I tried really hard to be a good person last month.
I swear. Cross my heart, etc.
I’m a bit of a regular at the local Red Cross blood donation centre (humble brag) and I had noticed it’d been a while between visits. So like a good O negative blooded gal, I decided to check in and help save three lives.
When I pricked my finger for the initial blood test, I was told that my iron was low. Too low. After another few tries and a proper test of the blood from my arm it was confirmed – I was iron deficient.
Being told you’re deficient in anything is a bit of a blow but being told I wasn’t getting enough iron really shocked me. I’m certainly no vegetarian and I like to think I eat a pretty healthy, balanced diet.
But when I started to think about it, I actually couldn’t recall the last time I ate red meat. I bloody love the stuff but it had just kind of… dropped out of my diet. And it seems I’m not the only one. One in three women aren’t getting enough iron from their diets and one in five are iron deficient.
So of course being the high achiever I am, I decided to challenge my new deficient title by making a concerted effort to incorporate the Australian Dietary Guidelines’ recommended serves of red meat into my diet.
Despite the recent furore around red meat, experts recommend a controlled intake of lean meat as part of a balanced diet to get enough of nutrients like iron, zinc, iodine and vitamin B12.
With beef being my dead set favourite of that food group, I set about planning my weekly meals to include three to four serves of the stuff, at 65 grams a pop. So if you’re one of the ‘one in five women’ out there who have found themselves in my iron deficient boat, these recipes will help.