Iron Rich Recipes, Food for Senior Citizens
Iron is a key nutrient to build the hemoglobin in the red blood cells (RBC) of the blood. This nutrient is necessary for the supply of oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body. A deficiency of iron can lead to anemia in many senior citizens which make them end up feeling tired, weakens the immune system and causes issues with cognitive function.
Red Blood Cell (RBC)
Due to this reason, it is of utmost importance to consume a diet rich in iron to help prevent anemia and its related symptoms. With increasing age, acid production in the stomach decreases which leads to low absorption of iron. Therefore it becomes even more important to have iron rich sources included in your diet in every meal including breakfast, lunch and dinner and mid meals throughout the day.
Moong Sprouts and Bajra Pessaruttu
With increasing age, certain other inevitable alterations are often seen in elderly people. These may be chewing problems, low absorption, poor digestion and stomach upset which may also be accompanied with diseases like diabetes or heart disease. The diet then becomes all the more an important factor for senior citizens.
Shared herewith are some foods which contain plenty of iron and can help senior citizens to help you stay away from anemia or overcome it.
1. Iron Rich Green Leafy Vegetables for Senior Citizens : Greens are known as the super ingredients which support cellular health. These fill our diet with minor nutrients like iron, calcium, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, B vitamins and lot many. Green leafy vegetables also abound in antioxidants which help to ward off the harmful free radicals from the body. They reduce the inflammation in the body and keep you away from chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Jowar Palak Appe
Spinach, fenugreek leaves, mint, coriander and lettuce are some of the common green veggies which we all explore in a different way. Spinach Mushroom Subzi and Methi Leaves Sambhar are simple day-to-day recipes which will not take a toll on chewing as well. With 3.4 mg and 1.3 mg of iron respectively, these delicacies will definitely help you build hemoglobin levels.
In this section we have shared a few recipes with some uncommon veggies like amaranth leaves and cauliflower leaves. Try soft and luscious Cauliflower Greens and Besan Muthia (5.1 mg iron / serving) or tempting green coloured Chawli Leaves (amaranth leaves) Parota (1.4 mg / parota). So next time do not discard the cauliflower greens and pick chawli leaves from the market. Remember that greens stay fresh and the best for 2 days, so use them within this time period.
Cauliflower Greens and Besan Muthia
2. Healthy Iron Rich Cereals and their Flours for Senior Citizens : Bajra, jowar and ragi (nachni) are a few cereals which are brimming with iron. It is always a wise decision, to switch on from wheat flour to other cereals at least twice or thrice a week. Explore them in their whole form and as their flours too. Though whole cereals may sound difficult to chew at this age, but do not despair. We have some options which are soft and easy to chew like Mini Bajra Onion Uttapa. The whole bajra in this recipe soaked, pressure cooked, blended and then used to make yummy uttapas. Bajra Whole Moong and Green Pea Khichdi is another semi-soft option which is rich in iron and easy to chew for senior citizens. With 2 mg iron per serving, this serves as a great one dish meals for dinner.
Mini Bajra Onion Uttapa
And if you want to cook with the flours, we have umpteen options as well. Try the famous South Indian breakfast with a twist in the form of Jowar Upma (1.8 mg iron / serving) or the staple roti in the form of Ragi Roti (1 mg / roti). If you have extreme problem with chewing, then do not opt for this Ragi Roti though.
3. Wholesome Iron Rich Nuts for Senior Citizens : Of course chewing dry nuts is a challenge for most senior citizens because of teeth and jaw problems. But some nuts like almonds and walnuts are a good source of iron and should not be given up. Finely chop or powder them and create your own ways of cooking them. Date and Walnut Balls is a classic example of this.
Date and Walnut Balls
You can also try making Almond Milk as a variation. This is one of the simplest way of topping up on your iron levels without any chewing.
4. Nourishing Iron Rich Seeds for Senior Citizen : Sesame seeds and garden cress seeds are 2 iron packed seeds. Again if chewing is the major hurdle of senior citizens, then rely on the powder of sesame seeds. Add a tsp of sesame powder while kneading the flour for roti. It’s one of the easiest way to consume iron packed sesame seeds in its disguised form. Alternatively you can make Date and Sesame Puranpoli occasionally when you have time on hand. Each puranpoli provides 2.3 mg of iron which is approx. 10% of your daily iron intake.
Date and Sesame Puranpoli
Halim Drink is another iron rich delicacy you can rely on. The garden cress seeds are soaked, so they absorb water, swell and soften. This makes them easier to chew. Freshly squeezed vitamin C rich lemon juice in this concoction, helps in the absorption of iron further. If you are highly anemic and have been advised an iron rich diet, do try this drink for a month at least thrice a week and look out for those increased hemoglobin levels.
Other ways to enhance the absorption of iron in your diet is to squeeze lemon juice on subzis, dals etc. This is very easy to follow and needs no extra shopping of planning too. Also remember when you are targeting to eat iron rich foods, avoid tea and coffee as they hinder iron absorption.
5. Iron Rich Sprouts for Senior Citizens : Sprouts are called the ‘living foods’ and “Nature’s boon to mankind’. They abound in many nutrients. These nutrients remain latent until germination. The process of sprouting activates all the nutrients and make them easily available. Sprouts can be interesting depending on the way you cook them. Explore with a variety of them like moong, rajma (kidney beans), chawli, chickpeas, matki etc.
Sprouts and Palak Idli
We understand that chewing sprouts after the age of 60-70 isn’t an easy job. Transform these healthy germinated seeds into soft foods that are easy to chew like Sprouts Dhokla and Sprouts and Palak Idli or you can cook something more interesting like Sprouts Tikki. Learn the process of Sprouting in detail.
Soup is another easy way of consuming sprouts in your diet. Use them in purée form like we have done in the recipe of Mixed Sprouts Soup. It’s filling, it’s iron rich (1.5 mg iron / serving) and adds a good quantum of protein to strengthen your bones as well.
Mixed Sprouts Soup
Start giving a healthy twist to your daily fare by way of these iron rich recipes.
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