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Anemia happens when the body lacks red blood cells. The body, in some instances, does not produce an ample amount of these cells. Anemia, in others, results from an underlying health issue, like a disease that destroys the red blood cells. Moreover, anemia could also be caused by significant blood loss.
Symptoms of Anemia
A person can be anemic due to different causes. Among the signs of the occurrence of anemia are the following:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Pale/yellowish skin
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Irregular heartbeats
- Cold hands and feet
The most common symptoms of anemia are weakness and tiredness. The illness could be temporary or for the long term and could vary from mild to severe. If you suspect you are anemic, see your doctor right away since it could be a warning sign of a serious illness.
Causes of Anemia
Anemia has different types and causes. They are the following:
- Iron and Vitamin Deficiency. The most common type of anemia is the loss of iron in your body. Iron helps in producing enough hemoglobin for red blood cells. Likewise, Vitamin B-12 and folate deficiency can cause low red blood cell production.
- Inflammation and Infection. Certain diseases such as cancer, AIDS/HIV, kidney disease can interfere in the production of a person’s red blood cells. Leukemia and myelofibrosis can also affect the bone marrow which needs iron for red blood cell production. Infections from certain medicines as well as exposure to toxic chemicals can cause Aplastic anemia which is a life-threatening type of anemia. Hemolytic anemia is a disease wherein the red blood cells are destroyed faster than the bone marrow can replace them.
Foods that Help Fight Anemia
Fortunately, however, aside from the right prescriptions to combat anemia, there are also iron-rich foods that help. Moreover, certain food sources help the body absorb iron. A diet plan with iron-rich foods could help control if not cure anemia completely. So, how do we combat anemia with food?
The Best Foods for Anemia
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Wonderful sources of non-heme iron are dark, leafy green veggies. The Vitamin C that comes from citrus fruits could help the stomach absorb iron. Some fruits and vegetables that are great sources of iron and Vitamin C include the following:
- Collard greens
- Curly kale and other varieties
- Red and yellow peppers
- Swiss chard
- Dandelion greens
- Sweet potatoes
- Beet greens
- Key lime
2. Meat and Fish
Both contain heme iron. Chicken is a white, lean-cut meat that is rich in heme protein. For people suffering from anemia, sauteed spinach, three ounces of grilled chicken with broccoli side dishes, and tomatoes could make a terrific iron-rich meal. What are some of the meat and fish varieties that are great sources of iron? Check these out:
3. Beans and Pulses
Lentils are superfoods for persons with anemia. Beans and pulses work for both meat-eaters and vegetarians and provide a great amount of iron. Some iron sources include:
- Black-eyed peas
- Lima beans
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
4. Seeds and Nuts
Nuts and seeds contain a lot of nutrients. An ounce of pistachios could provide a 6.1 percent daily iron value required in a person. Check out these ultimate sources of iron.
- Hemp seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Pine nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
Eggs, while known for their proteins also pack high iron levels. Moreover, eggs could be paired with whole-grain roast, quinoa, and slightly roasted tomatoes for breakfast, which provide a great start to the day.
Foods to Avoid for Anemic Persons
Some food sources, unfortunately, interfere with the body’s iron absorption. Thus, having all sorts of iron-rich food sometimes could be redundant if taken along with these foods:
- Raw milk
- Tea and coffee
Adding iron to the diet is beneficial to people with iron deficiency. The food sources listed above could help manage the condition. Iron supplements could benefit those who don’t get enough iron from their diets.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.