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Replace Your Iron Source From Processed Meats With These 5 Foods

Replace Your Iron Source From Processed Meats With These 5 Foods

You may or may not be someone who is anemic. Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common type of anemia, and it occurs when your body doesn’t get enough iron. The results — a decrease in the number of red blood cells caused by too little iron.

About 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of men do not have enough iron in their body.

In fact, iron deficiency with or without concurrent anemia affects ≈ 30% of the global population, making it the most widespread nutrient deficiency.

Most of us rely on red meat to obtain our daily recommended value of iron needed.

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But, what if I were to tell you that processed meats and red meat were recently deemed carcinogenic in October 2015 by the World Health Organization?

I think you’ll agree when I say that 30% of the global population is a LARGE amount of people that IDA affects. But how can you be sure you are not increasing your chances of developing cancer when eating red meat to obtain your daily recommended value of iron?

Well, it turns out, you can dramatically lower your chances of developing cancer while maintaining healthy levels of iron without eating processed red meats.

In this post, I want to share with you detailed information from a previous article to why you should be eating the following foods for iron:

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Leafy Greens

Kale doesn’t contain as much iron as spinach does. In fact, three cups of boiled spinach provides around 17% of your daily iron needed. This actually is more iron than what’s found in chicken, turkey, and most forms of beef!

Eating leafy greens at least 3 times per week will ensure that you are getting enough iron as well as other trace minerals. Other minerals include:

  • Magnesium
  • Folate
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A, E, and C

Dark Chocolate

This might be one of the most delicious ways to get an abundant amount of iron. Depending on the brand of dark chocolate you eat, you can expect up to almost 40% of your daily iron needs.

There are many other types of beans, but cocoa beans are very high in fats. You will definitely want to limit the amount you eat throughout the day. Try using cocoa powder which is much lower in fat. Add the powder to your smoothies and even try baking with it.

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Lentils

I used to hate lentils because my mom forced me to eat them as a child. Lentils are one of the best sources of trace minerals that are super high in iron content.

In a 1/2 cup of boiled and drained lentils there is 17% the recommended daily value of iron. As I have grown older, I’ve learned to deal with them especially due to the fact they are high in:

  • Magnesium
  • Protein
  • Potassium
  • Zinc, and some
  • B vitamins

Nowadays, I like to blend them into my soups. You can also eat them alone, or use them as a base to a chip dip. Try and find the red (split) lentils. These are the most nutrient diverse variety that are the healthiest.

Dried Fruits

It’s important to eat a healthy breakfast each morning to start your day. Adding dried fruits like apricots and raisins are the perfect source for iron. One cup of dried apricots contains 2.1 milligrams of iron.

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Add some dried apricots to your smoothies, oatmeal, salads, entrées, or you can even bake with them if you like too! Dried apricots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, potassium, and fiber as well.

Many dried apricots contain preservatives to keep the orange color. These preservatives include sulfites or sulfur- dioxide. Be sure to take a look at the nutrition label when purchasing them. Sulfites can be an allergen for some people.

Beans

Beans are very high in protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron too. Adding more beans to your diet will allow you to get a nutrient dense abundance of minerals. White beans have more iron than other beans, and soy beans are also a great source.

Conclusion

Depending on which ones you like, try to get cannellini, navy, or other variety of white beans to start including in your diet. I like to add them to my salads and I recently started making them in a dip for chips with corn, and other beans.

These 5 foods are a great alternative to getting the iron your body needs. Everything you eat should be focused on moderation. This post was not written to get you to stop eating red meat. By adding these 5 foods to your diet, you can begin to get more diverse nutrients including iron.

Featured photo credit: My Net Diary via mynetdiary.com

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Nickalas D'Urso

Health Coach

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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