Anemia is a medical condition in which the red blood cell count or hemoglobin is less than normal. The normal level of hemoglobin is generally different in males and females. For men, a normal hemoglobin level is typically defined as a level of more than 13.5 gram/100 ml, and in women as hemoglobin of more than 12.0 gram/100 ml. These definitions may vary slightly depending on the source and the laboratory reference used.
The most common cause of anemia is iron deficiency (called iron-deficiency anemia), but it can also come about as a result of various other ailments.
For people who tend to suffer from iron-deficiency anemia, we have a few foods for you that are chock full of iron, as well as some simple and effective advice on how to adjust your daily routine.
Anemia Symptoms and Signs
- Fatigue or lethargy
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscle fatigue
- Vision problems
- Concentration problems
- Changes in menstrual cycles
- Bloating and liquid retention
What should I do?
If you begin to experience some of the above symptoms and suspect that it may be anemia, you should first consult with a specialist so that they might diagnose and treat you properly.
In many cases, a specialist will simply prescribe iron supplements. We should be careful with these supplements, as they are highly oxidative and may cause lesions, gastritis, and stomach pains. If this is what has been prescribed to you, we recommend taking them with Vitamin C and consulting with your doctor if you have issues. And to not forget the following rules for absorbing the most iron possible in the most natural manner possible.
9 Simple pieces of advice
- Lemon juice: Lemon is an excellent source of Vitamin C, which helps ups better absorb iron from food sources. The easiest way to incorporate it is by seasoning your food with a slice of lemon, especially for foods that are rich in iron, such as meat, fish, or salad.
- Pine nuts: Pine nuts contain a very high iron content. You can toast them lightly or grind them to mix in with your food. Pine nuts are especially ideal for children with anemia.
- Pistachios: The nutritional value of pistachios is similar to those of the pine nut, although with the added advantage of containing more protein and less fat. Pistachios are very rich in iron and also contain Vitamin C, that helps us absorb the iron better. Pistachios are especially recommended for people who work out a lot.
- Alfalfa sprouts: Germinated alfalfa is a food rich in minerals – and not just iron! – that also increases vitality. Therefore we recommend daily consumption alongside your regular meals. They can be bought as sprouts of germinated and sprouted at home by buying the seeds and keeping them damp for a few days. There are also special containers for germinating any and all sorts of seeds that you can buy for this purpose.
- Mixed greens: A fresh, raw, and diverse salad is a wonderful source of iron. We aren’t just talking about lettuce and tomato – you can add sprouts, dry fruit, raw spinach, arugula, watercress, peppers, carrots, apple, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and dress it with cold-pressed olive oil and a touch of lemon juice.
- Spelt and millet beverages: Plant-based beverages are a great alternative to cow’s milk. In this case we are recommending two that are particularly healthy and rich in iron: spelt and millet.
- Lentils: Lentils have always been recommended for anemia. In the winter and during the colder seasons we can consume them in stews, which is perhaps the most popular way to prepare them. But we shouldn’t forget about them when summer rolls around either, because anemia can even worsen during the warmer seasons. Lentils are also great in cold salads or sprouted, as previously explained in regards to alfalfa.
- Sunbathing: Daily sunbathing can help us maintain the mineral levels our bodies consume. It should be done early in the morning or shortly before sunset, and we can alternate sessions with cold showers.
- Heavy or frequent menstruation: For women, it should be kept in mind that heavy or frequent periods can be one of the main causes of anemia. Should this be the case, you shouldn’t worry so much about ingesting iron-rich foods but focus on regulating your periods. For this you can try taking different infusions or nettle, gentian, or horsetail extracts.
In some cases, anemia can be indicative of an auto-immune sickness or condition. If this is the case in your situation or you are aware of certain genetic factors that may make you more susceptible, we recommend you avoid or reduce as much as possible the consumption of milk and milk products. You will quickly notice an improvement.