Best Foods for Anemia

Anemia is a condition that occurs when the body’s red blood cell count dips too low.

This reduces the flow of oxygen that our muscles and tissues need to perform to the best of their ability.

Signs and symptoms of anemia vary, but can often include fatigue, sensitivity to cold, dizziness, irritability, cravings, and possibly shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat or headaches. A physician’s diagnosis is important before jumping to any conclusions; anemia can be determined via a blood test.

The main cause of anemia is an iron deficiency. You may need medication to combat a diagnosis of anemia and your healthcare professional might suggest eating more iron-rich foods.

Foods Rich in Iron

• Dark, leafy greens

• Nuts and seeds

(pumpkin seeds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, peanuts, and cashews are particularly iron-dense)

• Lean red meats

• Beans

(kidney beans, chickpeas, soy beans, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, black beans, peas and lima beans)

• Lentils

• Shellfish

• Quinoa

• Grilled chicken breast

• Iron-Fortified foods

(Some foods have increased iron; at the grocery store look for “Fortified” orange juice, cereal, pasta, cornmeal and rice)

• Pair the above foods with other foods that improve the absorption of iron in the blood, such as lemon juice, tomatoes, red peppers, strawberries, melons, oranges, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, oranges, and strawberries.

Coffee & Tea May Block Iron Absorption

Too much coffee and/or tea may block even iron-rich foods, so it may make sense to curtail consumption of these two beverages if you are anemic.

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