Do you feel tired all the time? A walk from your room to kitchen causes you fatigue? You look pale? And you experience a feeling of breathlessness or palpitation very often? If your answer to all these questions “YES”. It can be because of Anemia. And yes, we are sailing on the same boat.
Anemia, as we all know is a medical condition when the count of Red Blood Cells (RBC) or hemoglobin is lower than the normal level, which is 13.5 gram/100 ml for males and 12.0 gram/100 ml for females in a normal condition (mine is 7.7 gram/100 ml). Hemoglobin is the major component of RBC and it binds the oxygen. When the level of hemoglobin decreases, body receives less oxygen than what it requires.
Anemia is caused by either a decrease in production of red blood cells or hemoglobin, or an increase in loss (usually due to bleeding) or destruction of red blood cells.
Symptoms of Anemia:As already mentioned an anemic person always feels tired. In my case, when I get up from my bed in the morning, instead of feeling fresh, I am always tired and feel sleep deprived. Even a simple task like going to bathroom or kitchen or even another room makes me fatigue. Most of the people start looking pale, in my case, I had no clue if I was pale because I don’t have energy to stand up in front of a mirror and check myself, however the doctor confirmed, I looked pale. Palpitation is very common in people suffering from Anemia and it also makes the anemic people feel short of breath. In my case I had almost all the symptoms.
After my mother’s recommendation I got my blood test done and if you too feel the above mentioned symptoms, you must get yourself a test which is named as complete blood cell count test or CBC, Anemia can be detected by this test.
Causes and type of Anemia:There are many causes which can lead to Anemia; however deficiency of Iron is the most common cause as Iron is the major part of hemoglobin. The Iron loss can be because of excessive blood loss. Among young girls, menstruation is a main reason for iron deficiency Anemia. However, this is temporary. Consuming less iron in diet or frequent blood donation can also cause Anemia.
There are around 400 types of Anemia, and according to their cause, these are divided into three groups:
Anemia caused by blood loss
Anemia caused by decreased or faulty red blood cell production
Anemia caused by destruction of red blood cells
Food to avoid if you are Anemic:
- Added sugar/sweeteners
- Processed grains
- Chocolate because it contains a substance that removes iron from your body. So, you must calm your cravings for chocolates until you are completely fine.
- Conventional dairy should also be avoided as Calcium binds with iron in foods which is poorly absorbed by body.
- Soda is highly rich in sugar and it lacks any nutrients plus it blocks the absorption of iron. SO you must avoid it in your diet.
- If you are a Tea and Coffee lover, just like me. You will have to bear the break-up. Excessive intake of your favorite beverage blocks the absorption of iron. So either cut it off from your life or if it is getting tough for you, reduce the quantity to just one or two cups in a day.
Diet plan for Anemia:
Eat food which is rich in Iron, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin C and Folic Acid.
- Start including legumes like Kidney Bean, Green Peas and Chick Peas etc in your diet.
- Snack on nuts like Almond and Walnuts.
- Eat pulses and Cereals.
- Have a lot of fiber rich fruits
Some delicious and Iron rich food:
- Include Spinach in your diet, you can have it as soup, paste, salad or mix with other vegetables.
- Having Iron rich food is not enough; you need some food to absorb the Iron. So you must include tomatoes in your diet. You can have raw tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, tomato soup or tomato paste for your sandwich.
- Pomegranate is an elixir for Anemia. You can take it as juice or have it as fruit.
- Beetroot is another amazing thing for you. You can have it with any vegetable, salad or just a soup or juice. It is effective.
- Sesame seeds are excellent for treating Anemia; you can roast and grind it and sprinkle it on any food or have it with honey.
- You can also eat raisins and dates which are really good with iron.
Anemia and Workout:
Anemia patients should avoid heavy workouts, running, weight lifting, cycling and anything that drains energy out of you.
According to Dr. Rachit Sharma, “You should make a routine of walking for fifteen minutes and deep breathing for ten minutes. I will also recommend eating green leafy vegetables like spinach leaves, mustard leaves and fenugreek leaves. You can mix it and make a delicious soup or eat it as salad. If possible, cook the soup in iron pan it will help in retaining high Iron in your diet. Mix vegetable soups with a bit of beetroot and carrot is also good for treating Anemia.”
For fruits he recommended pomegranate and oranges. Another thing he mentioned was chewing half a teaspoon of Flax seeds every day. Last but not the least; his advice was not to take stress and anxiety because it can interfere with the production of hydrochloric acid in body, which is really essential for our body to assimilate proteins and iron.
Anemia is just a condition and if we follow the above mentioned recommendations, we can overcome it. Let us take a pledge to take care of our self. Our life is precious and we are here in this world for some purpose. Together we will fight Anemia and live a healthy life. Take Care!