When trying to eat a low-iron diet, animal meat is sometimes one of the first food groups to go. However, chicken tends to not be as high in iron as you might suspect, and meals made with chicken often make excellent options for lower-iron eating.
This easy week-night recipe starts with a classic technique (roasted chicken) and incorporates it with a delicious calcium and polyphenol-rich marinade to further limit iron absorption. Buttermilk is rich in calcium and makes a delicious marinade for chicken. The addition of green tea doesn’t affect the taste—you’d never know it was in this meal!
This recipe comes from my book, Cooking for Hemochromatosis, and is an example of the many creative ways to still enjoy cooking and eating delicious food when you have iron overload.
As a lower-iron meat, this chicken dish only has 1.5 mg iron per 3-ounce (84-g) serving. Due to the addition of the calcium and polyphenol-rich ingredients used in this recipe, the total iron absorbed by your body will end up being even less!
Calcium-rich dairy products like buttermilk provide excellent blocking of both heme and non-heme iron from this chicken entrée.
Green tea and the herbs thyme, sage, and rosemary, are all very rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are health-promoting antioxidant nutrients that prevent iron from being absorbed from a meal.
Most marinades are going to include acidic-ingredients such as vinegar, citrus juice, or soy-sauce, all of which can enhance iron absorption and are contraindicated in low-iron recipes. This marinade preserves the tenderness and flavor of a traditional marinade without accentuating iron absorption from the meal. Win-win!
Dr. Kristina Lewis is a naturopathic physician in practice with her husband, Dr. Eric Lewis, in Asheville, North Carolina. When her husband discovered he had hereditary hemochromatosis, she became very involved in researching, writing, and teaching about this condition both as a health-care practitioner and as a concerned wife. As someone who naturally loves to cook and who finds inventing tasty and healthy recipes a fun challenge, Dr. Kristina decided to take on the challenge of creating a cookbook for hemochromatosis from a holistic perspective. She is the author of Cooking For Hemochromatosis, a comprehensive guidebook to lowering iron in the diet.