Iron Rich Foods Every Indian Mom Must Include This Monsoon

What should you be adding your family’s diet this monsoon? Not sure? Read about it here

I'm sure you've all grown up watching Popeye downing his can of spinach and muscles bulging and giving him super strength. Honestly, my son started eating his greens after watching Popeye. Till date, any green leafy vegetable is Popeye spinach for him. That was my way of making sure that everyone in the family eats some greens every day. Leafy greens are packed with vitamins and iron which are essential for our body.

But once the monsoon season arrives, I get a little apprehensive about loading my food basket with greens. Green leaves are grown in patches that are filthy and getting the bacteria and dirt out of them is a chore. The monsoon brings so many illnesses with it like typhoid, E Coli, gastrointestinal conditions etc. So it's recommended that we give leafy vegetables a miss during the rainy season. But we still need to eat iron-rich food to keep our bodies healthy.

Why Is Iron Important For Us

Iron is an important mineral that produces haemoglobin in your red blood cells that carry oxygen from organ to organ. Without enough iron, your body cannot produce enough haemoglobin. And as a result, you might feel lethargic and lack the energy to carry out daily tasks. If kids don't get enough iron it interferes with their brain development, slows down their growth and they become lethargic. So making sure they don't get anaemic is extremely important.

Tip: Iron and Vitamin C go hand in hand. So if you're eating food that is rich in iron, include Vitamin C rich food with it like tomatoes, oranges, broccoli and strawberries for increased iron absorption.

What Iron Rich Food Will Keep The Family Healthy This Monsoon


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All the dals – chana dal, masoor dal, moong dal, urad dal, arhar dal – we eat are a great source of iron, protein and fibre. Take your pick from the huge variety of lentils available in our country. Kids should have a bowl of lentils a day. If they don't like eating dal just like that, you should make dal ka parathas and make it into a roll. Since they can't see the dal they normally don't have a problem eating the paratha.

Grains like brown rice/bajra/quinoa

brown rice quinoa iron rich

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Grains are an important source of iron, magnesium and fibre especially if you're a vegetarian. Brown rice, bajra, quinoa etc are digested slowly and don't cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike.  They provide a continuous supply of energy from one meal to the next, which helps maintain energy and concentration levels and also keeps us feeling fuller for longer. If the kids don't like the taste of quinoa, add it to their soup, cook it well and make it into cutlets or mix it with brown rice and make it into a pulao. Try this quinoa recipe.


beetroot dip

It has a sweet earthy taste and it is delicious cooked or grated raw over salads. Beetroots are packed with iron, great for brain development and digestion. Beetroot parathas and beetroot soup are tasty and easy to make. Babies should be introduced to beetroot puree for sure. 8 -10 months is a good time to start them off. These beetroot waffles are nutritious and tasty. See the recipe here.

Sweet Potatoes

sweet potato fries

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This spud is one of the most nutritious foods. Sweet potatoes are rich in iron and Vitamin C which makes them a perfect food to put on the menu. You can make sweet potato fries or bake them like regular potatoes and top it up with cinnamon and vanilla yoghurt. the kids are going to love it.

Red Meat, Chicken Liver And Fish


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Red meat is one of the best sources of iron. It contains Heme iron ( animal-based iron), which is readily absorbed by the body and restores haemoglobin levels. Fish is also rich in iron and Omega 3 fats. So eating animal-based iron helps keep the haemoglobin levels up and overcome any iron deficiency. You can do so much with fish – steam, fry, make it into a curry. If your child finds the taste of mutton too strong, make it into meatballs and put it in a tomato-based sauce to mask the flavour.


eggs orange juice iron rich

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We're sure you didn't know that egg yolk is a good source of iron. It may not be bursting with iron, but eating an egg a day adds up to your daily iron requirement. Scrambled eggs with orange juice is a perfect breakfast -iron with Vitamin C for increased absorption. We have a ton of yummy egg recipes you can choose from.



raisins iron rich


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Raisins have a higher iron content than most fruits since the fruit is dried and its nutrients are concentrated. These dried grapes pack quite a punch. To get the most iron from raisins, soak them in a cup of orange juice, or eat them with other vitamin C-rich foods, such as strawberries, sweet potatoes and pineapples. For kids adding it to their trail mix works very well. A small bowl of nuts with raisins mixed is a super healthy snack for the kids.


chickpea salad

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Not only are chickpeas a rich source of protein, but they also contain a high amount of iron and fibre. You can add it to a salad or make a safed chana chaat. Hummus is a creamy sauce that kids enjoy with pita bread or in their sandwich with cucumber and carrots. Easy hummus recipe here.

Tip: Soaking your legumes and lentils overnight helps improve iron absorption levels as they all contain iron inhibitors. The iron inhibitors get reduced when they're soaked.


gur rice

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This natural sweetener is recommended for people with low haemoglobin. Our elders would finish off their meals with a small piece of gur for better digestion and for its immunity-boosting and antioxidant properties. Instead of adding refined sugar to your food, you can sweeten your porridge or kheer with gur.  Gur ki roti and gur chawal are favourites amongst kids and adults.


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Oats contain a significant amount of iron, zinc and fibre. Starting your day with a bowl of oats, raisins and strawberries are perfect. It doesn't have to be only part of your breakfast. There are so many recipes out there to include oats in our other meals. You could coat protein like fish with oats instead of breadcrumbs and bake it; make oats rajma cutlets for the tiffin box or as a snack in the evening.


dates iron rich

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Dates are a good source of various vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium and magnesium but they are also high in sugar so don't go overboard eating them. People suffering from anaemia should definitely have a few dates every day.


corn bhel with pomegranate healthy snack

These little red seeds are rich in fibre, iron and potassium and help increase haemoglobin levels in your body. It's one of the first fruits recommended for any blood-related conditions. Pregnant women are advised to eat pomegranates while they're expecting. The Vitamin C content in pomegranates makes the iron present in it easier to absorb. Toss it in your salad or bhelpuri , use it as a topping for dessert. Kids love the taste of pomegranate juice.

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