Anemia --Top 10 Foods That Fight
Anemia
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February 5, 2010, last updated November 25, 2014

By Rory McClenaghan, Contributing Columnist



Feeling tired, light-headed, weak? Losing hair? If so, you
may have anemia. One in 77 Americans suffers from this
blood disorder according to the National Heart, Lung and
Blood Institute (NLBI). But the good news is, in its most
common form, anemia is easily preventable. Just by making
some small, simple changes to your diet, you can greatly
lower your chances of contracting the condition. What foods
are best to eat to prevent anemia or to remedy this
condition?

Anemia strikes when there is a lack of red blood cells or not
enough hemoglobin (also referred to as "haemoglobin" in
some research studies ) in the blood. This makes it harder
for your blood to transport oxygen around the body so your
organs and tissues receive less and as a result you feel tired
and weak. Being anemic also makes you more vulnerable to
certain infections, such as
boils.

In most cases the cause is a lack of iron, which is a key part
of haemoglobin. Many common foods contain iron so if you
know what to eat, maintaining an iron-rich diet is easy,
healthy and enjoyable.


Why You Need Vitamin C to Combat Anemia

There are two forms of iron, heme and non-heme. Heme iron
is found in red meat and is easily absorbed by the body. Non-
heme iron, found in other food stuffs, is more difficult for
the body to use. So vegetarians in particular should also eat
foods rich in vitamin C, which converts non-heme iron into
the more useful heme form. The recommended dietary
allowance for iron is 8mg/day for a man and a post-
menopausal woman and 18mg/day for a pre-menopausal
woman.

In the UK, the recommended intake is a bit different: 8.7 mg
for a man and post-menopausal women and 14.8 mg for pre-
menopausal women. Pregnant women may require an
additional iron supplement, according to the National Health
Service.


Vitamin B-12 Deficiency Can Also Cause Anemia

Another form of anemia, called pernicious anemia,  stems
from a lack of folic acid, or Vitamin B-12, in your diet. Again,
this can be easily combatted by watching what you eat. Like
iron, there are plenty of widely available
foods which contain
Vitamin B-12 and you do not need to worry about getting
too much of a good thing. Any excess is stored in the liver
and used by the body when needed. The recommended
dietary allowance for Vitamin B-12 is 2.4mcg.

Here are the 10 best foods to fight off anemia. They are rich
in iron, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin C, or a combination of these.
Those most at risk (menstruating women or growing
teenagers) need more than the average amount of iron, so
as well as an iron-rich diet, it may be advisable for you to
take supplements as well.


























1.        
Red meat – the clue is in the name. It is the iron in
beef, lamb and other red meats that gives them their
distinctive color. It is heme iron, so the body absorbs it
easily. Kidney, heart and liver are the most iron-rich cuts.
Beef contains 2-3mg of iron. Red meat is also a great source
of Vitamin B-12--- lamb's liver has 85.7 mcg per 100g.

2.        
Green vegetables – spinach, kale, celery, broccoli and
fenugreek all contain not just iron, but Vitamin B-12 as well.
On average, a 100g serving of dark, leafy greens contains
2mg of iron.

3.        
Nuts – a great source of iron and an easy way to top
up your iron levels on the move. Pistachio nuts have the
highest iron content, with 15mg per 100g.

4.        
Dried apricots, prunes, peaches and raisins – plenty
of iron and again easy to eat as a snack or as part of an iron-
rich breakfast. Dried peaches contain 6mg per 100g.

5.        
Fish and seafood – one of the many health benefits of
fish is that it can prevent anemia. Fatty fish like salmon and
tuna contain the most iron. In terms of seafood, both
mussels and oysters are excellent sources of iron. Pacific
oysters have 7.2mg per 100g serving.

6.        
Honey – as well as iron (0.42 mg/100g), honey
contains copper and manganese. These three metallic
elements are used in harmony to make haemoglobin, so
honey is particularly effective in fighting anemia.

7.        
Fresh fruit – both apples (0.12mg/100g) and
tomatoes are rich in iron. The Vitamin C from fruit also helps
your body absorb non-heme iron.

8.        
Beans and lentils – All types of cooked beans and
lentils have a high iron content (between 1.5 and 2.7mg per
100g) and they are good for your heart, too. To make the
iron easier to absorb, add tomatoes for their Vitamin C
content.

9.        
Molasses – use molasses in your baking for an easy
and tasty source of iron. A tablespoon has 3.2mg of iron.

10.        
Enriched products – breads, cereals and a wide
range of common foodstuffs are available in enriched forms
with added iron, Vitamin B-12 and other nutrients. Changing
to these products is a great way to increase your intake
without making big changes to your diet.











Related:
Pernicious Anemia -Causes and Treatments

How Much Is Too Much Salt? /Sugar-The Disease
Connection / Are Diet Sodas Bad for Your Health? / Ideal
Breakfast for Diabetics / Ideal Breakfast for Arthritis
/
Healing Foods Links /  Foods That Shrink Your Waist /
Foods That Lower Cholesterol/ VLDL-The Other Cholesterol/
Foods That Reduce Blood Pressure

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