Red blood corpuscles (RBC) or hemoglobin, as it is termed is one of the important constituent of blood. They are oxygen carriers and hence it is important to maintain its optimum level in the blood. However, when the hemoglobin level goes beyond the desired level, then such situation is termed as anemia.
Anemia can be caused mainly due to –
- Deficiency of iron
- Deficiency of folate
- Deficiency of vitamin B12
- Loss of blood
- Chronic disease
Anemia is accompanied by symptoms like feeling of fatigue and tiredness. The same when ignored and not taken care timely, can become life threatening.So, to overcome the deficiency of iron, it’s important to include iron rich diet.
Some of the vegetarian options of iron-rich foods are fruits like apples, bananas, apricots and plums; dried fruits like raisins and prunes; vegetables like green leafy vegetables, spinach, beet root, asparagus, broccoli, and tofu. Liver, red meat, chicken and fish are non vegetarian options to improve anemia.
Beside this, along with iron rich diet, one should also include vitamin C rich diet like citrus fruits. This is because vitamin C helps to enhance the iron absorption process more efficiently. So, fruits like orange, tomatoes, red peppers, grapes, strawberry etc should be included along with iron rich diet.
On the other hand, food items like tea, coffee, alcohol, sugar etc hinders with the absorption of iron.So, one should exclude them from the diet, when anemic.
Iron present in non vegetarian food contains heme iron, which gets easily absorbed .While vegetarian food items contain non heme iron and is not easily digestible.So,non vegetarian sources of iron rich diet should be preferred over vegetarian sources.However,pregnant women should avoid eating liver, as it contains vitamin A.
Vitamin B12 intake can be increased by including food like beef, pork, eggs, cheese, milk, yeast extract etc.While, and vegetarian people should consult and take supplements of vitamin B12 to fulfill the deficiency.
Brussels sprouts, broccoli, whole grains, wheat germ, avocados, egg yolks, melon etc are rich sources of folate and so by including them in our regular diet we can overcome anemia caused due to deficiency of folate.