The human body is not only about having the perfect muscle to fat ratio. Often times when we talk about food and lifestyle modifications, we tend to focus on the benefits of eating fibers, and healthy carbs and omegas. Infact, most of the diets loved and adapted now a days are based on achieving that so-called IDEAL weight. But amidst all this ‘hoo ha’ of achieving the most perfect weight, or that Instagram body we tend to make a rookie yet extremely serious mistake. We forget about maintaining the integrity of one of the most important system of the body; the circulatory system.
Blood is what keeps all the body organs alive. It is the fuel for the whole system and supplies oxygen to all the organs. Any anomaly in this system will ultimately lead to a problematic outcome. Anemia is one of such anomalies.
If left untreated; anemia can and will lead to extensively damaging and even potentially fatal outcomes.
Everything you need to know about anemia:
- Anemia is the outcome of insufficient quantity of healthy Red Blood Cells (RBCs). The blood is a plasma containing WBCs, RBCs and platelets along with other minor constituents. Out of all; RBCs are responsible for carrying oxygen to each and every cell in the body.
- There are many different kinds of anemia depending on the pathological cause. However, the outcome is same I-e. insufficient supply of oxygen to different body tissues.
- It is one of the most commonly occurring disease worldwide. It can affect any age group equally.
Signs and Symptoms of Anemia:
Being anemic does not mean you will look like a vampire from Hollywood movies. However, some of the symptoms are as follows:
- Wrinkly dry and tired looking skin
- Pale appearance and easily bruised skin
- Appearance of under eye circles
- Fatigue and lethargy at all times
- Dizziness and shortness of breath
- Loss of focus
- Loss of appetite
- Rash on skin and brittle hard nails
- Frequent nosebleeds, bleeding from gums etc.
- Palpitation and rapid heart rate
- Fever and frequent illness
- Cold hands and limbs at all times
- What are the main causes of Anemia:
Anemia differs based on the causative factors. some of these causes are:
- Chronic and prolonged illness leading to blood Hb level such as hepatic failure, gastric ulcers and cancers etc.
- Faulty genes leading to production of sickle shaped RBCs as opposed to normal biconcave spherical shaped red cells. this type is called as sickle cell anemia
- Anemia due to Iron deficiency is also extremely common kind
- Anemia due to deficiency if vitamin B12 a.k.a. cobalamin causing megaloblastic anemia
- Lower RBCs production by stem cells in the bone marrow is also a very serious and chronic type of anemia.
Role of Iron in anemia:
Every RBC has two main parts I-e. Heme that binds four oxygen atoms to it while rest are complex structures of protein molecules. Iron is necessary for the synthesis of the heme part of the hemoglobin.
What is a good treatment for anemia?
Anemia can be easily detected with few easy routine blood tests. However, getting to the root cause is a task in itself. Anemia treatment comprises of supplementing on Iron and Folate. But dietary treatment is the way to go if you wish to look for a long-term treatment and prevention from the disease.
Health professionals recommend the consumption of adequate amount of iron containing food atleast once a day to prevent possible Anemia due to Iron deficiency.
Some of the foods beneficial in this regard are as follows:
Greens are the answer:
Iron obtained from vegetables is not necessarily helpful for hemoglobin formation as opposed to animal -based iron source. Nevertheless, the beneficial outcome is still substantial in treating in anemic symptoms. Iron rich vegetables are as below:
- Beans and peas of almost all kinds
Fall in love with folate:
Folate, folic acid or vitamin B12 is another crucial ingredient needed for the treatment of Anemia. This is esp. important for megaloblastic anemia. In this type RBCs don’t have the appropriate size to carry oxygen due to the lack of folic acid in the body.
Folate can be obtained from following sources:
- Green vegetables, sprouts, asparagus, spinach, broccoli,
- Wheat, rice and barley
- Nuts and lentils
What’s Up Doc
- 5 Carrots
- 1 cup Spinach
- 1 Apple
Red fruits for rich red blood:
As cliched as it may sound, but the more you eat red fruits the better chances for a richer healthier blood. Its amazing how nature has made it easy for us to consume the essential nutrients from these fruits without having to dig into unhealthy options.
These fruits are rich in Iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin C. To name a few some of these fruits are as follows:
- Apples: it is better to consume apple with peel as it has the higher proportion of Iron as it is.
- Pomegranate: contains high content of folic acid and ascorbic acid. Both are crucial for the synthesis of healthy RBCs in the body.
- Strawberries: although they don’t have extremely high iron content (0.4mg/ 100g of fruit), but strawberries are a rich source of vitamin C too.
See the power of Seeds:
Seeds are not only beneficial in providing rich omegas; but also help in treating anemia. Anemia due to lack of iron is usually treated with consuming healthy fruits and vegetables. But the fact is that seeds contain higher percentage of usable Iron. Long term consumption helps in the prevention of further iron deficiency too.
- Hemp seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Chia and sunflower seeds contain the highest content (almost 2.5g iron/30 g of seeds)
Benefit from the berries:
Berries are those delicious little fruits that are easy to eat, taste good with every thing and pretty much fulfill the dessert section of our meals. But did you know they can also help treat anemia too. This is esp. important if you have an anemic child who is also a picky eater. Let your child consume a hearty number of berries every day and you will witness an amazing improvement in their blood iron content. Some of these exceptionally beneficial berries are as follows:
Although anemia is an extremely common condition. But being Anemic does not mean you have to let it go untreated. The complications associated with anemia are not only long lasting but also take a huge toll on the health of a person.
Supplements containing iron to treat anemic symptoms are notorious in giving stomach and digestive problems such as loose stools, constipation, nausea and even severe vomiting. But if you make sure to consume a healthy content of anemia treating foods described above; then there is high chance you wouldn’t get the symptoms in the first place. Cheers to healthy living.