearly half of your daily requirement of iron and the health benefits of consuming them are numerous. They are incredibly rich in fibre which means that you will feel fuller for longer, which is important when trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight. Other benefits of consuming oats include lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
One cup of raw spinach contains around 5% of your daily requirement of iron and by adding it to this smoothie you can hope to benefit from improved eyesight, reduced inflammation and protection against the risk of cancer.
Passion fruit lends this smoothie a delightfully refreshing and delicately exotic flavour, as well as a number of health benefits that include laxative effects to help reduce constipation, antioxidants that scavenge harmful free radicals and helping to fight against cancer, and reducing levels of cholesterol. The edible seeds from one passion fruit contain as much as 2% of your daily iron needs, which is quite a good amount considering the small quantity of seeds available per fruit.
Bananas add a good amount of dietary fibre to this smoothie, as well as a number of essential vitamins and minerals. The health benefits associated with eating them include helping to manage electrical activity in the heart, improving symptoms of depression and protecting against the risk of developing kidney cancer.
You can add homemade almond milk to this smoothie or a store bought brand. Depending on the brand you choose to use, a one cup serving of almond milk will provide around 2% of the daily requirement of iron. Some of the health benefits associated with almond milk include lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and helping with weight loss.
Spinach, kale, blackberries, swiss chard, parsley, kiwifruit, collard greens, pomegranate juice, blueberries and water smoothie
Blueberries, red apple, carrot juice, ginger, beetroot, water and lime smoothie
Cinnamon, almonds, banana, Greek yogurt, red apple, almond milk and flax seeds smoothie