You've just been diagnosed with anemia. You return home from your doctor's visit. You look around your kitchen at your food supply: boxes of macaroni and
cheese, bags of snack foods, frozen candy bars in the freezer, a case of soda in the refrigerator. "No wonder I'm anemic," you mutter to yourself.
Now that you have a good idea what not to eat –everything in that kitchen for starters, do you know what adjustments you should be making in your diet? You'd be surprised how some changes in your eating habit can help boost your health, energize your system and start you on the path to a more vibrant life. Let's get started!
Most cases of anemia are caused by a deficiency of iron in the blood. The goal, therefore, of any anemia-busting diet is to eat more foods rich in this vital mineral. You'll want to choose foods rich in heme iron. This form of iron is the most easily absorbed by your body. You'll find this mostly in foods that come from animal sources, including just about any kind of liver—chicken, beef or pork. Other good sources include beef, shrimp, turkey, sardines, clams, mussels and oysters.
As you clearly see, some of the best sources of iron are those we don't eat very often, oysters, mussels and claims for instance. Others are sources that we've been told only to eat in small servings – like red meat. But there are non-heme sources of iron that are more common. While these foods aren't as readily absorbable by your body, they are still a great source of iron. They definitely should be part of your new, improved eating habits. Cooked beans and lentils fall into this category, as do enriched breakfast cereals, and canned beans. Pumpkin seeds are a great iron-rich snack. Another food that is iron rich is blackstrap molasses.
The ideal way to eat non-heme iron is to combine it with the heme variety. The heme-iron assists in the absorption of the non-heme. In fact, eating certain foods together can make quite a difference in the absorption rate of iron – and when you're anemic every bit of iron your body can absorb is crucial.
Other foods that can assist in your body better absorbing your iron, include fruits including cantaloupe, orange and even orange juice. Armed with this knowledge, you might want to make sure the next time you sit down to your morning cereal you have a glass of OJ with it. Certain vegetables also act in this way. They include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomato, tomato juice, potatoes and both green and red peppers.
Then there's the flip side to the story. As a person suffering with anemia, you also need to know that there are certain foods that will slow or inhibit the absorption of iron. You might be amazedto learn how common these are. They include such everyday staples as coffee and tea. Red wine is also reduces the ability of your body to absorb the much-needed iron. And while you might be thinking that none of those items are good for you anyway, take a look of this list of "good" foods that block your body from getting the most out of iron: spinach, chard, beet greens, rhubarb and even sweet potatoes and soy products!
Note: Some statements in this article may not be
approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and
should not be taken as professional medical advice.