Anemia Diet

The diet and eating habits should be to support the health level of iron in the body, modify and make up the deficiencies, and take the right foods to maintain the excellent absorption of iron and the adequate content. There is no particular food to cure Anemia, and it could be hard to keep the required iron for the body only through the diet. The diet should be rich in iron and vitamin-C source foods to be absorbed very well. You have to make sure to talk to your dietitian or doctor to find out the best supplement. There is not any special and particular anemia diet, and the recommendations and offers are investigated below.

Anemia and Iron Deficiency

Anemia is due to the reduction in the size or the number of red blood cells or their hemoglobin contents. This reduction leads to a limitation in exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide between blood and tissue cells. Mostly the Anemia occurs due to the lack of essential nutrients to synthesize red blood cells, mainly Iron, Vitamin B12, and folic acid.
People with moderate iron deficiency may not show any sign of the disease, and the severe is, the symptoms may occur more. Iron deficiency is the major nutrient deficiency in the world and is the most common cause of Anemia. The common causes of Anemia of inflammation complex are inflammation, infection, tissue damage, and cancer. In these patients, the Hepcidin level increase can reduce iron release from enterocytes, hepatocytes, and macrophages. Then, the tumor cells and bacteria access to iron decreases, resulting in normocytic normochromic Anemia.

Symptoms and signs of iron deficiency anemia

You should note that there is no unique sign and symptoms and they differ from mild to severe. However you should be aware of some of the anemia symptoms, including:

♦ Spooning of the nails
♦ Brittle nails
♦ Cracks on mouth
♦ Swelling of the tongue
♦ Pale skin
♦ Feeling cold in the extremities like hands and feet
♦ Chest pain
♦ Shortness of breath
♦ Headache
♦ Concentrate difficulty
♦ Fatigue, dizziness, feeling tired, low energy to do routine works
♦ Severe iron- deficiency anemia by irregular heartbeats symptoms
♦ Pica
♦ Restless legs syndrome

Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia

Types of Anemia

There are three main type of anemia:
♦ Macrocytic anemia (Macrocytic Anemia is categorized into two groups. Megaloblastic and Non-megaloblastic)
♦ Hypochromic-Microcytic anemia
♦ Normochromic-Normocytic anemia

Megaloblastic anemia:
This Anemia is due to vitamin B12 deficiency, lack of folic acid (because of sprue or other absorption syndromes), Congenital disorders in synthesis of DNA (orotic aciduria), DNA synthesis disorders related to drugs (Chemotherapy medications, Anticonvulsants, and oral contraception drugs)

Non-megaloblastic anemia:
Hemolytic Anemia and in cases of accelerated hematopoiesis.

Hypochromic-Microcytic Anemia:
 this type of Anemia occurs during Iron deficiencies such as chronic bleeding, inadequate diet, malabsorption disorder, increased need for iron, Hemoglobin synthesis disorders(thalassemia), Pyridoxine-responsive Anemia, and other disorders related to the iron metabolism like a copper deficiency.

Normochromic-Normocytic Anemia:
It happens due to the recent hemorrhage and bleeding, extreme increase in plasma volume, e.g., in pregnancy, hemolytic diseases, aplastic Anemia, endocrine disorders (Hypothyroidism, Adrenal gland failure), renal disease, Liver disease(Cirrhosis).

Iron-related blood disorders

The iron status or content can differ from the accumulation of iron to iron deficiency anemia. Constant measuring the iron status is vital because the specifications of iron deficiency anemia, production of small red blood cells, and the decrease in hemoglobin level are changeable. The microcytic iron deficiency anemia is related to the size of red blood cells, and the hypochromic one is because of hemoglobin. This Anemia is the last stage of iron deficiency.

Causes of Anemia and iron deficiency

♦ The inadequate iron intake secondarily due to the inappropriate diet and no supplementation like veganism.
♦ There is insufficient absorption due to diarrhea, no acid secretion in the stomach(achlorhydria), celiac disease, atrophic gastric, general or partial gastrectomy, and drug interactions.
♦ Starting consume of cow's milk early in infants
♦ Taking heavy aspirin and NSAIDs such as naproxen and ibuprofen drugs
♦ Disorders with gastrointestinal bleeding such as ulcer, and colon cancer, and also the urinary tract bleeding.
♦ Inadequate secondary efficiency due to chronic gastrointestinal diseases.
♦ Increased need for iron due to the increase of blood volume during growth periods (pregnancy, infancy, adolescence, breastfeeding)
♦ Increased iron excretion rate due to the high bleeding in menstruation, bleeding from the wound, Esophageal varices, Localized enteritis, ulcerative colitis, Parasitic worms, and malignant diseases.
♦ Rare genetic conditions like telangiectasia and also Von Willebrand disease, and hemophilia are risk factors for iron deficiency
♦  Constant blood donation and blood tests, especially in infants
♦ Athletes and endurance sportspeople are at risk of iron deficiency
♦ Disorder in releasing iron from iron stores into the plasma and the lack of Iron usage during chronic inflammation and other chronic diseases.
♦ End-stage kidney failure and the blood loss during dialysis
♦ Inflammation due to the obesity
♦ Inflammation due to the congestive heart failure

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Iron deficiency levels

The iron intake of the body is low; therefore, the deficiency occurs over time.

In stages 1 and 2 of iron's negative balance, the depletion is without any functional disorder. If the patients in these stages start the medication with iron, the disease and the Anemia won't progress. In the first stage, the decrease in iron absorption can result in the moderate depletion of iron storages.
In stage 2, the severe depletion in iron storages is observed.
Stage 3 and 4 of negative iron balance is related to iron deficiency and functional disorders.
In stage 3, there is no anemia, but in phase 4, it is.

Stage 1 and 2 of the positive balance of iron
In stage 1, the positive balance will work for years without any functional disorder.
Iron supplementation or vitamin C can progress the disease and its functional disorder.
The excessive increase in iron in level 2 can lead to progressive destruction and damage to tissues.

The iron measurement indexes

Several factors can be used to determine anemia and its type; the most common indexes for diagnosing anemia include:
♦ Serum Iron
♦ Hematocrits
♦ Hemoglobin
♦ Erythrocyte protoporphyrin
♦ Serum Ferritin
♦ TIBC
♦ Transferrin saturation ratio
♦ MCV
♦ MCHC

Iron deficiency complications

♦ Reduction the ability to do a work
♦ Difficulty in regulating the body temperature
♦ Behavioral and intelligence performance problems
♦ More susceptible to lead poisoning
♦ Low resistance to infection
♦ Pregnancy complications
♦ Increased risk of maternal death
♦ Low weight and fetal mortality during pregnancy
♦ During childhood: Cognitive function, motor, and emotional development may only be partially compensated and reversible.
♦ Depression
♦ Heart problems such as arrhythmia, enlarged heart, murmur
♦ Increased risk of infection

The iron recommended daily amounts depend on the age, gender, the duration you are in, such as pregnancy or breastfeeding.
6-12 infants are fed by breast milk, or the formula that doesn’t consist of iron and is not fortified can result in iron deficiency. The mature and full-term infants will use their stored iron until their first six months, but the premature babies may have a higher risk of poverty than the others.
Teenagers need more iron intake due to the growth years.
Adults over 65 may need more iron intake.

Anemia and Iron Deficiency Treatment

It depends on the causes and the stage or level of the disease. It may be iron supplement therapy, intravenous iron therapy (IV), dietary changes, and recommendations.
Our dietitians can help you change your eating habits and eating patterns, and they will offer you your personalized diet plan. They will suggest to you a food list of iron-rich foods to use during the meals. An increase in daily iron intake besides other treatments can be extremely beneficial.

Iron supplements adverse side effects

♦ Nausea
♦ Vomit
♦ Diarrhea
♦ Constipation
♦ Abdominal pain
Due to the supplements, the diet should be prepared to include foods and ingredients to lower the symptoms of these complications, e.g., The diet should have suitable fiber content to have effects against constipation.

Good Food sources of iron

There is two type of iron sources due to the kind of iron in foods. The heme and nonheme, iron are accessible in animal and plant sources, respectively. The body absorbs iron in the animal sources two or three times more than plant-based foods. The heme iron-type can be absorbed better because it interacts with other foods lesser.


Animal sources of iron:
♦ Lean beef
♦ Red meat
♦ Pork roast
♦ Veal
♦ Turkey
♦ Haddock


♦ Chicken
♦ Liver and organ meats
♦ Shellfish
♦ Fish
♦ Salmon
♦ Halibut

♦ Perch
♦ Tuna
♦ Clams
♦ Eggs
♦ Oysters


Plant sources of iron:
♦ Legumes
♦ Beans
♦ Baked potatoes
♦ Prune juice
♦ Dark green leafy vegetables
♦ Fortified cereals
♦ Whole-grain and enriched wheat
♦ Cashews
♦ Dried fruits


♦ Peas
♦ Lentils
♦ Spinach
♦ Pumpkin seeds
♦ Quinoa
♦ Beetroot
♦ Parsley
♦ Coriander
♦ Spearmint


♦ Walnuts
♦ Almonds
♦ Pine nuts
♦ Hazelnuts
♦ Broccoli
♦ Raisins
♦ Peanuts
♦ Tofu
♦ Dark chocolate

Foods and minerals that inhibit the Iron absorptions

Some foods and ingredients interfere with iron absorption in the diet and should not be eaten with iron-rich foods. Foods that interfere with iron absorption include:
♦ Calcium
♦ Phosphate
♦ Phytates
♦ Oxalate
♦ High dosage of antacids
♦ Polyphenols
♦ Bran and fiber
♦ Tea
♦ Coffee
♦ Soy protein
♦ Cola

5 Important tips for anemia diet

♦ Do not use beverages with foods that disrupt iron absorption in anemia diet. The list of foods that may block iron absorption has been mentioned recently. You have to avoid using high calcium foods with plant-based iron sources.
♦ Use iron-rich foods with foods high in vitamin C, including oranges, tomatoes, strawberries. This combination can improve the absorption of iron.
♦ Use Iron sources with foods that have beta-carotene contents in anemia diet, including apricots, beet, red peppers, that can improve the iron absorption in GI tracts.
♦ The anemia diet should balance in heme and nonheme iron food sources because both fiber and iron are essential for the body. Dietitians determine the proper portions of each food group and will design them in your diet correctly. Taking both iron types together can promote the absorbed iron.
♦ Foods high in folate and vitamin B12 in anemia diet can improve and support the red blood cell genesis and efficiency.