10 Perfect Meal Plans for Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. Unfortunately, severe cases can result in impaired cognitive and motor functions. Fortunately, eating more dietary iron helps people manage or even recover from this kind of anemia.

Ready to start cooking? Keep reading for some mouth-watering, iron-packed recipes…

1. Breakfast: Oatmeal and Dry Fruit with Nuts

One way to start your day off with a great dose of iron is to have a bowl of oatmeal with dry fruit and nuts.

Oatmeal, made up of rolled oats, contains 26% of your daily recommended value of iron. Starting your day off with an oatmeal cereal can therefore be great for including iron in your diet. Dry fruit and nuts are also great to add for extra nutritional benefits.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Steel-cut oats
  • Dry fruits of your choice
  • Nuts of your choice
  • Milk
  • Water

How to Prepare:

  1. Pour 1 cup of water/milk/combination into a saucepan
  2. Bring liquid to boil
  3. Pour in 1/2 cup of oats
  4. Wait around 5 minutes for oats to thicken and cook, stir frequently
  5. Wait until oats absorb all liquid
  6. Pour into bowl
  7. Add other ingredients as desired (brown sugar, cinnamon, etc)
  8. Add dry fruit and nuts into the bowl

2. Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Orange Slices

Another delicious breakfast to help treat your iron deficiency anemia is scrambled eggs, spinach, tomatoes, and orange slices on the side.

Eggs offer a lot of health benefits like protein and iron. Orange slices are rich in vitamin C; this vitamin is helpful in boosting the body’s ability to absorb iron.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 6 grape tomatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt and pepper

How to Prepare:

  1. Coat some olive oil over a skillet on medium heat
  2. Add spinach and tomatoes and cook until spinach starts to wilt
  3. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl and pour water into the bowl until its foamy
  4. Pour eggs into skillet
  5. Stir eggs once the color on the edges is lighter than the rest of the egg
  6. Continue to stir eggs towards the center of the skillet until everything is cooked
  7. Remove from heat and serve on a plate
  8. Salt and pepper to taste

3. Lunch: Whole Grain Tortilla with Black Beans, Salsa, Shredded Cheese and Salad

For a lunch that is not only delicious but also rich in iron, a whole grain tortilla filled with black beans, salsa, and shredded cheese is a great option. A salad made of dark leafy greens can be an additional way to increase iron in your diet.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1.15 ounce of black beans
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
  • 4 whole grain tortillas

How to Prepare:

  1. Mash the black beans into a bowl
  2. Add salsa and continue to mix and smash until mixed
  3. Spread mixture over tortillas evenly
  4. Spread shredded cheese over the tortilla
  5. Microwave for 1-2 minutes

4. Lunch: Grilled Chicken with Raw Veggies and Dark Leafy Greens

Another delicious lunch meal for fighting iron deficiency anemia is grilled chicken with raw veggies and dark leafy greens. Along with being a great source of protein, chicken also contains a good amount of iron. To get as much as iron as possible with this meal, it’s a good idea to include other staples like raw veggies. Dark leafy greens, especially, carry a high amount of iron.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
  • Your choice of raw veggies and dark leafy greens

How to Prepare:

  1. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper into a bowl
  2. Whisk until combined
  3. Place chicken in a zip-lock bag and pound them until 1/2-inch thick
  4. Pour marinade into bag with chicken and seal it
  5. Place bag into baking dish
  6. Place dish in fridge or 30 minutes to 2 hours
  7. Heat grill to 375-450 degrees F
  8. Remove chicken from bag and grill for 5-8 minutes per side
  9. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes after cooking

5. Dinner: Baked Cod on Bed of Wilted Swiss Chard in Garlic and Oil

Fish contains a good amount of iron. This meal includes Swiss chard, garlic, and oil for a mouth-watering dinner. To give your dinner the ultimate boost of iron, however, you need to include garlic. This herb will increase the amount of iron in the meal as well as enhance its overall flavor. Win-win!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of cod
  • Olive oil for anti-sticking
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • Salt
  • Cracked pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed and leaves chopped
  • Splash of white wine

How to Prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or drizzle olive oil over it
  3. Place fish on a baking sheet and lightly brush it with milk
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Place panko crumbs in a bowl and sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil over it
  6. Toss crumbs with fingers and then sprinkle over fish
  7. Bake fish at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes
  8. Saute Swiss chard by heating it on a skillet with 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  9. Add garlic to the skillet and cook for 1 minute
  10. Add wine to the skillet and cook for a few more minutes, stir regularly
  11. Season with salt
  12. Spread chard on serving plates, then lay fish atop the bed

6. Dinner: Grilled Pork Chop with Applesauce, Spinach, White Beans on the Side

For those who prefer nonseafood meat, pork chops are a great option. This meal adds a few other ingredients to make it even healthier and add more iron. Spinach and white beans can also be added for taste and for an extra source of iron. While applesauce doesn’t contain a lot of iron in itself, it can help your body absorb iron.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lean pork chops
  • 4 dessert spoons of applesauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Spinach
  • White beans

How to Prepare:

  1. Preheat the grill for around 10 minutes
  2. Trim fat from pork chops
  3. Place pork chops on grill and cook each side for five minutes
  4. Check for pink meat and either continue to cook or take off grill
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  6. Heat applesauce in skillet with spinach, stir consistently, for a few minutes
  7. Either cover pork chops with sauce and spinach or eat on the side

7. Snack: Peanuts and Raisins

If you need a snack between meals, then you can easily snack on peanuts and raisins. Peanuts are particularly a great source of iron, as one cup easily contains 6.7 mg. Raisins also have a decent amount of iron and taste great alongside peanuts. Best of all, this snack is filling, so you don’t need to eat much until your next meal.

Ingredients

  • Handful of peanuts
  • Handful of raisins

How to Prepare

  1. Grab peanuts and raisins and place in a bowl to enjoy

8. Snack: Whole Grain Toast with Nut Butter

Another great snack idea is a piece of toast topped with nut butter. While whole-grain toast only has a small amount of iron, it’s a great option for spreading on an iron-rich source like nut butter. Almond butter, in particular, has high iron content.

Ingredients:

  • Whole grain bread
  • Nut butter (almond)

How to Prepare:

  1. Toast slice of whole-grain bread in toaster to preference
  2. Spread nut butter evenly over toast
  3. Add alternative ingredients as desired

9. Snack: Vegetables and Hummus

One final snack that’s incredibly easy to make: vegetables and hummus. Not only are vegetables and hummus a healthy snack, but they also contain plenty of iron, which is perfect for those with iron deficiency anemia.

Ingredients:

  • Vegetables, such as peppers, carrots, celery
  • Hummus

How to Prepare

  1. Serve hummus of choice with vegetables and enjoy

10. Dessert: Dark Chocolate Almond Bars

For a late-night meal, snack, or dessert, consider making dark chocolate almond bars. Both almonds and dark chocolate are great sources of iron. Per 100 g of chocolate, you can expect to have 11.9 mg of iron.

Ingredients:

  • Cacao butter
  • Cacao or cocoa powder
  • Maple syrup
  • Roasted almonds

How to Prepare

  1. Melt cacao butter in mixing bowl
  2. Add maple syrup and combine by whisking
  3. Add cacao or cocoa powder, whisk
  4. Pour into molds or line baking sheet, add almonds
  5. Set in fridge or freezer to harden for 30 minutes to hour

Conclusion

While suffering from iron deficiency anemia can be problematic, it can be easy to fix it. Talk to your doctor about trying these delicious recipes to bring added iron into your diet.

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