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Friday, November 24, 2017

Fight iron deficiency with this delicacy!


The commonest nutritional deficiency disorder present throughout the world is iron deficiency but its prevalence is higher in the developing countries. 

Iron deficiency anaemia is the top cause of disability in India since past 10 years. 
It is most common in children below the age of 3 years and in women specially in reproductive age group of 13 years to 40 years. 
In children, the reason for it being rampant is, the staple is milk which is unfortunately, low in iron. Thus, causing low haemoglobin levels or anemia as a result. 

In adults, amount of iron loss is 1 mg daily in males and non-menstruating female, while in a menstruating woman there is an additional iron loss of .5-1 mg daily.  So, women in reproductive age group are more prone to iron deficiency anaemia, both in developing as well as developed countries. 


An average diet contains about 10-15 mg of iron, out of which only 5-10% is normally absorbed. In pregnancy and in iron deficiency, the proportion of absorption is raised to 20-30%. 

However there is a catch here. Iron from diet containing haem is better absorbed than non-haem iron. 

Haem iron is found mainly in animal products like chicken ,fish and some part of meat . 
Whereas, vegetables and nuts contain mainly the non-haem iron. 
Thus, Vegetarians needs to make extra effort to not just make sure that they are consuming iron rich foods but also that these foods are absorbed better. 

Absorption of non-haem iron is enhanced by factors such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), citric acid, amino acid, sugars, gastric secretions and hydrochloric acid. Iron absorption is impaired by factors such as medicinal antacids, milk, pancreatic secretions, tannates contained in tea. (Source: Textbook of Pathology by Harsh Mohan) 



1) Chicken

2) Turkey
3) Salmon
4) Tuna
5) Beef
6) Oysters
7) Mollusks 


1) Legumes 

 - Soybeans
 - Lentils
 - Beans
 - Peas

2) Nuts

 - Almonds
 - Cashews

3) Seeds

 - Hemp
 - Flax seeds
 - Sesame

4) Vegetables

 - Spinach
 - Broccoli 
 - Kale
 - Potatoes
 - Mushrooms

5) Fruits

 - Mulberries
 - Olives 
 - Amaranth

6) Whole grains

 - Oats
 - Quinoa 

As mentioned earlier, Vegetarian sources contain non-haem iron which is absorbed less effectively as compared to haem iron. But vitamin C along with such sources can enhance iron absorption. Also, there are some sources which contain higher Vitamin C  content along with iron and thus are good sources especially for strict vegetarians. 

Foods high in vitamin C include:
  • fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, kiwis, guavas, papayas, pineapples, melons, and mangoes
  • broccoli
  • red and green bell peppers
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cauliflower
  • tomatoes
  • leafy greens

The recipe I am going to share here is a very nutritious one. And is particularly good for vegetarians looking for their daily iron share in a tasty way. 

It contains :

- Broccoli
- Almonds and Cashews
- Red and green bell peppers
- Tomatoes
- Mushrooms
- Bean
- Olives

and you can always experiment with many other vegetables and nuts! 

Here we go...


BAKING TIME : 25 Minutes
SERVES : 4-5


1) Vegetables ( All cut cubed sized )
- Broccoli - 1 small 
- French Beans - 100 gm
- Mushrooms - 50 gm
- Baby corns - 50 gm
- Yellow and red bell peppers - 1 small each
- Sweet corns - 50 gm
- Carrots - 2-3
- Any other vegetable of your choice

2) For Tomato Sauce
 - Tomatoes - 2
 - Ginger - 1 small piece
 - Garlic - 3 pods
 - Basil Leaves - 4-5
 - Cashews - few
 - Almonds - few
 - salt - according to taste

3) For white sauce 
 - Milk - 2 cups
 - Butter - 1 tbsp
 - Maida - 2  tsp
 - Black pepper powder - 1/4th tsp
 - salt - according to taste

4) Mozzarella cheese - grated - As much as you like!

1) Steam boil all the cubed vegetables until soft, add a little salt and keep them aside.

2) In a pan, take a little oil and add saute all the ingredients of tomato sauce namely , tomatoes, ginger, garlic, basil leaves, almonds and cashews. Also add a little salt. 

3) After they have cooled a bit, grind them into a smooth paste without adding any water.

4) Now, evenly mix the tomato sauce with the boiled vegetables and keep aside.

5) For white sauce, take a pan, add maida and butter. Roast it for few minutes. Then slowly add milk ad keep stirring vigorously as you do so to avoid formation of lumps. 

6) After the sauce begins to thicken, add black pepper and salt. You can also add some grated cheese in the end. Switch off the flame and keep it aside.

7) In the meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 

8) Take about a 1.5L rectangular or an equivalent sized baking dish and very lightly grease it with olive oil or vegetable oil.

9) Now layer the vegetables and tomato sauce mixture. 

10) Next, pour over the white sauce liberally.

11) On the top, add grated mozzarella cheese.

12) Now, place your dish in the pre-heated oven and bake it on convection mode for 20 minutes and then grill mode for 5 minutes. 

13) The cheese on top will melt while the vegetables will be nicely cooked. 

14) Serve hot.

Contains Broccoli, beans, Mushrooms, Bell peppers, Almonds, Cashews - All packed with Iron.

Iron rich delicacy - Baked Vegetables!
Livogen has taken the initiative of helping women fight iron deficiency. This post is a little contribution in the same direction.Visit their website to know more.

For any health related queries, you can contact me on my mail ID

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