If you are suffering from Anemia, that means your blood has low levels of hemoglobin or in simple terms, your blood consists less number of red blood cells. Before we learn about the best iron rich vegetarian foods for Anemia, let us first understand what is Anemia and what causes it.
Hemoglobin and Red Blood Cells
Hemoglobin is a protein molecule and is the major part of the red blood cells. Hemoglobin in RBC carries oxygen from the lungs and transfers that oxygen to various parts of the body. Also, it receives carbon dioxide from the tissues and transfers back to the lungs. If the level of hemoglobin or red blood cells drops in your blood then your body suffers a lack of oxygen. Due to this, a person suffering from anemia may experience fatigue since his body organs aren’t receiving sufficient supply of oxygen which plays a vital role in the proper functioning of all the organs.
In the U.S itself, there are around 5.6% of people who are suffering from Anemia. These include kids, women, and people with chronic ailments.
Types of Anemia and Important Factors
There are around 400 types of anemia which can be majorly categorized into 3 groups. Anemia due to loss of blood, Anemia due to low red blood cell generation and Anemia caused due to the destruction of RBC. Factors to be considered are:
- Some forms of anemia are right from the time of the child’s birth and are hereditary.
- Pregnant women suffer from mild anemia because of the high demand for blood supply required for the development of their child they are bearing. Some women also need more iron since they lose it during their menstruation cycle. This type of anemia is known as iron-deficiency anemia and can be treated with the change in diet pattern like eating more iron rich vegetarian foods ( you may opt for non-vegetarian foods also) and some iron supplements.
- Elder people may develop a high risk of anemia due to their improper diet and various medical conditions.
- Some types of anemia may cause lifelong ailments and health problems.
Symptoms of Anemia
The human body is very well designed to cope up with anemia at an early stage. Hence if you have a mild anemia for a long period of time then the symptoms won’t be felt by you. However, there are common symptoms of anemia which are as below:
– Concentration Difficulty
– Pale Skin
– Cramps in legs
– The feeling of tiredness and energy loss
– Feel Dizziness
– A headache, Difficulty in breathing
Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia. We know that the hemoglobin contains iron which helps in carrying oxygen to different parts of the body. If there is a deficiency of iron then hemoglobin production will be less in the RBC and hence oxygen supply to the body tissues will also be simultaneously reduced causing iron deficiency anemia.
When the body has a good amount of iron to fulfill its requirements, the remaining iron is stored for use in later times. These remaining iron minerals are stored mostly in liver and bone marrow. These stores are known as ferritin complexes which are part of iron metabolism system.
The iron minerals are vital in the formation of hemoglobin which is present in RBC. Once the iron is absorbed in the small intestine, it travels in the blood and combines with transferrin and finally reaches bone marrow for the formation of RBC. The RBC after degradation in the body release this iron for recycling and storage. When the demand for iron increases in the body, the body utilizes these stored iron and the formation of RBC continues normally.
Cause of Iron Deficiency Anemia
The major cause of iron-deficiency anemia across the world is a parasitic illness called as helminthiasis which is caused by infestation with helminths (parasitic worms) like Ancylostoma ceylancium, Ancylostoma duodenale and necator americanus. These worms cause both chronic blood loss by feeding on human’s small intestinal mucosa which causes inflammation in the intestine. These worms are therefore called as hookworms.
Human Blood consists of red blood cells which further contains iron. Hence, whenever there is a loss of blood there is a loss of iron too. There may be various causes for the loss of blood. Women with heavy menstrual periods are highly susceptible to iron deficiency anemia since they lose a high amount of blood during periods. Some people lose blood within the body due to inflammatory bowel ailments, peptic ulcer, colon cancer, etc and therefore suffer from iron deficiency anemia. Bleeding due to gastrointestinal disease may result from regular use of medication like aspirin, warfarin, clopidogrel, etc which are used by some patients who have a tendency to form blood clots.
The body acquires the needed iron from the foods like cereals, eggs, green leafy vegetables, and other iron rich foods. If a person doesn’t include this iron fortified food in his diet then he is likely to become iron deficient over a period of time and may suffer from anemia.
Iron is assimilated into the blood after the iron rich food is consumed. This iron absorption takes place in the small intestine mainly in the duodenum. Iron malabsorption means the body could not absorb enough iron due to many gastrointestinal disorders. There may be different reasons behind this malabsorption like abnormal structural changes of the duodenum, changes in the acidic environment due to stomach surgeries, low production of hydrochloric acid inside the stomach, hindrance in converting ferric iron to ferrous iron, etc.
Most pregnant women are seen with iron deficient anemia. This condition occurs in pregnant women because the demand for iron is too high due to the growing fetus for development and also the iron is needed for their own increased blood volume. The deficiency of Iron may cause irreversible and long term effects in the baby. Other less common causes of iron deficiency anemia are hemoglobinuria and intravascular hemolysis.
Iron Rich Vegetarian Foods For Anemia
So we have discussed a lot about iron deficiency and its causes. Not let us have a look at some iron rich vegetarian foods which will help you in Iron Deficiency Anemia.
Apples are the rich source of iron, phosphorus, and arsenic and are extremely helpful in the treatment of anemia. It will be particularly useful in the form of freshly prepared apple juice. It may be taken in quantities of 1kg daily with beneficial results. The best time to take the juice is half an hour before meals and just before retiring to bed. The cider ought to be drawn from the selected apples which should be properly washed and cleaned prior to crushing.
Also, read other benefits of eating Apples
The apricot is an excellent food remedy for anemia because of its high content of iron. The small but essential amount of copper present inside the fruit makes iron available to the body. As per the research done by Dr. Whipple and Dr. Robschiet Robbins, the production of hemoglobin could be enhanced in the body by consuming a sufficient amount of apricots.
Being high in iron content, bananas are useful in the treatment of anemia. Banana stimulates the making of hemoglobin in the blood.
The mango particularly which is green is beneficial in blood disorders due to its high percentage of vitamin C content. It improves the elasticity of the blood vessels and helps in the generation of new blood cells. It assists in the absorption of food-iron and prevents bleeding possibilities. It increases body immunity against tuberculosis, anemia, cholera, and dysentery.
Raisins are the rich source of iron which is easily assimilable. , raisins enrich blood They are thus useful in anemia.
6. Red beet juice
Red beet juice is linked with a human being blood and blood formation. The red beet consists of high amount iron in them which helps in the regeneration of red blood cells and activates them. This reactivation of red blood cells delivers clean and fresh oxygen to the human body and thus assists in the appropriate functioning of vesicular breathing or normal breath sound. Red beet juice is thus extremely good in dealing with anemia and amplifies the resistance power of the body especially for kids and teenagers. The red beet juice has proved to be most beneficial for anemia than any other blood-forming natural remedies.
The fenugreek leaves assist in the formation of blood. The cooked leaves are enormously helpful for teenage girls to put a stop to anemia and run down condition which is normally connected with the arrival of puberty and a sudden surge of growth. The seeds of fenugreek are as well precious in anemia, being loaded with iron.
Lettuce contains a substantial quantity of iron and provides a good type of vegetable hemoglobin. It can, consequently, be used as a high-quality tonic food for anemia. The iron obtained in this manner is absorbed by the body to a much larger extent than the iron tonic which is inorganic.
Onions are well-known for their easily assimilable iron content. Onions are, therefore, advantageous in the treatment of anemia.
Soybean, are rich in iron, has been found valuable in managing anemia. However, as the anemic patients go through from weak digestion, Soybeans should be served to them in a very light form which may be digested easily.
This vegetable is an important resource of high-grade iron. After its assimilation in the system, the creation of hemoglobin and red blood cells take place. It is therefore greatly beneficial in increasing the blood count and helps in the prevention and management of anemia.
12. Bengal Gram
Fresh juice of Bengal gram leaves is an amazingly rich source of iron. It is, consequently, highly useful in dealing with iron-deficiency anemia. One tablespoonful juice of fresh Bengal gram leaves mixed with honey should be taken in this condition.
Almonds include copper which is in the organic form. The proportion of copper present is approximately 1.15 mg for every 100 grams of Almonds. The copper together with the iron and other vitamins acts as a catalyst in the formation of blood Hemoglobin. Almonds for that reason is one of the best iron rich vegetarian foods for anemia.
14. Sesame seeds
Black sesame seeds act as a healthy source of iron, and quite helpful in anemia. A paste of sesame seeds is prepared by straining them after soaking them in lukewarm water for few hours and then grinding This paste has to be mixed with a cup of milk and to make it sweet, jaggery can be added to it. This mixture must be given to patients who are suffering from anemia.
15. Sunflower seeds
The flour prepared from sunflower seeds is one of the richest sources of iron in any food. It is, therefore, highly useful in the prevention and treatment of anemia.
Honey is amazing in building up hemoglobin in the body. This is mostly due to the iron, copper, and manganese enclosed in it. It is valuable in the treatment of anemia as it helps to keep up the right balance of red blood corpuscles and hemoglobin.
So what do you think on the above mentioned Iron Rich Foods for Anemia? Share your comments below.