Anemia is a very common and yet largely ignored health condition which can debilitate a person’s abilities and can prevent people from living life to optimum. There are almost 400 types of anemia which can be divided into three groups.
Anemia caused by blood loss, Anemia caused by less or faulty Red Blood Cell (RBC) production in the body itself and Anemia caused by destruction of RBC in the body. Therefore, it is important to first identify the reason behind anemia and then take corrective measures along with a nutritious diet.
Various Nutrition Tips For Anemic Patients
Primarily, low levels of iron and vitamins are responsible for anemia. These low levels can be a result of poor diet or certain health conditions. Following nutrients can help in increasing RBC count in the body and raising the hemoglobin levels in the body.
Iron is the most important nutrient required by body for making hemoglobin. Human being’s body can rapidly absorb iron from meats. Including iron rich meats in your diet like liver, beef, chicken, fish, shellfish, etc.Vegetarian foods that are good source of iron include green leafy vegetables, peas, beans, chickpeas, lentils, dried fruits like prunes, raisins and iron fortified cereals.
Vitamin B12 is required in the body to make RBCs. Low levels of vitamin B12 can lead to pernicious anemia. Rich sources of vitamin B12 include meats like beef, liver, poultry, eggs and dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese, breakfast cereals fortified with vitamin B12.
Folic acid is needed by the body to make and maintain new cells including RBC. Folic acid is especially important for pregnant women as it helps them avoid anemia and helps in healthy growth of fetus. Deficiency of folate in pregnant women can lead to neural tube defects in fetus.Good sources of folic acid include fruits like bananas, oranges, eggs, liver, lobia or black eyed peas and beans, dark green leafy vegetables and cereals with added folic acid.
Even if you are eating adequate amount of iron, your body can be deficient in it if you do not consume adequate amounts of vitamin C because this nutrient helps the body to absorb iron. Hence eating foods rich in vitamin C is a prerequisite for taking care of anemia. Citrus fruits are the best source of vitamin C. Oranges, lemon, sweet lime, grapefruit, kiwi fruit all are good sources of vitamin C.
Fruits like apricots, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon etc are also good source of this nutrient. Vegetables like broccoli, peppers, green chillies, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, turnips, spinach, etc. Indian Gooseberry or Amla is particularly a good source of vitamin C. Dried and powdered form of this fruit also contains high amount of vitamin C.
All the above mentioned foods are vital in increasing hemoglobin levels and reducing anemia but it is important to diagnose the exact cause of anemia and eat foods accordingly. If you suffer from severe anemia then taking nutritional supplement along with healthy foods will help better.