Iron is the literal building block for your immune system’s cells, and also helps support your overall health and wellness. Yet millions of Americans have trouble getting enough iron. Eat your way to a healthier immune system with the following recipes that offer a full day of delicious, iron-rich meals (and they only take a few minutes to prepare!).

BREAKFAST: Green Pea and Spirulina Smoothie

iron-rich meals

Not only are peas a great source of plant-based iron (more than 2 mg of iron in a single cup), but they’re also rich in protein (so you feel full and happy all morning).

Green peas might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re whipping up a morning smoothie, but you’ll rethink your smoothie assumptions after taking a sip of this refreshing breakfast shake. Not only are peas a great source of plant-based iron (more than 2 mg of iron in a single cup), but they’re also rich in protein (so you feel full and happy all morning) while adding a gentle touch of low-glycemic sweetness. The spirulina in this smoothie is another iron powerhouse. Combined, you’ll have nearly half a day’s worth of iron in one shake!

8 ounces of unsweetened plant-based milk (oat milk is ideal for extra creaminess)

1 frozen banana

1/2 cup of your favorite frozen leafy greens (e.g. kale, spinach, etc.)

1 cup frozen organic green peas

1 tsp green tea matcha (optional, but a great touch of energizing caffeine)

1 tbsp spirulina

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

[ DOWNLOAD THIS RECIPE ]

LUNCH: Deconstructed Spinach-and-Chickpea Buddha Bowl

iron-rich meals

There are more than 12 mg of iron in a cup of chickpeas.

This quick-to-make vegan Buddha bowl is a feast for the eyes, and the tastebuds! Not only is this iron-rich meal very, very high in iron due to the chickpeas (more than 12 mg in a cup of chickpeas) and spinach (approximately 3 mg of iron in a few ounces of fresh spinach leaves), but it’s also bursting with protein, fiber, and essential antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and niacin. 

The dressing holds a few tantalizing surprises, catching your attention with layers of sweetness and spiciness that bring out the textures of this delicious meal.

Assemble the salad in a big Mason jar for an easy-to-pack lunch that’s perfect for taking to work or bringing on a hike.

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 cup fresh spinach

3.5 oz feta cheese (or your favorite plant-based alternative)

1/2 cup organic raisins

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

3 tsp honey (ideally organic, local and raw)

4 tbsp olive oil (or your favorite plant oil)

1 tsp ground cumin

Pinch of salt and pepper

1/2 tsp dried chili flakes

Whisk together the honey, oil, lemon juice, rains, cumin, salt pepper and chili flakes and set aside. 

Combine the spinach, chickpeas and cheese in a bowl or Mason jar. Drizzle all of the dressing on top. Enjoy!

[ DOWNLOAD THIS RECIPE ]

DINNER: Pumpkin Seed Pilaf

iron-rich meals

Pumpkins are a great source of iron and immune-strengthening vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene).

The fall season is the perfect time to experiment with iron-rich meals and all things pumpkin! In just an ounce of roasted pumpkin seeds, you’ll gain 2.5 mg of iron (or approximately 14% of your daily needs). 

Every bite of this pilaf is both crunchy and creamy, so it pairs well with your favorite cozy fall meal, or as a standalone dinner on its own. Because the pilaf incorporates both pumpkin meat and pumpkin seeds, it’s also the perfect companion for a night of pumpkin carving. And did we mention that this delightful recipe offers more than a day’s worth of immune-enhancing vitamin A?

MAIN DISH

1 cup wild rice (choose black wild rice for a spooky, Halloween-themed meal)

1 small pumpkin

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or your favorite plant oil

Pinch of salt

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp allspice

½ cup dried organic unsweetened cranberries

DRESSING

2 tbsp lemon juice

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil or your favorite plant oil

½ tsp salt

⅛ tsp cinnamon

⅛ tsp allspice

2 tbsp organic maple syrup

1 small shallot

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

While the oven is heating up, cook the wild rice according to the directions on its package.

As the rice simmers, prep your pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half, then again so that it’s in quarters. Remove the seeds and set the seeds aside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub the pumpkin quarters with olive oil and season with the allspice, cinnamon and salt. Place on the parchment paper with the flesh of the pumpkin facing down and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft and easily pierced with a fork. Let it cool.

As you roast the pumpkin, prepare the seeds. Rinse the seeds and pat them dry, then saute in a dry frying pan until roasted.

Finally, whisk together the dressing ingredients.

To assemble the final dish, combine the rice, pumpkin and cranberries in a big salad bowl and drizzle with dressings. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on top and enjoy warm.

[ DOWNLOAD THIS RECIPE ]

Beyond Iron-Rich Meals: More Ways to Support Your Health

Your diet is just one piece in your immune system’s wellness puzzle. Thymic proteins are another piece. It is the job of these thymic proteins to train the body’s immune system to effectively seek and identify diseased cells. Unfortunately, your levels of thymic proteins fall as you get older. BioPro-Plus 500 offers a full dose of thymic proteins to help restore your body’s natural levels. Maximize your health by combining the above iron-rich meals with healthy supplements!

HUNGRY? Keep Reading More:

3 Healthy Dressing Recipes – Quick & Easy to Prepare

Immunity Soups: Delicious Recipes to Nourish the Soul and Body