Anemia is a condition wherein the patient’s body is unable to generate enough healthy red blood cells or it may also occur due to excessive loss of blood. Anemia is generally caused due to iron deficiency in the body. However, with a little awareness about the foods to eat and avoid for anemia, you can get it under control.
Foods to eat
- Green leafy vegetables
As we know, iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of anemia. Patients of anemia must consume dark and green leafy vegetables regularly. Vegetables like spinach and kale are high in iron, and help treat anemia symptoms.
- Vitamin C-rich foods
With an increase in the consumption of iron-rich foods, it is also important to ensure that the iron is being utilized by the body. Citrus fruits and peppers are rich in vitamin C, and essential for people with anemia. They help the body absorb iron more efficiently.
- Seeds and nuts
There are various types of seeds and nuts that are rich in iron and are especially crucial for people who do not eat meat. Pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, and pistachios are some of the popular and commonly available seeds and nuts that can be consumed to increase iron intake.
- Foods rich in vitamin B12
It is important that anemic patients also increase their folate and vitamin B12 consumption to enable their body to produce healthier red blood cells regularly.
Foods to avoid
- Certain seafood items
There are certain seafood items that have high calcium levels. A high calcium intake can inhibit iron absorption in the body. It is, therefore, important to monitor your consumption of seafood, such as clams, oysters, and crabs, which are usually high in calcium.
- Dairy products
Milk and its byproducts are heavily packed with calcium. It is best to avoid consuming dairy products while you are trying to increase your body’s iron intake and absorption. You should limit/not consume raw milk, yogurt, and cheese.
- Oxalate-rich foods
Vegetables such as spinach are high in oxalate, while also being high in iron. Oxalate is an element that prevents the absorption of non-heme iron. Hence, you should reduce the consumption of oxalate-rich vegetables and certain seeds and nuts.
- Foods high in gluten
Avoid consuming foods that are rich in gluten, such as pasta or any food made from rye, wheat, and barley. Increasing gluten consumption causes the body to disrupt the absorption of iron.
It is important to know about the foods to eat and avoid for anemia, so that necessary steps can be taken. If you face any severe symptoms, then see your doctor immediately.