Mayoclinic defines Anemia as “a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues.” Anemia is caused by a lack of iron in your blood. While there isn’t any one food item that will completely alleviate the symptoms of fatigue and tiredness that are associated with the disease, certain long-term changes to your diet as a whole can yield major results to the health and well being of anemic individuals.
One of the most commonly prescribed dietary changes by doctors to anemic patients is to begin incorporating more leafy green vegetables into your diet. According to Healthline, “Leafy greens, especially dark ones, are among the best sources of nonheme iron.” A diet that incorporates greens will also benefit from the Vitamin C present in these vegetables, which helps with iron absorption. Leafy greens are packed with other health benefits outside of Anemia as well.
The other form of dietary iron that is crucial for anemic patients is heme iron. WebMD notes that, “Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin. It is found in animal foods that originally contained hemoglobin, such as red meats, fish, and poultry.” Heme sources of iron are particularly vital, as opposed to their counterpart of nonheme irons, because your body obtains the most iron from these sources. Adding more meat products to your diet, such as red meats, chicken, and beef, are a great way to allow your body to counter its natural iron deficiency.
Certain seafood items can serve as impeccable resources for anemic individuals. EverydayHealth released a list of healthy foods that provide large amounts of iron finding, “Oysters, mussels, and clams are rich sources of iron.” According to this same list, five medium oysters are able to deliver more than 3mg of iron, a large portion of the recommended daily intake of iron. If you’re not a fan of those particular seafood items, common fish such as salmon, haddock, and tuna also provide a decent amount of iron.
No matter your dietary preferences, beans are a culturally-based option that is high in iron and simple to implement into a preexisting diet plan. Healthline finds that, “Beans are good sources of iron for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. They’re also inexpensive and versatile.” Some of the most common beans that are high in iron include: kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans. Beans are a simple and effective food to add to your diet that will help provide iron to your bloodstream.
At Renaissance Home Health Care and Adult Day Services, we offer wellness classes that assist our seniors’ overall well being. Our Director of Patient Services, Marise Deaussou, discussed our health seminars by saying, “One of our Signature Touches is offering our clients meals that address all health needs, including those with Anemia. We also provide nutritional assessments in the home and at our senior centers and educate anemic clients on meals that help optimize their nutrition.”