Anemia is a condition where your body is low on red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells are the main part of haemoglobin in your blood that binds the oxygen. This simply means that if you have a low red blood cell count or haemoglobin then the cells in your body may not get enough oxygen to function properly as a result of which you might feel tired and energy less most of the time.
There are many types of anemia but the most common one is caused due to a deficiency of iron in the body. The bone marrow requires iron to produce haemoglobin. Without enough iron in the body, it will not be able to produce haemoglobin for the red blood cells.
What causes anemia?
- Dietary deficiency: Anemia caused by Iron and Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Autoimmune disorders
- Anaemia caused by blood loss
- Sudden destruction of red blood cell
- Drugs and medications
- Anaemia from active bleeding
Who’s at risk?
- Menstruating women
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Diet lacking in certain Iron and Vitamin B12
Symptoms of anemia
- Leg cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Constant fatigue
- Paleness or dullness of skin
- Severe hair fall
- Lack of energy
- Regular palpitations
- Shortness of breath
As per the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, men who have less than 13 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter are anemic and the same goes for women who have less than 12 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter.
Anemia can be treated and managed with a little care and caution. If you have anemia, the first step would be to talk to your doctor. You also need to enrich your diet with iron-rich foods.
Some of the best home remedies for anemia you can try
Increase Vitamin C intake
Anemia tends to weaken your immune system and thus, you may be more prone to infections and inflammatory diseases. Vitamin C also helps in the absorption of iron.
Citrus fruits such as orange, kiwi, amla/ Indian gooseberry, lemon, guava, grapefruit, tomatoes and vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and capsicums are rich, natural sources of vitamin C. Other vitamin C-rich fruits include papaya, cantaloupe and berries.
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Pomegranate is a rich source of both calcium and iron along with protein, carbohydrates and fibre. It is one of the best foods to increase haemoglobin.
This intensely sweet dried fruit is packed with energy and is super nourishing. Dates provide ample sources of iron that increases haemoglobin levels in the blood.
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Beetroot is one of the best ways to increase haemoglobin levels. It is not only high in iron content, but also in folic acid along with potassium and fibre.
It will help in repairing and reactivating your red blood cells. Once the red blood cells are activated, the supply of oxygen to all parts of the body increases. Adding beet-root in any form in your daily diet will help to easily fight anemia.
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Hygrophila spinosa or Kulekhara
The leaves and stems of the Kulekhara plant have been used to treat anaemia, which denotes deficiency of iron in the blood is a condition suffered globally by people of all ages. It is known to increase the haemoglobin in the blood.
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Banana stem and the fruit
Banana stem is rich in potassium and vitamin B6 just like the fruit. Vitamin B6 helps in production of haemoglobin. This is why banana stem is recommended to anemic.
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Blackstrap molasses has barely any sugar content, especially when compared to cane sugar and regular molasses. Blackstrap molasses is actually rich in Protein, Iron, Manganese, Calcium, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Selenium, Potassium, and Copper. Blackstrap molasses is a good source of iron, and can help to prevent anemia.
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Nuts & Seeds
Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts and seeds like – sesame seeds, hemp seeds, watermelon seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds too are rich in iron and help fight anaemia.
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, fenugreek, lettuce, broccoli, etc, are the best sources of iron. These are rich in vitamin B12, folic acid and other energy-boosting nutrients which help beat anaemia. You can either have greens as juices or cook them.
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Raisins are rich in iron and they help increasing the blood supply in the body and thus, prevent anemia. Apart from a host of health benefits, raisins are great as snacks or as a part of a dry fruit trail mix.
They can be used for production of haemoglobin that can treat anaemia. This is because dried apricots contain minerals like iron and copper which produces haemoglobin.
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Legumes like soybeans, red kidney beans and chickpeas are rich in iron, folate and vitamin C, which are necessary for the synthesis of haemoglobin.
Ragi or finger millet
Ragi is an excellent source of iron and really helpful for anemic patients and also for those with low haemoglobin levels. Once ragi is allowed to sprout, the Vitamin C levels tend to increase and lead to easy absorption of iron into the bloodstream.
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Folic acid and B12
Add foods rich in folate and vitamin B-12 to support red blood cell production.
Sources of folate include –
- Leafy green vegetables, like spinach, broccoli, and lettuce.
- Beans, peas, and lentils.
- Fruits like lemons, bananas, and melons.
- Fortified and enriched products, like some breads, juices, and cereals
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. Vitamin B12 is generally not present in plant foods, but fortified breakfast cereals are a readily available source of vitamin B12 with high bioavailability for vegetarians.
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