Anemia treatment may require some prescription medicines but eating good foods can control your symptoms and improve your health and wellness.
What is anemia?
Before we’ll discuss good foods and healthy options for anemia, let’s try to define first what’s anemia.
Anemia occurs when there’s no enough RBC to carry oxygen throughout your body. It may also arise if there’s an insufficient amount of hemoglobin that carries oxygen resulting in fatigue, headaches, pale skin and other symptoms that will make your life difficult.
Iron deficiency is usually the cause of anemia. But a deficiency of vitamin B12 may also be a culprit.
What healthy natural treatment you can take for your anemia?
Yes, there are good foods that can alleviate your symptoms, as long as you take them along with your prescription medicines.
Natural Anemia Treatment #1- Vitamin B12-rich foods
They’re aplenty. You can have lean red meat, shellfish, poultry, and so on.
These foods are great especially if your anemia is caused by a deficiency to vitamin B12, which usually happens to vegetarians.
Symptoms of pernicious anemia can be alleviated by eating meat and fish, which are loaded with vitamin B12. Cheese and eggs are also great sources of such vitamin.
If you’re experiencing fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath and numbness in your hands and feet, then you may need a vitamin B12 supplement. But you must see your doctor first.
To lessen its symptoms, you must aim to take 2.5 mcg of vitamin B12 each day. This amount can be easily obtained by eating 200 grams of lean red meat or consuming two eggs.
Natural Anemia Treatment #2 – Iron-rich foods
What are they? They could be lean red meat, shellfish, and poultry.
You may consume lentils and tofu but they contain non-haem iron. It’s a type of iron that won’t be easily absorbed by the body. What you’ll need is a form of iron that your body absorbs best, like the iron found in animal foods. Thus, if you’re eating foods rich in non-haem iron, you should pair them with foods that are high in haem iron or vitamin C.
What of breakfast cereals?
They’re fortified with non-haem iron. To make it easier for your body to absorb it, you should pair it with fruits rich in vitamin C.
If your anemia is caused by iron deficiency, you should aim for:
- 8 mg for menstruating women
- 6 mg for post-menopausal women and for adult men
A 200-gram of lean red meat can give you 4 mg of iron.
Or you can opt for six oysters and ½ cup of raisins.
These levels won’t treat your anemia. However, they can help your body in maintaining good levels of iron once your condition is under control.
Natural Anemia Treatment #3 – Vitamin C-rich foods
As previously mentioned, those non-haem-iron rich foods must be paired with vitamin C to be easily absorbed by the body. The reason for this is that such vitamin can aid the body in absorbing iron.
In addition to that, vitamin C also prevents the effects of phytates. They bind with iron making it difficult for iron to be absorbed by the body. These are substances found in fiber-dense foods, like nuts, barley, oats, and the like.
Natural Anemia Treatment #4 – Folate-rich foods
Folate is a type of vitamin B that assists RBCs in dividing rapidly, ergo, refilling body’s oxygen carriers.
For some people, however, they can’t properly absorb folate from foods. Thus, they need folic acid through IV.
If your condition is caused by the lack or insufficient amount of folate in the body, then aiming for 400 mcg of folate each day can help your anemia.
- ½ cup of cooked spinach will give you 85 mcg of folate
- ½ cup of cooked lentils contains 20 mcg of folate
Should you take natural supplements?
Iron nutritional supplements may not be enough to correct your iron deficiency. It’s important to talk to your doctor about the right dose, should you need them.
Your doctor will request an examination that can determine your blood iron levels. This is to validate whether or not your anemia is indeed caused by iron-deficiency.
If you’re taking iron natural supplements, you should take them along with a vitamin C natural supplement. This is to enhance iron absorption in the body. Generally, 250 mg to 500 mg of vitamin C is taken to improve iron absorption from foods.
However, if you’re experiencing diarrhea, you should lower the dose.
What of vitamin B12 and folic acid natural supplements?
Since every person’s needs vary, it’s a must to talk to your doctor to know how much vitamin B12 and folic acid you need from natural supplements. Most of the time, doctors recommend 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 to be taken under the tongue so it’ll be absorbed. It must be taken along with 400 mcg of folic acid.
Don’t exceed 1000 mcg of folic acid natural supplements as you’re putting yourself at risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. The reason for this is that a high intake of either B12 or folic acid can cancel out the benefits of the other.
What you shouldn’t eat or drink?
You should avoid eating foods that are rich in oxalates. They’re compounds that bind with iron and calcium. The binding makes it difficult for your body to absorb iron.
But that doesn’t mean you have to avoid those foods forever. You just need to keep away from them, until your RBC count or hemoglobin levels return to normal.
These natural anemia treatment options are just suggestions. You still need to consult your physician about their benefits to your condition.
It’s also important to talk to your doctor to know what type of anemia you have. In this way, you’ll know what natural supplements, healthy options or good foods you must focus on.
For pernicious anemia, you should focus on eating more foods rich in vitamin B12. Folic acid anemia requires a high amount of folate-rich foods.
Pregnant women, breastfeeding, alcoholics, and smokers are at risk of developing anemia. Thus, it’s best to eat those good foods for anemia mentioned above to prevent developing such medical condition and improve health and wellness.
What natural anemia treatment you can add to our list? If you want to read more tips on how to achieve health and wellness in 2019, please visit our blog. Or watch this video to learn more about how to treat your anemia naturally.