Iron Deficiency Anemia
Anemia is either a decrease in the number of red blood cells or in the amount of hemoglobin in the blood, any of which reduces the amount of oxygen available to the cells. This undermines various biological process such as muscle activity, mental processes, tissue building and repair, kidney efficiency and decreased resistance to infection.
Most common causes of Iron-deficiency Anemia
- Globally, Iron deficiency is the most common type of anemia. Iron is used in the production of hemoglobin – a protein that binds oxygen to the red blood cells and passes it to the cells of the body. Iron deficiency occurs either due to a lack of intake of iron-rich foods or difficulty absorbing it, or due to an increased individual demand for iron, in cases like puberty, pregnancy, lactation, excessive bleeding (due to accidents, menstruation, ulcers, hemorrhoids) or chronic diseases such as cancer.
What are the Symptoms?
- The first signs of anemia include anorexia, constipation, headache, and difficult concentration.
More alarming symptoms include facial pallor, weakness, stress, cold limbs, depression, vertigo, frequent fainting and amenorrhea.
- Eat meat, poultry, cow liver, chicken liver and seafood. They contain large amounts of iron in a form that allows for easier absorption by the body. Eating fish with vegetables containing iron increases the absorption of iron.
- It is recommended to include small amounts of animal protein at each meal.
- Eat dark green vegetables such as broccoli, peas, cabbage, watercress, parsley and spinach, as well as legumes such as chick peas, beans, soy, and lentils.
- Add dried fruits such as prunes, figs, dates, apricots and raisins to your meals.
- Blackstrap molasses and date syrup are excellent sources of iron.
- Foods rich in vitamin C such as red and yellow bell peppers, watercress, and fresh fruit juices such as guava, orange, lemon and kiwi juice, improve iron absorption from vegetables, grains and legumes.
- Reduce the intake of foods high in phytic acid and oxalic acid, such as black tea, coffee, soda, wheat bran, chocolate, tomatoes, beets, peanuts and strawberries.
- It is not recommended to consume dairy products and other calcium-rich foods with iron-rich meals as calcium inhibits the absorption of iron.
Herbal and Dietary Supplements:
- Honey (especially darker types such as Wild and Nigella honey), increases the proportion of hemoglobin especially when dissolved in a glass of warm water.
- Bee Pollen: Studies have shown that regular intake of pollen increases hemoglobin and albumin production in the blood and increases red blood cell count. This may be due to its rich content of essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
- Spirulina is one of the most concentrated source of functional foods and the richest source of readily absorbed iron. It contains 65-75% high-value proteins that are easy to absorb as well as other minerals.
- Wheatgrass: A rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially iron, vitamin B6, folate, and other elements needed to increase hemoglobin production
The instructions and recommendations mentioned in this diet are general guidelines and do not take into account differences between individuals. Any health condition should be treated by a specialist and we advise you to consult your doctor before taking any product that may affect your health.