Combating Anemia with a Healthy Diet

Anemia is a medical condition that occurs when an individual does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells are essential in carrying oxygen throughout your body. Your red blood cells are composed of hemoglobin, which are an iron-rich protein that give red blood cells their color. This hemoglobin helps the red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to your muscles, tissues and organs and also carry carbon dioxide back to your lungs to be exhaled. To produce the necessary hemoglobin for healthy red blood cells, you need to eat a healthy diet that is rich in iron, protein, vitamins and other minerals. 

Common Forms of Anemia

Common forms of anemia include iron deficient anemia, which affects 1 to 2 percent of American adults. This happens when your red blood cells do not have enough iron to produce hemoglobin. Another common form is vitamin deficient anemia. This occurs when your body does not have enough vitamin B-12 or folate, both of which are essential to making healthy red blood cells. By following a specific diet that is rich in iron, vitamin B-12 and folate, you may be able to combat anemia without medication. Below is an example of a healthy diet to help prevent anemia.

Daily Meal Plan

For breakfast, enjoy ½ cup of oats cooked with 1 cup of skim milk. Enjoy this bowl of oats with a banana and a piece of whole wheat bread topped with 1 tsp of butter. Another breakfast option could be 2 slices of whole wheat bread toasted and topped with 1 tbsp of jam and 1 tsp of butter. Enjoy the bread with a hard boiled egg, a cup of skim milk and a small 4 oz glass of orange juice.

Have a morning snack. An excellent option would be a small granola bar or a medium apple with one graham cracker.

For lunch, enjoy two slices of whole grain bread topped with 1 tbsp of peanut butter and 1 tbsp of jelly. On the side, have 1 cup of skim milk, an apple and 1 cup of raw broccoli and celery sticks. Another lunch option could be a whole-wheat pita topped with 1 oz spinach dip and ½ cup of carrots and snap peas. Enjoy this with a 6 oz container of low fat yogurt and a small banana.

For your afternoon snack, have a 6 to 8 oz container of low fat yogurt. Enjoy this with 12 to 15 small whole grain crackers. Another option could be 1 cup of low sugar cereal topped with 1 cup of skim milk.

For dinner, have 3 oz of beef or chicken, cooked until done. Serve this protein on a whole-wheat bun with 1 cup of steamed spinach, 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup of skim milk. Another dinner option would be a small piece of spinach lasagna served with a small side salad and a piece of garlic bread. 

Before you go to bed, you can enjoy one cup of low-fat frozen yogurt or ice cream.



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