Monday, April 20, 2015

Anemia and best foods to prevent and correct it

Anemia is a condition in which blood has less than normal number of red blood cells, or when these cells don’t have enough hemoglobin in them (which is red-colored, oxygen-carrying protein). Estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO); anemia affects about 1.62 billion people globally, with women (especially pregnant) and pre-school children being the most vulnerable groups to the disease.


Causes of anemia vary wildly from poor diets and infections, to injuries, chronic diseases and others. If left untreated; anemia can cause: weakness, fatigue, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, headache, chest pain, pale skin, shortness of breath, numbness and coldness of hands and feet, and in severe cases, it may lead to death!


The treatment of anemia depends on its origin cause; your doctor will diagnose it and describe the best treatment means. In case one has iron-deficiency anemia (which is caused by excessive blood loss), or nutrition-anemia (such as lack of enough of vitamin B12 or folate) the consumption of the bellow mentioned foods would help alleviate, eliminate or even better; prevent the problem.

On the other hand, if the anemia has emerged by other diseases, treatment of the underlying cause will often correct it.


Best foods that prevent diet-related anemia

  • Meat

Meat -especially red meat- such as liver (and other organ meats have 5.2-9.9 mg iron/90 gm cocked), beef, poultry, fish and eggs usually come at the top of the list for preventing nutritional anemia, since they are rich in B12, folate and heme-iron (heme iron is absorbed two to three times more efficiently than iron from plants which has non-heme iron).


  • Fortified dry cereals

Cereals alone usually low in iron content, but due to the prevalence of anemia, manufacturer started to fortify them with vitamins and minerals.


  • Bell pepper

Bell pepper is one of the riches foods ever with vitamin C, which is known to increase the absorption of non-heme iron from foods (non-heme iron is iron from plant sources).


  • Spinach and green leafy vegetables

Spinach is rich in iron (3.2 mg/ ½cup spinach cocked from fresh), and it is also rich in vitamin C, as green leafy vegetable are also rich in it. Try to consume vitamin C-rich foods with iron-rich foods in the same meal.


  • Soy beans

Soy beans is one of the most riches beans with iron, take it as snack or use it in cooking. Other beans are also great source of folate.


  • Dried fruits

Dried fruits such as apricot, raisins and prunes are concentrated with iron, around 2.3 mg/ ¾cup.


  • Tufu, and dairy products

These are considered as excellent sources of vitamin B12.


Read more on health eating in Fitnessyard’s special section.


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