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To combat iron deficiency anemia, also called iron deficiency anemia, it is recommended to increase the consumption of foods rich in protein, iron, folic acid and B vitamins such as meat, eggs, fish and spinach. These nutrients stimulate the production of red blood cells, which are normally low when you have anemia.
Iron deficiency anemia is more common in debilitated people, growing children and those with inadequate nutrition, and in pregnant women. The best iron for the body is what is present in foods of animal origin, as it is better absorbed by the intestine. In addition, foods rich in vitamin C such as oranges, kiwis and pineapples help to increase the absorption of iron in the body and should also be included regularly in the diet.
Foods to be eaten
To combat anemia, you should consume foods rich in the following nutrients:
Consumption of foods rich in iron is extremely important in cases of iron deficiency anemia, as this mineral stimulates the production of red blood cells.
There are two types of iron, heme, which comes from foods of animal origin such as meat, chicken, fish, liver, eggs and shellfish, and is better absorbed in the body, and non-heme iron, which is present in foods fortified with this mineral, fruits or vegetables such as beans, soy, lentils, peanuts, beets and dark green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and kale. See a complete list of the richest foods in iron.
These foods should be included in the daily diet, preferably together with foods rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, pineapples, strawberries, kiwis and tangerines, for example, because this way it is possible to favor their absorption at the intestinal level.Check out a list of foods rich in vitamin C.
In addition, some studies indicate that consumption of foods rich in vitamin A can also improve iron absorption, however more studies are needed to prove this effect.
2. Folic acid
Folic acid, or vitamin B9, is responsible for stimulating the production of blood cells and the good formation of hemoglobin, a substance responsible for carrying oxygen within red blood cells.
This micronutrient can be found in foods such as spinach, kale, liver, wheat germ and eggs. Check out other foods rich in folic acid to add to your diet.
3. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 deficiency is responsible for causing megaloblastic anemia, which is characterized by an increase in the size of red blood cells and a decrease in white blood cells and platelets. This type of anemia can be avoided by increasing the consumption of vitamin-rich foods such as liver, heart, meat, eggs, milk and derivatives.See a list of foods rich in vitamin B12.
Foods to avoid
During treatment for anemia, you should avoid consuming foods rich in calcium along with iron-rich meals, as calcium reduces the absorption of iron in the intestine. Thus, it is important to avoid the consumption of milk and dairy products, especially at lunch and dinner, when meat and other foods rich in iron are normally eaten.
In addition, coffee, black tea and mate tea should also be avoided in iron-rich meals, as they are rich in phytates and tannins, substances that also reduce iron absorption in the intestine. See 3 more tips to cure anemia.
Menu for anemia
The following table shows an example of a 3-day diet menu to combat anemia:
|Meal||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||1 cup of coffee with unsweetened milk + 1 wholemeal bread with butter||180 ml plain yogurt + 1 tablespoon of flaxseed + 3 chopped strawberries||1 cup of milk tea + 4 wholemeal toast with sugar-free fruit jam|
|Morning snack||1 apple + 2 walnuts||1 pear + 3 Brazil nuts||1 tangerine + 3 almonds|
|Lunch/Dinner||120 g of grilled meat + 4 col of brown rice + 2 col of beans + sautéed cabbage with 1 col of sesame soup + 1 orange with pomace||120 g of grilled liver steak + 4 tbsp of brown rice soup + 3 tbsp of soy bean salad with tomato and onion + broccoli, cauliflower, onion, roasted tomato + 2 slices of pineapple||120 g of roasted chicken + 1 whole-grain pasta tongs with homemade tomato sauce + 3 tbsp of lentil salad with tomato and onion + watercress, lettuce and arugula salad + 1 glass of natural cashew juice|
|Afternoon Snack||1 plain yogurt + 1 wholemeal bread with ricotta cream||1 glass of watermelon juice + 4 wholegrain toast||1 plain yogurt + 1 wholemeal bread with butter|
The amounts included in the menu vary according to age, gender, physical activity and whether the person has any other associated disease. Ideally, a nutritionist should be consulted so that a complete evaluation is carried out and a nutritional plan is prepared according to the needs of each person.
In addition to food, the doctor or nutritionist may consider the need to supplement iron and other micronutrients such as vitamin B12 or folic acid, depending on the type of anemia.