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Anemia is a medical condition characterized by reduction in Red Blood Cells or the quantity of Haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is responsible for the formation of red blood cells in your blood. They carry oxygen to different parts of your body. Reduced amount of Haemoglobin would mean less red blood cells running through your blood which in turn implies a deficient amount of oxygen being carried to your body’s cells, tissues and organs. To treat Anemia, your Anemia Diet must consist of Iron.
The ideal values of hemoglobin levels are different for men and women. Whereas a value of at least 13.5 gram/100 ml is considered normal for men on the other side, at least 12.0 gram/100 ml. is considered normal for women.
Easy To Follow Diet Plan For Anemia Patients
Here’s how you may plan your Iron Rich Diet for your Day:
- You can choose orange juice fortified with iron with Iron fortified cereals. You may also eat a few nuts while you travel to work early in the morning. Orange juice contains Vitamin C and when fortified with Iron, it provides you with the best of both worlds.
- You can also have yogurt with strawberry toppings for a probiotic cum iron rich start to your day. Sprinkle some pumpkin seeds for extra nutrients and avoid tea or coffee.
- You could have a beef or chicken sandwich in the afternoon. Red meat provides you with more iron than chicken and so that is a more recommended option.
- You could have varieties of green leafy vegetables for your lunch if you are vegetarian.
- Opt for more varieties of fruits like Apple which are rich in iron in this space. They will keep you full until you sit down on your dinner table. Check out the food items rich in Iron for reference.
- You may also incorporate your Vitamin C rich foods in this place. Just choose the best combination to suit your day.
- For dinner, you could eat grilled fish that provides iron as listed above.
- Incorporate all of your beans on different days of the week to treat your taste buds with a variety of meals coupled with Iron.
- You could prepare a stew including kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, black eyed beans, onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and peppers for a delicious treat.
Causes of Anemia:
Anemia is caused due to various reasons. It may be caused due to the following factors:
1. Reduced of Faulty manufacture of Red Blood Cell
2. Anemia is caused due to Loss of Blood
3. Anemia is caused due to destruction of Red Blood Cells
4. Anemia is caused due to deficiency of Iron.
Nutrients Required for Anemia Patients:
We briefly went through the causes of Anemia. The most common cause of Anemia is the deficiency of iron. The nutrient iron is important for your body as it is responsible for the synthesis of hemoglobin which is an important component of your red blood cells.
After having established the link between the nutrient Iron, Haemoglobin and their importance in the synthesis of Red Blood Cells, we must necessarily move towards food items that are rich in Iron to solve the problem of anemia and form a part of your Anemia Diet.
It is pertinent to mention here about the importance of Vitamin B 12 and folate. If your body can’t process B-12 properly, you may develop pernicious anemia. A diet that is rich in iron and B vitamins is thus required to keep any kind of anemia from affecting your health.
Suggested Foods to Include in Diet for Anemia Patients:
It would be interesting to know that Iron foods are of two types: Heme Iron and Non Heme Iron. Heme iron is found in meat, poultry and sea food, whereas non heme iron is found plant foods and foods that are fortified with iron. Both the types of Iron Rich food are can be absorbed in our body, but the rate of absorption of heme iron is faster as compared to non heme iron.
Add the following foods to your diet to gain the most of them in the form of iron and beat anemia:
All green, leafy vegetables are rich in iron. But spinach deserves a special mention here. Remember your favourite cartoon Popeye-the sailor man. The cartoon depicted how this vegetable instantly rose the energy levels of the protagonist and helped him fight all the odds. This vegetable does the same thing to anemia. It fights deficiency of iron by providing high levels of the nutrient to your body. It would interest you to note various recipes of spinach to help you deliciously incorporate this vegetable in your diet for anemia.
2. Swiss Chard and Collard Greens:
These are yet another option to fall under the category of green leafy vegetables. They also contain folate which we read is also as important as iron to deal with the problem of anemia.
3. Foods with Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is important for the absorption of iron in your body. So while you decide to up your Iron-nutrient intake, make sure you make adequate means in your body for its absorption by eating foods rich in Vitamin C as well. Find yourself a list of Vitamin C rich foods by clicking on this link above. Fruits like apple, kiwi, pineapple and vegetables like broccoli, green leafy vegetables, bell peppers, etc form a part of the list of foods rich in Vitamin C make a good diet for anemia.
4. Meat and Poultry for Anemia Diet:
All meat items impart heme iron to your body. If you are a non-vegetarian, you may rely on these foods for supplementing your iron needs. Red meat, lamb, and venison are the best sources. Poultry and chicken have lower amounts. Eating meat or poultry with non heme iron foods, such as leafy greens, can increase iron absorption.
5. Liver for Anemia Diet:
Organ meat is the most nourishing part of non-vegetarian food that you can ask for. Liver at that, is the best source of iron. It is also suggested to be eaten by pregnant women who need iron and folate the most while they are carrying a child inside them. Some other iron-rich organ meats are heart, kidney, and beef tongue.
6. Sea Food for Anemia Diet:
The fishes containing high amounts of iron are sardines which are canned in oil, canned or fresh Tuna, Salmon, Halibut, Perch and Haddock. Sea foods like oysters, shrimp, clamps and prawns are also a great source of iron which are also free of mercury.
7. Beans for Anemia Diet:
If you are a vegetarian then beans will compensate for your iron nutrient just like non vegetarian food items. They are the best vegetarian option to cure your iron deficiency problems. They are also affordable. The beans that provide you with iron are listed below:
- Kidney Beans
- Black-eyed Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Black Beans
- Lima Beans
8. Flax Seeds:
Flaxseeds are richest in iron containing 1.2-4.2 mg of iron which is around 20% of the iron intake. Seeds contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well flax seeds are a good diet for anemia.
9. Sesame Seeds:
In a 100 gram amount of dried sesame seeds, it has energy of approximate value 550 to 570 calories. Out of this 14.6 mg is iron which is a good intake. Sesame seeds can be used for cooking or frying like other vegetable cooking oil or olive oil.
10. Nuts for Anemia Diet:
Dried Fruits like Almonds, are a rich source of iron. Cashew Nuts too can be added here to the list. They are also very delicious to taste which blends with whatever food item you may add it to.
11. Raw Pumpkin Seeds:
Pumpkin Seeds are rich in iron. Learn the various ways you can eat pumpkin seeds.
Eat iron-rich foods with foods that contain beta carotene, such as apricots, red peppers, and beets, to improve absorption.
Eat both, heme and non heme varieties of iron rich foods to improve absorption of iron in your body.
Add foods rich in folate and vitamin B-12 to support red blood cell production.
Food to Avoid in Diet for Anemia Patients
While we list down food items eating which will enable you to boost your iron levels, you also need to be aware of what not to eat to defeat the process of absorption of iron in your body.
- There are a few points you need to keep in mind while you eat green leafy vegetables. They are a great source of iron but are also high on oxalates. Oxalates are compounds found in green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale which prevent the absorption of non heme iron. This does not mean eating these vegetables will not serve any purpose of increasing iron in your body. It just means that you cannot completely rely on these to fulfill your iron needs.
- Having beverages like tea and coffee can obstruct your iron level from rising and thus need to be avoided.