Anemia and What to Eat for It

Anemia in Greek means "no blood", but it actually is you do not have enough red blood cells which provide energy. If you have anemia here is what you should eat.

The way you get anemia is by either having low amount of iron in the blood and when you are bleeding such as menstration and this makes the oxygen going through your blood stream to not be as much and it makes you exhausted. 3% of men in the U.S. have anemia and 20% of U.S.women have anemia (Probably more in women because we menstruate).

For iron, the daily value is 18 mg a day, unless your pregnant, then it goes up to 30mg a day. Your ob/gyn will probably prescribe supplements because it can be hard to get such a high amount from food alone.

Those of us who are not pregnant and are not vegetarians can get it easily from our diets, all you have to do is what you usually do, eat fish, poultry and lean red meat. All these foods have a high amount of iron in them. I will give you examples of foods high in iron and how much iron in mg is in it. 3 ounces of lean, broiled top round steak has 3 mg while 3 ounces of steamed blue mussels has even more at 6mg a serving. Don’t worry if you are a vegetarian because you can still get your iron in your diet. Kidney beans and lentils each have 3 mg of iron for a 1/2 cup serving and a cup of canned pumpkin has 3.4 mg of iron. So now you have an excuse to make pumpkin pie in March! I only have to wait until Halloween as it is my mom’s tradition on Halloween to put beef stew in the crockpot and pumpkin pie for dessert. (sounds yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!)

There are two types of iron that absorb differently. Heme iron is absorbed quickly and can be found in meat, fish and shellfish. This is where the problem comes in for vegetarians as it is a nonheme iron that doesn’t absorb as well is found in plant foods like vegetables. This is called bioavailablity.

You can get more iron in nonheme iron foods by eating it with vitamin C. Such as a glass of orange juice. THe Vitamin C causes you to absorb the nonheme iron more. Carol Fleischman, MD clinical assistant professor of medicine with the University of Pennsylvania near Philadelphia says, “Iron is best absorbed in an acidic environment-vitamin c.”

Another good way to better absorb iron is eating both vegetables and meat at the same meal. You can actually absorb nonheme iron by 10-15% by combining a nonheme food with a heme iron food. Dr Fleischman says, “Coordinating it all does give the most benefits, but if a woman is iron deficient, her absorption of iron will be much more avid, So the more iron she eats, the more iron she absorbs.”

If you or your doctor think you have anemia, especially if you complain of tiredness, your doctor will do a complete blood test to rule out nothing being seriously wrong with you. If you are just iron deficient, all you have to do is add more iron rich foods to your diet. You’re in luck if you love clams as 10 steamed clams have 26 mg of iron.

You should add Vitamin C to your diet if you are iron deficient and eating more iron rich foods. A good way to get Vitamin C is to consume more potatoes. For example, one baked potato in which you eat the skin, too has 17 mg of Vitamin C which is 28% of the Daily Value, it also has 19 grams of iron. If you eat the skin on our baked potato you will triple the amount of iron you get from it.

Beware, you do not want to add calcium to your iron supplements. Fergus Clydesdale PhD distinguished professor and head of the department of food science at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst says when you combine calcium and iron at the same time, “They compete for the same receptor site” .Dr Clydesdale suggests you Irion and calcium supplement 3 hours apart from each other. The calcium and iron in food also compete, but it doesn’t compete as much with food as compared to a calcium supplement and iron. If you have cereal for breakfast, you can put milk on it, but wait 3 hours to have your calcium supplement.

Don’t drink tea or coffee with your iron supplement or iron rich foods as they both have tannins in them and tannins block absorption of iron, according to Dr Clydesdale.

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  1. This is really great. My mother had anemia so I know something about it. Thank you for letting us know what to do in order to get more iron. The doctor told my mother to take an iron vitamin, but he did not say the rest of this. I will let her know about it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I think anemia is lack of blood not no blood. If no blood means is dead. Thanks 4 share.

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  3. Green leafy vegetables good to combat anemia.

  4. I have mild anemia. And drinking milk is very helpful.

  5. Thankx

  6. thanks for share

  7. Good info……….SUGARCANE also plays a role in anemia/iron-deficiency…….You can refer, for more info:

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