Anemia is a condition when your blood is deficient in red cell or of hemoglobin. A lack of iron, folic acid and/or Vitamin B can all result in anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia. Your body needs iron in order to produce hemoglobin, which is a protein responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. As a result, you may feel weak, tired, and irritable. You may also experience hair loss, brittle nails, cold feet and hands and dizziness.
Luckily, we can get more iron from eating the right foods. It’s important to note that eating foods that enable proper iron consumption is just as important as eating iron-rich foods when fighting anemia. For proper iron consumption it’s vital to eat foods high in Vitamin C, Vitamin B12 and folic acid. You’ll want to avoid drinking coffee or tea, as well as consuming calcium-rich foods when eating iron-rich foods.
There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and nonheme. Heme is from hemoglobin found in animal products and is the most absorbed by our bodies. Nonheme is found in plant products.
Here are some of the best foods to fight against anemia, divided into animal, seafood, and vegetarian products:
1 . Red Meat: There is a dense iron content in beef, lamb and other red meats. If you’re an adventurous eater, the beef liver contains more than 600% of your daily iron requirements. The heart and kidney of any red meat also contain rich levels of iron, as well as Vitamin B12.
2. Eggs: Eggs contain 1 mg of iron, are rich in proteins and are packed with antioxidants that will help protect your vitamin storage when you’re suffering from anemia.
3. Shellfish: Clams, mussels and oysters are packed with iron. Just 100 mg contains anywhere from 50-155% of your daily recommended value of iron.
4. Spinach: This is a rich source of iron, calcium, Vitamins A, E and B9 and fiber. Half a cup of boiled spinach accounts for 20% of your daily iron requirement.
5. Beetroot: This vegetable is loaded with iron! It will reactivate your blood cells, once again carrying oxygen all throughout your body.
6. Legumes: Lentils and beans are an excellent source of iron and vitamins. 1 cup of lentils will give you 90% of your daily folate needs, 37% of iron and 18% of Vitamin B6. Soybeans are considered to contain the highest level of iron of all the beans. Hummus fits perfectly here too!
Whole grain bread: Packed with nonheme iron, a slice of whole grain bread contains about 6% of the daily iron requirement.
7. Nuts: This handy little snack will give you the iron boost that you need when you’re on the go. Pistachios contain the highest amount of iron, but peanuts (and peanut butter), walnuts, pecans, and cashews contain .7 milligrams of iron or more.
8. Apples and dates: This yummy sweet snack is a great combination to fight against anemia. Apples contain the Vitamin C necessary to absorb the iron-packed dates, of which 10 dates are recommended.
This list gives you a great starting point to fight against anemia. Which ones will you begin with today?