Anemia is one of the most common haemopathies and is separated into two main categories, iron deficiency and megaloblastic anemia. It occurs in all age groups and significantly affects the overall health. People who suffer from anemia, very often worry about whether it is appropriate for them to be on a diet, because it may worsen anemia. But, is that true?

Definition

   Red blood cells, which are responsible for the red color of blood, are responsible for transporting oxygen to all body tissues. Low hemoglobin levels in blood leads to anemia. There are various forms of anemia, but the most common are iron deficiency and megaloblastic anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is caused either due to decreased iron intake through diet, disability to absorb iron or increased iron losses (hemorrhage, hemolysis, blood loss due to trauma etc.).

The main symptoms of anemia:

  • Fatigue, exhaustion
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Gastrointestinal problems

How diet affects anemia

   A balanced hypocaloric diet, based on the medical history of a person, is not able to cause anemia. However, strict hypocaloric diets, especially those which focus on vegetarianism, may worsen a pre-existing anemia that has not been treated properly.

   Iron deficiency anemia can usually be corrected with iron supplementation. Sometimes additional tests or treatments for iron deficiency anemia are necessary. So, if you want to lose weight and you have anemia, just follow these tips in order to ensure that you will remain healthy and vigorous!

Tips:

  • Iron from animal sources (heme iron) is much more absorbable (10-30%) compared to plant (non-heme iron) sources (2-10%).
  • Good sources of heme iron are considered red meat, fish and poultry, while good plant sources of iron are considered dark leafy vegetables, legumes and nuts.
  • Eat foods rich in iron along with foods rich in vitamin C and citric acid. If you take iron supplements, consume them along with a glass of orange juice or with a vitamin C supplement.
  • Avoid eating foods rich in calcium and zinc with good sources of iron, because it prevents the absorption of both minerals.
  • Take iron tablets on an empty stomach.
  • Other diet elements that prevent iron absorption are tea (tannins), polyphenols (coffee, red wine, tea) and phytic acid (legumes, cereals).

In Vita4you you can find a variety of supplements for iron deficiency anemia.