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Iron In Your Coffee

Coffee is a love affair for me.

I love the smell, I love the flavor. I love the ritual enjoyed daily making my sacred cup.

But like all love affairs, my obsession with coffee has its dark side, and I’m not talking a roast choice.   Coffee, lovely though it is, will strip the iron right out of a woman’s body and, if you are anemic like I also am, this is especially vital for you.

Iron’s vitality in our curvy bodies cannot be overstated.  Iron carries oxygen to the brain – so we can think (ever feel foggy, especially before your period?), it actively takes part in the synthesis of a number of essential neurotransmitters like dopamine (keeps us happy), norepinephrine, along with serotonin (helps us sleep). It eradicates fatigue (so we don’t punch people who get on our last nerve) and it regulates body temperature (so we don’t drive the utility bill into orbit).   Suffice it to say, iron is relevant.

So now what?  Give up coffee?  Not a reality for me.  For while giving up coffee all together might be good for some people, and God bless them, it just is not negotiable for this girl.  I choose balance instead.  I put cocoa in my latte.

Why the cocoa?

Well, it tastes great for one but more relevantly, in the case of iron it is pure cocoa powder without any cocoa fat, milk, or sugar that provides the most iron.  More than liver, more than spinach, more than kale.  Cocoa, thank the loving Universe, is the big kahuna of iron, with 36mg in a 100g serving, or 200% of the DV. That is 1.8mg of iron per tablespoon of cocao powder, or 10% of the DV. Unsweetened baking chocolate provides 17.4mg per 100g (97% DV), or 23mg (128% DV) per grated cup. Most sweetened milk chocolates will provide around 2.4mg per 100g (13% DV), or 1mg (6% DV) of iron in an average 1.5 ounce bar. (1)

So, the next time you make a latte, try it my way. Add a heaping tablespoon of some cocoa power.  My latte is: Cocoa (1Tbl), Cinnamon (dash) , honey (1tsp +) , heated milk (1/8c) and coffee.  And if you are looking for a GREAT iron supplement, one without all the (heh-hem) unpleasant side effects, I take Enzymatic brand ‘Energizing Iron’ which you can find online or at the store of any Vitamin Shoppe.


DV Information.

Jennifer Aston is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.