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Lets Have Beef Tonight!

Although it may not sound like a good idea to some, but red meat consumption can actually be of great benefit to pregnant women, for they are generally in need of more iron for their increased blood volume.

Iron, an important mineral for everyone, becomes particularly important during pregnancy. During the three trimesters of pregnancy, the pregnant woman’s blood volume increases by nearly 50 percent. This increased blood volume helps to carry oxygen and nutrients to the woman’s growing placenta and the baby.

Iron is responsible for making the protein called hemoglobin that helps carry the oxygen in blood cells. Hence, less iron would mean less oxygen-carrying capacity.

Since the body cannot make iron, it relies on iron consumed in your diet.

It is recommended that pregnant women consume approximately 27 milligrams of iron per day, an amount that is significantly higher than the recommended amount of 18 milligrams per day for women who aren’t pregnant.

Heme vs. Non-Heme Iron

There are two forms of iron that can be consumed by the human body, and they are heme iron and non-heme iron.

Heme iron comes from animal products and is readily absorbed by the human body.

Non-heme iron is from non-animal products and is more difficult for the body to absorb. The amount absorbed by the body also depends heavily on the other types of foods eaten at the same time. For example, foods rich in vitamin C enhance non-heme iron absorption, while dairy products decrease absorption. Non-heme iron comes from beans, leafy green vegetables, dried fruits and fortified breads and cereals.

Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency for pregnant women. If iron stores become too low, the body cannot produce enough red blood cells, resulting in a condition called iron deficiency anemia. If you’re constantly tired, or often experience fatigue and muscle weakness, you may have an iron deficiency, so do alert your doctor. The condition often can be corrected through diet, although iron supplements are also often prescribed for pregnant women. Iron supplements are known to cause constipation though, so a diet rich in fiber should help prevent the problem, together with good hydration in the form of lots of water and other fluids.


TRY THESE SIMPLE RECIPES!

Flank Steak with Rice & Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 pound flank steak
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, stringed
  • 1 bunch asparagus (1 pound), tough ends removed, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar

Method

  1. Cook the rice and keep it warm.
  2. Meanwhile, season steak with salt and pepper and leave for half an hour.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Cook the steak for 6 to 8 minutes per side for medium-well-done.
  4. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Place snap peas, asparagus, garlic, red-pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup water in the same skillet. Cook, tossing, until vegetables are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Add soy sauce and vinegar; toss to combine.
  7. Slice steak thinly across the grain.
  8. Serve steak, vegetables, and rice drizzled with pan juices.

Authentic Beef Curry

Ingredients

  • 125ml / 4fl oz ghee or vegetable oil
  • 400g / 14oz beef braising steak, diced into 3cm chunks
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 x 400g / 14oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 125g / 4 1/2oz natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • salt
  • pinch sugar

Method

  1. Heat a lidded frying pan over a medium heat and add the ghee or oil. Fry the meat until lightly browned on all sides, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, cover and set aside.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and fry over a low heat until soft. Turn the heat up slightly, add the spices and fry for 1 minute, they should start to smell aromatic, without burning.
  3. Return the beef to the pan, add the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the yoghurt and vinegar, then season to taste with the salt and the sugar.
  4. Return the pan to the heat, bring back to the boil and simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender.

Hoisin Beef with Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless lean sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli

Method

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, hoisin, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the steak and stir-fry until browned on all sides, about 4-5 minutes. Add the vegetables and cook for another 3 minutes.
  3. Add the broth mixture to the skillet, bring to a simmer, and simmer until the sauce thickens and the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve over rice.

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