Combating Iron & B12 Deficiency

Iron and B12 Deficiency are extremely common among women in a 18-30 year range, where approximately 1.1 million Australians suffer from such deficiencies (ABS, 2016).

Symptoms of both Iron and B12 deficiencies can include but are not limited to:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Lack of energy
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • A sore and red tongue
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Muscle weakness
  • Disturbed vision

It is really important to seek professional advice if you believe you are experiencing these symptoms. A health proffesional such as a General Practitioner may order serology to text your levels of ferritin and B12. Once you receive such results these deficiencies can be treated in numerous ways, including diet and supplements. Many types of professionals can help treat you, including Nutritional Counsellors, Nutritionists, Dieticians, General Practitioners & Natural Health Consultants.

See below for a list of energy-boosting ingredients and a delicious recipe to try out this weekend!

Iron Packed Foods

Liver has the highest content of Iron and could be taken in a measured amount regularly if you are iron deficient. Red meat also has a very high iron content. While the absorption of iron is much better from animal products, there are also many plant based foods like below which are rich in iron if you prefer not to eat meat.

  • Legumes!
    • Legumes are a easy, cheap and nutritious way to increase your iron intake.
    • Some examples include: Tofu, Tempeh, Soybeans, Lentils, Chickpeas, Kidney Beans, Blackeyed Peas
  • Nuts & Seeds
    • Nuts & Seeds are a quick and easy snack for on the go or when sitting at your desk working, they are also extremely high in iron as well as other important nutrients such as protein and fibre. It is also very easy to sneak servings of seeds into smoothies & soups.
    • Some examples include: Pepita (pumpkin) seeds, Sesame seeds, Flax seeds, Hemp seeds, Cashews & Pine nuts.
  • Vegetables
    • Everyone knows we need veg, but did you know leafy greens are actually an excellent source of iron and fibre?
    • Some examples of iron-abundant vegetables include: Leafy greens, Sun-dried tomato, Potato skins & Mushrooms.

The above examples are not only affordable ingredients that are abundant in iron, protein and other essential nutrients but can also easily be incorporated into most meals. Whether it is sprinkling flax seeds on your smoothie bowl or morning smoothie, or including a delcious lentil and spinach dhal in your weekly meal plan.

Chickpea Patties with Green Tahini


Chickpea Patties

  • 2 X 400g Cans Chickpeas, Rinsed and Drained
  • 2 Tablespoons White Chia Seeds
  • ⅓ Cup ‘Natural’ Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce
  • 1½ Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 Carrot, Grated.
  • 1½ Cups Finely Chopped Kale
  • Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1–2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Green Tahini

  • ¾ Cup Hulled Tahini
  • ½ Cup Lemon Juice
  • ⅓ Cup Water
  • ⅓ Cup Coriander Leaves
  • ⅓ Cup Mint Leaves
  • ⅓ Cup Flat-Leaf Parsley Leaves


  1. To make the chickpea patties, place chickpeas, chia seeds, peanut butter, sriracha and cumin into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine or until just roughly chopped.
  2. Add the carrot, kale, salt and pepper and pulse lightly to just combine, then shape the mixture into 4 large flat patties.
  3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and patties and cook for 6 minutes each side or until golden and crisp.
  4. While patties are cooking, make the green tahini. Place the tahini, lemon juice, water, coriander, mint, parsley, salt and pepper in a small food process or blender and process until smooth.
  5. Serve on burgers with your choice of toppings, some suggestions include egg, beetroot, cheese & lettuce.



References: (ABS, 2016); (Healthline, 2017); (Donna Hay); (Health Academy Australia, 2021)