Food and anemia are intricately linked, as you can imagine.
Once you have an onset of anemia, your only option is to visit a hospital as it cannot be treated through self-medication.
However, in many cases anemia is caused by lifestyle and eating habits that are well within the sufferer’s control.
Today, we’ll take a look at things to take note of on a daily basis, such recommended food for anemia sufferers, and eating habits to help prevent the onset of symptoms. Let’s get started!
1. Eat a proper breakfast to help prevent anemia
It’s a given to eat 3 well-balanced meals to prevent anemia, but it’s worth mentioning that breakfast is the most important of these meals.
It’s worth noting that plenty of anemia sufferers report not eating breakfast as a reason for their anemia outbreaks.
Starting the day without a proper breakfast robs the body of the chance to replenish vital nutrients essential for the production of blood cells, such as protein and iron.
Remember that food has a vital role to play in maintaining a healthy body.
Eating habit problems such as skipping breakfast is cited as a major cause of anemia.
However, don’t just grab a loaf of bread and eat breakfast for eating’s sake. Remember that the type of food you eat and proper nutrition plays a key role in preventing anemia.
If you’re too busy to cook a proper breakfast and tend to just grab some toast on the way out, consider ditching the toast in favor of something that is more nutritionally balanced.
Consider choosing filling yet more nutritionally balanced alternatives that can be easily prepared in no time.
Start by more aware about the nutrition you take into your body.
With that said, let’s take a look at some recommended food to help fight anemia.
2. Try these recommended anemia-fighting food
Iron is essential for producing blood cells. Iron is divided into two major types: heme and non-heme iron.
Heme iron is sourced from animal-based food such as meat and fish. Meanwhile, non-heme iron is sourced from plant-based food such as vegetables and seaweed.
Research shows that between the two types of iron, heme iron is more easily absorbed by the body.
It would make sense then, to proactively seek out sources of heme iron to secure more nutritional iron.
However in Japan, non-heme iron from food sources is more easily accessible for our daily diets than heme iron.
If this is the case, we recommend taking a dose of vitamin C with your intake of non-heme iron.
Vitamin C works by enhancing the body’s absorption of iron. It also goes without saying that you can take vitamin C with your intake of heme iron with no problems whatsoever.
The main point to consider in your diet is to eat 3 balanced and proper meals. Try out generous portions of the following food groups as your staple, main, or side dish!
We recommended cooking dishes that use several of these ingredients at once.
Food rich in heme iron
* Pork, poultry, beef liver
* Beef round meat
* Fish and seafood
* Rainbow trout
* Natto (Japanese fermented soybeans)
* Fried tofu
* Freeze-dried tofu
* Edamame (green soybeans)
* Dried radish
* Hijiki (dark edible seaweed)
* Food rich in vitamin C to enhance iron absorption
* Red and yellow bell peppers
* Pollack roe
* Japanese persimmon
3. Avoid drinks like coffee or tea before and during meals
If you need a drink during or after a meal, go for roasted green tea or water instead.
Be especially careful with drinks as they may contain ingredients that are counterproductive to our goal of increasing iron intake.
Tea and coffee in particular, are rich in biomolecules called tannins, which impede the absorption of iron.
You may drink coffee or tea of course, but avoid doing so at 30 minutes before, after, and during a meal.
During and right after meals, drink water or beverages low in tannin such as roasted green tea to aid digestion and avoid impeding the body’s absorption of nutrients.
4. Things to do to avoid anemia
Here are a few things you can do to help avoid the onset of anemia in the first place. A healthy diet and lifestyle go a long way to staying healthy and achieving quality of life.
Exercise helps enhance metabolism and improves blood circulation.
Red blood cells, a key component of blood, play a vital role in distributing oxygen throughout the body.
People with anemia have fewer healthy red blood cells, leading to the restricted flow oxygen throughout the body and resulting in dizziness.
Moderate physical activity is required to ensure the steady supply of blood and oxygen throughout the body.
Start with about 20 to 30 minutes a day of light physical activity, such as walking.
If you’re pressed for time, make every conscious effort at physical activity.
Walk as much as possible to/from work or school, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
These small steps can add up and go a long way towards improving your health and quality of life.
Take warm baths as often as possible
Blood circulation slows down when the colder the body gets. To mitigate this, take a leisurely soak in lukewarm water to warm your body up.
This may be difficult to do if you’re too busy, and oftentimes you may find yourself resorting to just showering on a daily basis, but try to find the time to take a leisurely bath whenever possible.
Do every effort to keep your body warm as possible.
If you must drink alcohol, drink in moderation
After drinking alcohol, your body consumes its vitamin B2 stores to metabolize the alcohol.
Vitamin B1 is a type of B-complex vitamin, which are key nutrients involved in the production of blood.
Your body consumes a large amount of vitamin B1 after alcohol consumption to help metabolize the alcohol in your system.
This depletes your vitamin B1 stores, making it more difficult for your body to replenish your blood cells. The lesson? If you must drink, drink in moderation.
Get plenty of sleep
Your body secretes a large quantity of hormones during sleep, some of which are responsible for restoring the balance of your blood cells. This makes sleep an important part of fighting anemia.
Lack of sleep impedes your body’s ability to absorb iron, so make it a point to get plenty of good sleep at night.
If you do not have a lot of time available for sleep, make it a point to create a comfortable space where you can easily relax within the limited time you have for sleep.
If you find yourself sleeping lightly too often, a change of lighting or pillows may be in order.
Eating 3 balanced meals that include iron-rich ingredients, moderate physical activity, and good sleep are the keys to managing anemia and achieving quality of life.
Make a conscious effort to incorporate positive lifestyle changes daily and enjoy better health and life!
This article is updated as of April 21th, 2015.
No two individuals are alike. Please note that your results and experiences may vary.