A triptych of iron-rich meals from the Centr menu.
Centr Team

11 iron-rich recipes for an energy boost

Centr Team

Are you getting enough iron?

In her practice, sports dietitian Angie Asche regularly sees clients with iron deficiency – and it’s particularly of concern for women. In fact, more than a third of women under 50 are iron deficient.

And if you’re on a mission to achieve peak performance, getting enough is a must.

“Iron is essential for moving oxygen around your body, energy production, muscle function, cognition, a healthy immune system and your body’s ability to adapt to training,” explains Angie.

We’ve got the tips and recipes you need to sure up your iron stores.

Important: If you’re concerned about ongoing iron deficiency, consult a sports dietitian or doctor.

How to rev up your iron intake

The first step to combating iron deficiency is through your diet. Angie recommends:

  • Consume more iron-rich foods like beef, fish, eggs and poultry, as well as fortified grains, oatmeal, nuts, legumes and tofu.
  • When you eat iron-rich foods, add some vitamin C to enhance absorption. For instance, have a glass of orange juice with your meat dish, add berries to a spinach salad or smoothie, or have bell peppers (capsicum) with fish.
  • Limit coffee, calcium-rich foods and phytates (found in grains, legumes and nuts) when consuming iron, as they can inhibit absorption.
  • Cook your meals in a cast iron skillet, as this can actually increase the iron content of your food.

11 iron-rich lunches and dinners

Try these Centr recipes on those days you need a mineral boost.

A bowl of Centr's Beef, Lime & Cilantro Fajita Bowl sits on a grey linen napkin on a rustic wooden table, ready for eating.

1. Beef, Lime & Cilantro Fajita Bowl

Beef is a classic source of iron, but it doesn’t always have to come in the form of steak. Mix it up with this Mexican-inspired bowl.

A bowl of Centr's Lentil & Mushroom Soup with Tofu sits on a matching plate,  with a silver spoon on the side, ready for eating.

2. Dan’s Lentil & Mushroom Soup with Tofu

The combination of lentils and tofu makes a pot of Dan's soup a plant based iron powerhouse.

A plate of Centr's Seared Garlic Steak with Asparagus & Almonds sits on a table with knife, fork and linen napkin.

3. Dan’s Seared Garlic Steak with Asparagus & Almonds

If you do feel like steak, do it the Dan way with this simple and tasty plate. The vitamin C in the asparagus will help your body make the most of all that iron.

A serving of Centr's Lamb Patties and Salad sits in front of a bowl of salad and a plate piled with lam patties.

4. Lamb Patties with Salad

Mix up your high-iron red meat intake with these tasty patties (or rissoles). They’re packing hidden veg to up your iron absorption, too.

A serve of Centr's Egg & Rice Lunch Bowl rests on a matching plate on a rustic wooden table, with a knife and fork resting on a linen napkin on one side.

5. Egg & Rice Lunch Bowl

With egg, spinach and quinoa in your lunch bowl, you have all the staying power you need for a strong afternoon.

A plate of Kale Salad Bowl with Poached Egg sits on a rustic wooden table, with grey linen napkin and silver knife and fork on the side.

6. Kale Salad Bowl with Poached Egg

Once again, it’s the trusty combination of egg and greens packing an iron punch in this simple vegetarian lunch.

A bowl of Chilli Tofu & Cashew Stir-fry sits on a rustic wooden table, with chopsticks on the side, ready for eating.

7. Dan’s Chilli Tofu & Cashew Stir-fry

You can’t fail with a stir-fry, especially when it’s loaded with iron-rich cashews. Plus, the broccoli is working double time: delivering both iron and the vitamin C that aids absorption.

A shallow bowl of Tuna & Slaw with Crispy Chickpeas sits on a linen napkin on a grey, rustic wooden table, with a fork on the side.

8. Tuna & Slaw with Crispy Chickpeas

People don’t always think of seafood when looking for iron, but tuna is a great source. We’ve teamed it up with crispy chickpeas to ensure you get a plant-based iron bump, too.

A bowl of Chickpea Coconut Dahl rests on grey linen napkin on a rustic table, with scattered cilantro leaves and a small bowl of yogurt on the side.

9. Dan’s Chickpea & Coconut Dahl

Iron, protein, fiber… What nutrients aren’t chickpeas packing? Warm your soul and keep your body humming with Dan’s super nutritious bowl.

A white enamalled tray of Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna sits on checked tea towel, with a serve on a plate in the background.

10. Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna

Struggling to get enough iron on the regular? Batch cook and freeze this beauty so you have an easy dinner ready to go on busy nights. Tip: white mushrooms have the highest iron content.

Someone scoops a dollop of Creamy Braised Beans out of a saucepan with a chunk of rustic bread.

11. Dan’s Creamy Braised Beans

Scoop up the beans and kale from Dan’s deliciously creamy bowl on a piece of crusty bread, and you’ll be revving up your iron absorption.

Want more delicious recipes for active people?

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