Boost Your Energy With Iron Rich Chocolate Chia Pudding
I am having a pretty tough week with my husband away overseas. I really wonder how single moms can take of everything alone and still keep their sanity.
Single moms, you are incredible! Cheers to you!
There are times in everybody’s life, children or not, when you feel run down and exhausted, and turn to sugar and/or caffeine to bolster your dwindling energy reserves. Certain nutrients, especially iron, may help us, especially women, to feel more energized. According to the WHO, approximately 30 percent (!) of the world population has iron deficiency anemia, which can cause fatigue and impair physical and mental endurance.
Iron is a part of many proteins and enzymes and is used in many cell functions. Its most important role is the transport of oxygen. Almost two thirds of the iron in the body is found in hemoglobin, which is the protein in red blood cells.
Diet provides iron in the form of heme iron, which is found in animal flesh, and non heme-iron, which is found in plants. Heme iron is being absorbed better than non- heme, which turns out not to be an advantage. High blood levels of stored iron have been associated with increased insulin resistance and heart disease. Furthermore, iron delivered by animal products comes with saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, steroids, hormones, and antibiotics. To enhance absorption of plant non- heme iron include a vitamin c rich source with your iron- rich food (think strawberries and spinach leaves).
What are the top plant sources of iron?
Kombu, tofu, dulse, beans, lentils, blackstrap molasses, spinach, tahini and sesame seeds… and best of all…RAW CACAO!!
Raw cacao is somewhat different from the common “Cocoa” most of us grew up with. Cacao (pronounced “cu-COW”) refers to the Theobroma Cacao tree from which Cocoa is derived, and is used when referring to the healthy, unprocessed, raw version of the cacao bean. Have you ever been lucky enough to see a cacao tree? I haven’t, but it’s on my bucket list.
This beautiful tree has large dark green leaves that shade the fruit pods which grow directly from the trunk and branches. The flesh is eaten as a dessert, and the seeds are the raw cacao beans.
“Normal” cocoa powder and chocolate have been chemically processed and roasted, which destroys a large amount of the antioxidants and flavanols (the things that keep you young and healthy). A recent study suggested that between 60% and 90% of the original antioxidants in cacao are lost through common “Dutch processing”. Dutch processing was originally developed in the early 19th Century to reduce the bitterness, darken the colour, and create a more mellow flavour to chocolate, but unfortunately also eliminated pretty much most of the goodness. Non-organic cocoa (and non-organic chocolate) has also been treated heavily with toxic pesticides and fumigation chemicals, and may contain genetically modified (GMO) products.
Raw organic cacao is called a superfood because of its amazing antioxidant properties- it has over 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries.
This week, I definitely needed some extra protection, a strong immun system and some extra energy. Plus, I was looking up recipes that I haven’t used in a while. The result of my search was this super healthy raw chia chocolate pudding.
I send it along to school with organic strawberries in an extra container and the kids absolutely loved it (after listening to Eric Schlosser on The Food Revolution Summit yesterday, I am trying to find more organic foods in our area. Among other things, Eric talked about the health impact the chemicals have on the farm workers. Another reason to choose organic…).
I prepared the pudding the night before and let it set overnight in the fridge. All you need is a blender, chia seeds, raw organic cacao, plant based milk, vanilla and dates.
Blend the ingredients well, transfer to containers or jars and store in the fridge.
Click here for the whole recipe http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=4040