Anemia is that condition of the body when the red blood cells are deficient. Although many individuals have the idea that anemia is caused from the iron deficiency in the blood stream, in realism anemia is typified by the deficiency in hemoglobin of the red blood cells.
This leads to the decreasing ability of the blood to transport oxygen to the cells of the different parts of the body and to remove the carbon dioxide from these cells.
Hemoglobin is composed of heme, an iron complex and a protein called globin. Deficiency of iron in the diet will prevent the formation of heme and with it hemoglobin. Hence, one can well understand the need to have a balanced diet in order to prevent anemia.
Diet for anemia usually consists of iron rich diet. Absorption of iron from the food is influenced by a large number of factors. Iron is more easily absorbed from animal sources than from vegetables or plant foods.
The anemia diet that consists of excellent sources of heme iron are oysters, clams, pork liver, chicken liver, beef liver as well as mussels. Besides these, consumption of beef, turkey, sardines and shrimp can provide us with very good sources of heme iron as well.
Plant sources chiefly give us good sources of non heme iron are cooked beans, canned beans, lentils, pumpkin seeds, canned asparagus, enriched pasta, black strap molasses, etc.
Vitamin C helps to absorb iron from the foods. Hence it is always vital to add these foods to the iron-rich meals. Some of these foods are tomato salad, orange juice or any citrus fruits.
Again, deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause anemia. Hence, it is always vital that not only iron but also the food that contains high contents of vitamin B12 should also be consumed. Some of the food that contains a high amount of vitamin B12 are beef, eggs, pork, cheese and milk.
Vegetarians should categorically intake more amounts of vitamin B12 foods in order to prevent anemia. Increasing the intake of folate also helps to prevent anemia. Green leafy vegetables, egg yolks, wheat germ, whole grain, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, avocados, egg yolks and melons have high quantities of vitamin B9.