August Newsletter


In This Issue
Everything You Need to Know About Iron
What's the Most Important Meal of the Day?
Spotlight on Limor Baum, MS, RD, CEDRD
A Note from Lauren...

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Issue: #82 August 2017
Everything You Need to Know About Iron

What exactly does Iron do for us?
    Iron is a mineral that is naturally present in many foods and certain enriched food products and is an essential component of hemoglobin in red blood cells. As such, iron is important in oxygen transport from the lungs to other tissues throughout the body in order to produce energy. Additionally, iron is found in myoglobin, which is a protein that provides oxygen specifically to the muscles. Unfortunately, many individuals fall short of obtaining their daily recommended amount of iron. When deficient in iron, the body's iron stores become depleted, decreasing the amount of iron transported to various tissues. As a consequence, there is a reduction in oxygen transport capacity, leaving many tissues lacking in adequate iron. This reduction in iron may impede normal cellular functioning, resulting in fatigue, weakness, and difficulty in maintaining body temperature.
What are the two forms of iron found in food?
    Iron exists in both heme and non-heme forms. Animal products, such as meat, fish and poultry provide heme iron -which is more efficiently absorbed by the body. Non-heme iron is found in dairy products, eggs and plant foods, including green leafy vegetables, beans, seaweed, nuts, dried fruit, whole grains and iron-fortified products. Non-heme iron is not as well absorbed by the body. To give you an idea, roughly 5% to 35% of heme iron is absorbed from a single meal, whereas approximately 2% to 20% of non-heme iron is absorbed. Despite this decreased range, an appropriately planned and well-balanced vegetarian diet can be adequate in total Iron and maintain adequate iron status.
How much Iron do you need each day?
Iron DRI
11 mg
Males 19+
8 mg
15 mg
18 mg
8 mg
** The recommended iron needed for women of child-bearing age is higher when compared to men because the loss of iron is greater among women due to menstruation.
Who's at Risk for Iron deficiency?
     Athletic individuals, and young and menstruating female athletes, are more likely to develop an iron deficiency. Lack of iron can profoundly alter physical performance via a decrease in oxygen transport to exercising muscles, leading to a reduced VO2max. Endurance performance at reduced exercise intensities may be due to decreased tissue iron concentrations and its inability to maintain prolonged submaximal exercise. Endurance athletes, especially female, are more at risk for reduced iron stores and anemia. Intense training increases iron needs, resulting in a decrease of iron stores by increasing red blood cell production and the destruction of red blood cells within the foot during high impact, such as running. Vegetarians and vegans may need to consume 1.8 times more than the recommended daily amount due to the decreased absorption rate of non-heme iron foods.
Iron Rich Animal Foods:
Meat/Fish Sources
Iron (mg)/2.5-3 oz. serving size
Lean Beef
Lean Pork
Fish (mackerel, trout, bass)
Tuna, light, canned in water
Some of the best plant sources of iron include:
Plant Based Sources
Iron (mg)
Tofu, cooked
¾ Cup
Lentils, cooked
¾ Cup
Beans (white, kidney, navy, pinto, black, adzuki), cooked
¾ Cup
Pumpkin Seeds
3 ounces
Spinach, boiled and drained
1 Cup
Nuts (cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia, pistachio), without shell
¼ Cup
Eggs, cooked
2 large
¼ Cup
Blackstrap Molasses
1 Tablespoon
Steel Cut Oats
¼ Cup
Teff, cooked
1 Cup

Although we absorb less of the iron found in plants, every bite counts. Adding a source of vitamin C can aid in enhancing iron absorption, so we recommend adding a source of vitamin C (generally a fruit or vegetable) with all Iron foods. Add lemon juice over your spinach or mixed green salad or mix berries into your morning bowl of oats. You can also cook in a cast iron skillet, which will increase your intake of iron.

What's the Most Important Meal of the Day?

...Still Breakfast!
Whether you're an athlete who just finished your morning workout, a busy parent heading to work, or a student heading off to school, a healthy breakfast is the best way to set you up for a great day ahead. Along with sleep, breakfast is one of the best ways to prepare you for the busy day ahead. Fasting for seven plus hours while you sleep results in lower overall morning blood sugar, and can lead to lack of concentration, alertness and energy. Besides simply providing an opportunity to feed your body, including carbs at breakfast will provide your brain with energy needed to move and think, while also increasing your attention span and stabilizing blood sugar. Including protein rich foods at breakfast will help provide satiety and prevent the dreaded mid-morning (or mid-afternoon) slump.
When assembling your breakfast, start with lean protein such as an egg, tofu, low-fat yogurt, or nut butter of choice. Protein helps your stomach release a hormone (Peptide YY), which sends a message to your brain that you're full, resulting in increased satiety and feeling of fullness. Add in nutrient-rich whole grains, for energy, B-vitamins, and fiber- which slows digestion to keep us fuller longer. Make sure you take this first opportunity to also include fruits or vegetables. Fruits tend to fit easily into breakfast (as long as you have purchased them and they are on hand!). Here are some tips for adding more vegetables to your breakfast meals:
  • Scramble: Add frozen or fresh spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, or your favorite veggie to your morning egg or tofu scramble or omelet.
  • Breakfast burrito: Add mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, tomato slices, avocado, radishes, shredded carrots or purple cabbage.
  • Pancakes or Muffins: Add grated carrots, zucchini, or even squash to your batter. Grate ½ cup of vegetable of choice per 2 cups of batter.
  • Sweet potato hash: with all your favorite veggies! Dice sweet potato, peppers, mushrooms, red onions, and sauté with olive oil and spices of choice over medium-to-high heat. Once the vegetables begin to caramelize, add 1-2 eggs on top and cover with a lid till the eggs cook. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve over your favorite mixed greens/spinach. The hash can be made the night before and the eggs can be quickly added in the morning for an easy on-the-go breakfast.
Pressed for time?We certainly understand this one! Get organized the night before, pack your breakfast in mason jars, or food container of choice, and just grab and go/eat in the morning. Here are some easy on-the-go breakfast ideas:
  • Overnight oats: The common base is 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup milk of choice, and 1/3 cup yogurt. The possibilities are endless, so go ahead and get creative! Add your favorite fruit, nuts, seeds, nut butter, spice, chocolate, granola... No cooking necessary, just assemble, put in the fridge at night, and grab it before you head out for the day.
  • Egg Frittata Muffins: If you can't find time to make a morning frittata, don't worry. Add your veggie frittata mixture (eggs, milk/water, spices, and favorite veggies) to your greased muffin pan and bake at 350F for 20-22 minutes the night before. In the morning simple warm, and pair with whole-grain toast or fruit for breakfast on the go.
  • Pre-portion your favorite granola/nuts/dried fruit into storage bags in advance and keep them ready to grab with a low-fat yogurt and take to eat work/once you drop off the kids etc...
  • Prepare your smoothie the night before. Combine all ingredients (fruit, spinach/veg, protein powder, nut butter or seeds), except for milk/yogurt, ice, and store them in the fridge overnight either in the blender itself or another container or even a Ziploc bag. In the morning, simply add ice + liquid of choice, blend and go!
  • Try avocado toast: smash 1/4-1/2 avocado on whole grain toast, top with veggies or fruit (tomato, strawberries, the sky's the limit on this one...). For added protein or if post-workout, add 1-2 eggs (which you can always boil the night before).
Which one are you going to try first?
We would love to know.
Send us a picture in Instagram @NutritionEnergy, tweet it to us @NutritionEnergy, or post it for us to see on Facebook Nutrition Energy 

Spotlight on Limor Baum, RD; Nutritional Treatment of Eating Disorders

Limor Baum, RD is a Certified Eating D isorder S pecialist who has been part of the Nutrition Energy team for 10 years, and works primarily with clients who are dealing with a wide range of Eating Disorders.
  • Nearly twenty million women and 10 million men have eating disorders in the United States.
  • Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder.
  • Limor Baum was interviewed on a new health talk show about eating disorders with host Portland Helmich. In the show, Limor discussed the role nutrition therapy plays in the treatment of eating disorders and explains how dietitians like herself are an integral part of the eating disorder team.
  • Limor has been working with people with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, compulsive exercise, and non specified disordered eating for the past 10 years. She started her career working in an eating disorder day treatment center and it was there that she witnessed firsthand the healing that came with accurate and balanced nutrition education and nutrition therapy. Since then, it has become her mission to help people make peace with food and their bodies and to create harmony in their diet and exercise habits. 

To learn more about the serious consequences of eating disorders and the importance of psychotherapy, medical treatment and nutritional therapy, please watch to full episode here: To Your Health: Eating Disorders

A Note from Lauren...

How is August almost over?  Just a little while ago, we were talking about summer activities and how to exercise in the heat - only for the season to fly by with fall just around the corner (or at least those 2 wonderful weeks of beautiful weather before the temperature drops!).

Kids are starting to go back to school and Labor Day is coming up soon, but that doesn't mean the end of sunshine and fun!  You should relax and enjoy the holiday weekend, but be careful not to overindulge too much.  Remember your goals and the hard work you've put towards achieving those goals.

Use this time to enjoy the last days of summer - like going for a picnic or visiting the beach if you haven't done so already!.  If you're a planner- get organized, ready those closets and dressers for heavier clothes, or try new recipes (or look for new recipes to use fall's bounty of foods!)

Is there a fall recipe you look forward to making every year?  Tweet us @NutritionEnergy or let us know on  Facebook !  Worried about balancing fall schedule changes, training, and healthy meals?  Come see the dietitians at Nutrition Energy for the tips, tricks, and guidance to keep you on track!
Lauren Antonucci, Director
Nutrition Energy