5 Ways to Prevent Anemia
Anemia is a common blood disorder that can occur in people of all ages, races, and genders.
This condition happened when your blood doesn’t have enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to all parts of your body.
There are many different kinds of anemia, each with its own cause. The two most common types of anemia are iron and vitamin deficiency anemia, and are caused by either a shortage of iron or vitamin B12 in your body. Inherited blood disorders such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia may also lead to anemia.
While some types of anemia can’t be prevented, such as sickle cell anemia, other types such as iron-deficiency anemia and vitamin deficiency anemia can be prevented or treated by ensuring an adequate intake of these vitamin and mineral in your diet. Here are few things you can do to prevent the anemia:
1. Eat more iron-rich foods
Make sure you get sufficient amount of iron through your diet. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends 8 milligrams (mg) per day for men and 18 mg per day for most adult women. Pregnant women should get 27 mg, while elderly adults who are over 50 or lactating women should get 8-9 mg.
Foods that are rich in iron include eggs, red meat, poultry, shellfish, dried fruits, beans, peas, and dark green leafy vegetables. Iron from animal sources is easily absorbed by our bodies than iron from plant sources. That is why iron deficiency anemia is more common among vegetarians or vegans.
2. Get enough vitamin B12 in your diet
Since anemia can also be caused by a lack of vitamin B12, which is essential nutrient in making healthy red blood cells. So, getting enough vitamin B12 can help you prevent this form of anemia. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, egg yolk, and milk.
3. Increase your vitamin C and folate intake
Vitamin C and folate or folic acid can help the body absorb iron more efficiently so be sure to consume foods containing these nutrients or taking a supplement for these nutrients to minimize your risk for anemia.
Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwis, guavas, mangoes, bell peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes. While folate can be found in beans, peas, lentils, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, turnip greens, and brussels sprouts.
4. Do not drink coffee or tea at mealtimes
If you have iron deficiency anemia, avoid drinking coffee or tea with your meals as they contain polyphenols and tannins, which can interfere with iron absorption.
5. Cook using iron pots
There is some evidence that cooking in a cast-iron skillet can add significant amounts of iron to your food and into your body. The acid in foods seems to pull some of the iron out of the cast-iron cookware.
Simmering acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, in an iron pot can increase the iron content of the brew more than ten-fold. Cooking foods containing other acids, such as lemon, lime juice or vinegar, in an iron pot can also increase the iron content of the final mixture.