Anemia is a major blood disorder, which affects a huge cross section of the populace (nearly 3.5 million people) in the United States alone. Anemia can be caused either due to a marked decline in RBC (Red Blood Corpuscle) count, or due to the poor quality of hemoglobin. This blood disorder happens to be one of the top contributory factors, for higher than normal rate of morbidity and mortality among individuals with compromised immune system, among women and older individuals. Medical research has attributed iron deficiency as the leading cause for anemia.
6 Incredible Super Foods That Help To Combat Anemia
Love it or hate it, but you cannot avoid it, especially if you suffer from iron deficiency anemia. Spinach is one of the top dietary sources of good quality iron. Eating just half a cup of boiled spinach daily will help you to meet nearly twenty percent of Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) of iron. Furthermore, spinach is an excellent dietary source of Vitamin C. Increasing the intake of vitamin C rich foods like spinach, can aid the body’s absorption of non-heme iron from different food sources.
Spinach contains appreciable amounts of Vitamin A as well. Consuming foods rich in vitamin A can help to improve iron metabolism, thereby preventing anemia. Last but not the least, the high amounts of Vitamin B9 present in spinach can prevent folic acid deficiency anemia.
Red meat is one of the most potent and well-absorbed sources of dietary iron. Doctors recommend increasing the intake of red meat to successfully battle iron deficiency anemia. A single serving of red meat will contain approximately 2.75 to 3.32 mg of the mineral. Red meat, especially organ meat, is an excellent source of B group of vitamins. It is important to consume Vitamin B rich foods as a deficiency of this vitamin can cause anemia.
The richest source of dietary iron is beef liver. A single serving of beef liver can fulfill nearly six hundred percent of an individuals Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) of both iron and vitamin B complex. However, limit your intake of red meat to just thrice a week, as red meat contains high amounts of cholesterol.
Dried apricots also make it to the list of iron rich foods, as it contains appreciable amounts of good quality dietary iron. Just 100 grams (20 dried apricots) contain a whopping 6.3 mg of iron. So, eating a handful of apricots every day can help you to fulfill nearly 35 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of iron. Dried apricots contain good amounts of Vitamin A as well (3604IU of vitamin A per 100g). Dried apricots also contain small amounts of copper. This mineral is extremely vital for the normal absorption of dietary iron by the body.
Gorge on shellfish like clams, oysters and mussels as they are some of the richest natural sources of heme-iron. Just hundred grams of clams contain almost 28 mg of iron, while 100 grams of oysters contain 12 mg of iron and mussels of the same weight contains almost 6.72 mg of good quality iron. People suffering from anemia are advised to consume wild caught shellfish, as it is low in contaminants like mercury.
Shellfish are excellent sources of proteins and B complex vitamins. A deficiency of either of these two nutrients can also instigate or aggravate the problem of anemia. The appreciable amounts of zinc in shellfish can prevent dysfunction of plasma membrane protein, which can ultimately lead to anemia.
Eating soybeans in the form of soy milk, tofu, soy powder or roasted soybeans can help to treat anemia successfully. Just half a cup of cooked soybeans has nearly 4.4 mg of iron. Besides iron, soybeans contain a plethora of essential nutrients that can help to prevent anemia. Some important nutrients which are present in soybeans and soybean products that help to combat anemia include copper, vitamin E, folic acid and choline. Drinking soybean milk twice a day is an excellent way to prevent anemia. Besides iron, soy milk is also a rich source of proteins.
This is the perfect excuse for you to feast on delectable dark chocolate. A mere 100 grams of good quality dark chocolate contains almost 17mg of iron. Dark chocolate also contains high amounts of a flavanoid called flavanol. Flavanols help to boost blood circulation and prevent anemia which arises due to poor circulation. However, eating chocolates alone will not help you to overcome anemia. To treat anemia eat chocolates in conjunction with other high iron foods.