Anemia is a blood disorder that arises due to the reduced level of hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen to different parts of the body. Thus anemia causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen to the body tissues.
The major cause for anemia is the deficiency of folic acid, iron or vitamin B12. Excessive loss of blood during menstruation, external bleeding, hereditary conditions, pregnancy, chronic diseases, infection, bleeding disorders, alcoholism etc also leads to anemia.
Diet to be Followed by Patients Having Anemia
Increase the Iron intake through your diet. Iron is commonly available in two form heme iron and non heme iron. Heme iron is commonly found in animal sources while non heme iron is seen in vegetable sources.
Iron from animal sources is highly obtainable for absorption while that from vegetable sources are less available. Consumption of heme iron source along with non heme iron source will improve the absorption of non heme iron from the food.
Excellent sources of animal sources for iron includes oyster, chicken liver, clams, mussels, pork liver, beef liver etc and beef, sardines, shrimp and turkey are found to be good sources of iron. If you are pregnant avoid the intake of liver as it consists of too much of vitamin A which is harmful for the baby.
The vegetable sources includes enriched breakfast cereals, pumpkin seeds, cooked beans, lentils, black strap molasses, baked potato with skin, canned beans, canned asparagus, enriched pasta etc.
Iron Absorption Enhancers and Inhibitors
There are certain foods that can enhance the absorption of iron from the food and certain other foods that may inhibit the absorption of iron. Some of the food hat enhance the absorption of iron includes fish, meat, poultry, orange, strawberry, grape fruit, broccoli, sprouts, Brussels sprout, potato, tomato, red and green peppers, etc.
Food that inhibits iron absorption includes tea, coffee, beet greens, spinach, sweet potato, whole wheat grain and bran, soy products etc.
Take iron rich food by avoiding the iron inhibitor foods will help you to increase the level of hemoglobin.
Along with taking iron rich food you have to include foods that are rich in vitamin B12 like eggs, beef, pork, milk, cheese, ready to eat cereals, yeast extract etc.
Also add folic acid rich food like egg yolk, whole grains, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, avocados, melon etc.