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Plant-Based Iron-Rich Green Smoothie Bowl


This Iron-Rich Green Smoothie Bowl is full of plant-based ingredients and tastes amazing too!
Plant-Based Iron-Rich Green Smoothie Bowl | simplegreensmoothies.com

Iron-deficiency anemia can cause all sorts of problems including the most common complaint: fatigue. If you’re feeling rundown and can’t pinpoint another cause, it could certainly be attributed to anemia. When we have low blood iron levels our body’s red blood cells can’t bind oxygen properly. This could become serious if it progresses without treatment. It’s important to be getting regular checkups with a healthcare provider to make sure your iron levels are within the normal range. It’s common for women who are menstruating to have lower iron. Sometimes iron supplements are necessary, but if you can add iron-rich foods into your diet it can also help. The body does a pretty good job of absorbing the iron consumed as part of a healthy, varied diet.

Two Types of Iron

There are two types of iron: heme iron from animal sources (meat, poultry, eggs, fish, seafood), and non-heme from plants (see list below). We like to focus on plants here at SGS. A lot of the ingredients we blend up in our smoothies naturally include non-heme iron, but if you’re like us and need a bit more of an iron boost, then you’ll want to check out this Iron-Rich Green Smoothie Bowl recipe at the bottom of this blog post.

Heme iron is more readily absorbed by the body, but can only come from consuming animal products. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, or don’t eat other animal products very often, you’ll want to make sure you eat plenty of the plant-based non-heme iron foods listed below.

Symptoms of Iron-Deficiency Anemia

As I mentioned before, anemia usually starts by making you feel rundown or extra tired. Anemia also affects the skin (paleness), finger nails (brittleness), tongue (soreness and inflammation), and extremities (coldness in hands and feet). But it may also progress further and cause chest pain, heartbeat irregularities, shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, unusual cravings (pica), and poor appetite. (source)

It’s important to note that there are other types of anemia that affect the body in similar ways and have common symptoms. These forms of anemia are caused by deficiencies in vitamins B6 and B12, which is why a blood test is so important to distinguish between the different types of anemia as the treatments are not the same.

Iron supplements are typically needed to help combat anemia, but changes to lifestyle and diet can also aid other treatments.

Females aged 19-50 years need 18mg/day or iron. The number goes down to 8 mg/day from age 51 and older. Males require less; ages 19 and older need 8 mg/day. Children need much less. It goes without saying, but having too much iron is just as bad as having too little—so don’t go overboard.

Plant-Based (Non-Heme) Iron Sources

Getting plant-based iron into your diet is fairly easy. Chances are you’re already eating some of these foods:

  • Dried fruit – especially prunes and apricots, and raisins; the only drawback is that dried fruit is high in sugar and calories so moderation should be exercised. Add some to a trail mix or top salads or breakfast cereals and porridges with dried fruit for a little iron boost.
  • Molasses – a by-product of sugar processing, molasses is naturally high in iron. Taking a tablespoon by mouth daily has been the method of many moms. 😉
  • Herbs – spearmint, thyme, parsley; add these herbs fresh or dried to meals to increase iron
  • Seeds – especially sesame and pumpkin seeds; add to salads, porridges, smoothies, trail mixes, etc.
  • Quinoa – a pseudo-grain, and technically a seed, 4 ounces of quinoa contains 4 mg iron
  • Legumes – lentils, peas, and beans; also high in protein, beans and legumes are a great way to get plenty of plant-based iron into the diet, especially for vegans and vegetarians
  • Iron-enriched grains – enriched grains have long been used to help prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Spirulina – this blue-green algae is one of the very best sources of non-heme iron and protein ounce for ounce; use powdered spirulina and mix with water, juice, or in a smoothie, or consider taking a high-quality spirulina supplement; downside is that it tastes like pond water but 1 tablespoon of spirulina (or the equivalent supplement) contains 11% of the RDV
  • Dark chocolate and cacao powder – besides boosting your mood, dark chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and cacao/cocoa powder is high in iron; 1 tbsp. cacao contains 5% of the recommended daily value (RDV)
  • Spinach and other leafy greens – 1/2 cup cooked spinach contains 3.2mg of iron
  • Sea vegetables – kelp
  • Tofu and cooked soy beans (edamame)
  • Tomato paste
  • Maca – the roasted, dried, and ground root of a plant native to South America that is used for natural energy, but also contains a good amount of iron

Plant-Based Iron-Rich Green Smoothie Bowl | simplegreensmoothies.com

If you’re already drinking green smoothies, it’s easy to up the iron by adding a little extra of this and that. Every ingredient in our Iron-Rich Green Smoothie Bowl was chosen to be delicious as well as nutrient-dense. This is a great smoothie for women to drink during their menstrual cycle. Besides the boost of iron, this smoothie is also hydrating and energizing. And the most important part: it contains a high amount of vitamin C which aids the body’s absorption of iron, both heme and non-heme types.

Print

Iron-Rich Green Smoothie Bowl

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast, Snack

Description

Boost your iron intake with this plant-based iron-rich green smoothie bowl. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups coconut water (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds) ((2 ounces))
  • 1 cup strawberries (frozen)
  • 1 cup cherries (tart or sweet, frozen)
  • 2 bananas (medium-sized)
  • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons maca powder ((.25 ounce))

Instructions

  1. Place spinach, coconut water, and pepitas into blender jar. Puree until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth.


Nutrition

  • Calories: 337
  • Sugar: 34
  • Sodium: 291
  • Fat: 9
  • Saturated Fat: 2
  • Carbohydrates: 60
  • Fiber: 12
  • Protein: 11

Plant-Based Iron-Rich Green Smoothie Bowl | simplegreensmoothies.com

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  1. Michelle McGee

    February 22nd, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Hello Ladies,

    This article today was right on time for me, God always knows! 🙂 I had been dealing with low iron, something which I never had a problem with but I was having severe shortness of breath (very scary), I had my blood drawn and found my ferritin level to be at 6 when it should be above 10! . I started on iron supplements and adding extra spinach as well as beets (I hadn’t added beets before) and I’m feeling much better. I will get my blood re-drawn in a month or so.

    Thank you for this article and I definitely plan to try the iron rich smoothie bowl. I just have to go grocery shopping for some of the items.

    Blessings to you both and continued success in your business!

    Michelle

  2. SGS Rawkstar Amanda

    February 23rd, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Hi Michelle,

    YAY! I love when you receive things just when you need them. Keep me updated! I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for good numbers next month!

  3. Christiana

    February 22nd, 2018 at 10:38 am

    I have anemia and due to my other stomach problems which I go to the Mayofor I have to get iron through IV so hopefully I love this recipe because I’m willing to try whatever so I don’t have to keep going in for iron. IM also anaphylactic from citrus(not citric acid) and I can have everyone of the ingredients in the green smoothie bowl; recipe to help anemia couldn’t have come at a better time!

  4. SGS Rawkstar Amanda

    February 23rd, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Hi Christiana,

    I hope this recipe is exactly what your body needs!

  5. Charlynn Christenson

    February 22nd, 2018 at 10:41 am

    I am of need of meals/snacks like this so thank you for sharing. How much iron does it have in it per serving?

  6. Jessica Burns

    February 22nd, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Made this, but mine wasn’t thick enough to eat as a bowl. I don’t mind though, it’s easier to suck a smoothie down than spoon it in.
    🙂 Added 1/2 Tbsp of spirulina with no “pond water” side effects. Maybe I’ll try adding a little beet next time too.

  7. SGS Rawkstar Amanda

    February 23rd, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Hi Jessica,

    YAY! Happy to enjoyed the recipe even if it wasn’t thick enough for a bowl. And KALE YEAH, for no pond water effect. While spurlina can be super nutritious, it can also overpower some smoothies.

  8. Rachel

    February 22nd, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    My iron levels dropped dangerously low last year and I had to get an IV transfusion. Green smoothies have kept my levels within normal range since but the real key has been iron rich Natava Organic Spirulina. One serve of this gives more than 130% RDI. You can find the nutritional info here: goo.gl/BGMEhr.
    Hopefully it’s available outside NZ!

  9. SGS Rawkstar Amanda

    February 23rd, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Rachel! And happy to hear your iron levels are back up!

  10. APRIL GUY DRIVER

    March 3rd, 2018 at 7:07 am

    I’ve been following SGS since they kicked off a few years ago. You guys have made smoothies a daily part of our meals. My 3 boys pick up a glass every morning without even thinking about it (And I remember when they frowned on seeing the bright green goo in a glass)! Thank you for making us healthier!

    I’ve definitely seen an improvement in my iron levels since drinking smoothies with spinach and spirulina. I use a tablespoon in 16 ounces. Any more and you get that funny after taste.

  11. SGS Rawkstar Amanda

    March 7th, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Hi April,

    YAY!! Love hearing that your whole family is blendin’! We love our rawkstar families!

  12. Sandy

    March 14th, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    It’s also good to avoid eating foods that prevent iron absorption too soon before or after eating something with iron like calcium, tea, potato, eggs, cocoa, coffee, walnuts.

    Once I realised there was more than just calcium rich foods that inhibited iron absorption it was a lot easier for me to get my iron up.

    Thanks for this post and for the recipe! I will definitely have to make it ^_^.

  13. SGS Rawkstar Amanda

    March 16th, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Great reminder, Sandy!

  14. Jeffrey

    November 24th, 2018 at 9:48 am

    But the recipe says to add cacoa? but you say it prevents iron absorption? So this recipe is not good for iron absorption? Im consfused

  15. Nicola Mills

    June 6th, 2018 at 2:44 am

    Hi,
    How much iron is in this smoothie? Thanks Nicola

  16. SGS Rawkstar Amanda

    June 6th, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Hi Nicola,

    This recipe has approximately 4mg of iron, which is 20% of your daily value.

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