Anemia is a food-related health condition that is caused by poor nutritional intake. But, just as a poor diet, may favor its manifestation, you can also use diet to fight anemia.
In addition to consuming iron-rich foods, you should include vitamin C into your diet to fight anemia, as this helps in the absorption of iron.
In this article, we’ll share the 7 Best foods you should eat to fight anemia.
Foods to Fight Anemia:
1. Dark Leafy Green Vegetables
According to celebrity nutritionist Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, there are 2 types of iron that can be present in food, these are heme, which might be better for anemia, and non-heme: in which “70% of heme iron (which are present in animal sources) can be absorbed by your body, while only about 30% of non-heme forms of iron (which are present in plant sources) can be absorbed by the body.”
Therefore, if you rely on non-heme, you might need to increase your serving sizes, as less of it will ultimately be absorbed by your body. Dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach (Smith recommends cooking it, then adding a squeeze of lemon) are a great non-heme source.
2. Fortified Foods
Many foods are fortified with iron. You should add these foods into your diet if you are a vegetarian or struggle to eat other sources of iron:
- Foods made from fortified refined flour like white bread
- Fortified pasta
- Fortified white rice
- Foods made from fortified cornmeal
- Fortified orange juice
- Fortified, ready-to-eat cereals
According to Moskovitz, legumes, especially the lentils are great for anemia. Just 1/2 cup dishes up about 3.3 milligrams and around 20% of what your body craves for the day. Also, legumes a great source of fiber.
Also, another pro tip she shared with us? Some foods like tea and coffee might actually interfere with iron absorption. Therefore, consider refraining from having these drinks with lunch. Or at least keep your liquefied caffeine to just 1-2 cups maximum daily if you have an eye on your iron levels.
Many people are not keen on consuming organ meats, but they are a great source of iron. Liver is arguably one of the most popular organ meat. It is rich in folate and iron. Some other iron-rich organ meats are kidney, heart, and beef tongue.
5. Meat and Poultry
All poultry and meat contain heme iron. Lamb, red meat, and venison are the best sources. While chicken and poultry have lower amounts. Consuming poultry or meat with nonheme iron foods, such as leafy greens, can help increase iron absorption.
6. Seeds and Nuts
Seeds and nuts are some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can snack on (protein, healthy fats, and the list goes on). Also, according to New York Nutrition Group’s Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN, pumpkin seeds and pistachios are great, iron-rich choices you should keep beside your desk. Just 1 ounce of pistachios will provide approximately 6.1% of your daily value.
Seafood lovers, take note! Fish, most especially the shelled variety, is one of the best ways you can supplement your diet if you are anemic, according to Nutritionist Smith and Moskovitz.
During mealtime, both recommend shooting for about three ounces. (Also, a quick squeeze of lemon will maximize its absorption and benefits.) Sardines are another great option if you are not fond of shellfish.
Step to Health
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