Treating anemia with food

 What foods should you avoid if you have anemia?
How can I raise my iron levels fast?


 Anemia is defined as a condition in which there are not enough normal red blood cells or Hemoglobin in sufficient quantities in the blood. Hemoglobin is the main component of red blood cells, which is the molecule that binds to oxygen. Therefore in cases of an insufficient number of red blood cells, or Hemoglobin, or an imbalance in their nature, the body cells will not reach sufficient amounts of oxygen. There are several different types of anemia, including anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency, anemia due to folate deficiency, anemia due to chronic diseases, and associated anemia cases With bone marrow disease, hemolytic anemia, iron deficiency anemia, and other types, it is worth noting that the type resulting from iron deficiency is the most common for this disease. It has the advantage of being treatable.

Treating anemia with food 

The treatment of iron deficiency anemia needs to determine the cause of this condition first through the doctor's diagnosis, as it may be due to malnutrition, or other health problems that may be more serious, and the treatment varies according to the severity of the condition. As severe cases require to undergo blood transfusion, while can be simple cases, and medium to deal with using iron dietary supplements, and to make changes in the diet followed, and increased intake of iron-rich foods, as well as increased intake of foods containing folate, and vitamin C; Which helps enhance the body's ability to absorb iron, and therefore, in some cases, the doctor may prescribe it in the form of supplements along with iron supplements.

In addition, a deficiency of vitamin B12 and folic acid can cause pernicious anemia, and therefore it is preferable to eat foods rich in these elements as well, and it should be noted that there are two main types of iron, namely: heme iron (in English: Heme iron) ); Which is found in animal sources, and nonheme iron (in English: nonheme iron); Which is found in plant sources of food, and in foods fortified with this element, and the human body can absorb the heme type more easily, and the treatment regimen for anemia may differ from one person to another, but in general the patient needs to eat 150 to 200 milligrams of iron on a daily basis. The most important foods rich in iron come with the important nutrients for the production of red blood cells, and Hemoglobin:

Meat and poultry: All types of meat and poultry contain HEMI iron, and red meat, venison, and lamb contain higher amounts of this element compared to poultry, and on the other hand, these foods contain vitamin B12.

Liver: where organ meat is one of the sources rich in iron, and the liver is the most used part of it and is characterized by containing folate and iron, and beef can also eat the heart, tongue, and kidneys. 

Green leafy vegetables: These types of vegetables, especially the darker ones, are considered sources rich in non-heme iron, and examples of them are: Dandelion, spinach, kale, and chard (Swiss chard) contain folate, whose deficiency can cause anemia, and whole grains, citrus fruits, and beans are good sources of folate, and it is recommended to eat these vegetables with sources rich in vitamin C; Such as sweet pepper and oranges to increase iron absorption, and it should be noted that leafy vegetables contain large amounts of oxalate. These compounds limit the absorption of non-heme iron, so it is advised not to rely on this vegetable in the treatment of anemia. 

Seafood: Some types of seafood contain HEMI iron. Such as oysters, shrimp, canned sardines in oil, tuna, salmon, and other fish. It is worth noting that canned salmon is one of the sources of calcium that binds to iron, which reduces its absorption in the body, and on the other hand fish and shellfish contain Vitamin B12.

 Beans: All kinds of beans are a good source of iron for vegetarians, and there are many options that can be eaten. Such as soybeans, chickpeas, red and black beans, peas, and other types.

 Nuts and seeds: Many types of nuts contain good amounts of iron, including pumpkin seeds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, and pine nuts.

 Iron-fortified foods: There are many foods that are fortified with the element of iron, and it is possible for vegetarians to eat these foods to replace their need for iron, examples of which are: Fortified juices, breakfast cereals, white bread, and fortified white rice.

Other nutrients: There are many nutrients that play an important role in the production of red blood cells, including protein, zinc, selenium, vitamin B6, vitamin B3, copper, and vitamin B2, so it is important to follow a balanced diet to treat anemia. Your doctor may also prescribe other supplements of these items.

Food that is recommended to be avoided to treat anemia There are many foods that can impede the body's absorption of iron, and therefore it is advised to avoid them when consuming iron sources. Among these foods are the following:

  • Milk products. 

  • Tea and coffee. 

  • Whole grains.

  •  Foods that contain phytic acids, such as brown rice and whole wheat. 

  • Foods that contain tannins, such as grapes, corn, and sorghum (in English: Sorghum). 

  • Foods containing gluten, such as wheat and wheat products, barley, oats, and rye.

  •  Foods that contain oxalic acids, such as parsley, peanuts, and chocolate.

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