8 Superfoods That Protect Against Anemia

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Anemia is a medical condition caused by the decreased amount of red blood cells in the blood. Anemia is often caused by severe blood loss, decreased red blood cell production or increased red blood cell breakdown. Symptoms of anemia include paleness, chronic fatigue, confusion, shortness of breath and feeling faint.

Anemia may lead to serious blood and heart disorders. That’s why it’s important to increase your consumption of foods rich in iron. Iron is a nutrient that promotes the production of red blood cells. You can get iron from these healthy sources:

1. Soybeans

Did you know all varieties of beans are rich in iron? But treating beans with heat could lead to nutrition loss. That’s why you have to prep them properly to maximize their benefits. Soybeans, in particular, are packed with iron. Soy products are low in fat and calories, high in protein and antioxidants too.

2. Whole Grains

Grains like oats, buckwheat, and quinoa are packed with iron. However, these grains contain phytic acid, an iron inhibitor. To remove phytic acid in grains, you’ll have to soak them overnight. We recommend consuming whole grain bread instead of white bread. Whole grain bread is made from fermented grains, so it contains less iron inhibitors. Just a slice of whole grain bread is enough to satisfy 6% of your daily iron requirement!

3. Oatmeal

Want to keep anemia at bay? Then don’t start your day without a steaming bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal is packed with iron, but it does have phytic acid. To maximize its iron content, we recommend opting for oatmeal fortified with this mineral. According to the USDA Nutrient Database, a cup of fortified oatmeal is enough to satisfy 60% of your daily requirement of iron! Even better, fortified oatmeal is packed with B-vitamins for healthy nerves!

4. Offal

Red meat – including beef and pork – contain heme iron. Heme iron is easier to process by the body compared to plant-based non-heme iron. But offal like liver contains the highest level of heme iron. The liver is also loaded with vitamin B12! Just a portion of the beef liver is enough to satisfy 600% of your daily requirements of vitamin B12 and iron.

5. Eggs

An egg a day can keep the doctor away! Eggs are a rich source of lean protein, antioxidants, and essential vitamins. One large egg contains 1 mg. of iron, which is about 7% RNI (Reference Nutrient Intake) for women and 11% RNI for men.

6. Peanut Butter

Everyone’s favorite bread spread is loaded with iron, healthy fats and essential nutrients. Just two tablespoons of peanut butter yield 0.6 mg of iron. Adult men need about 8 mg of iron daily while women need 18 mg. To boost iron absorption, you want to follow up with foods or drinks that are high in vitamin C. We recommend having a glass of orange juice with a peanut butter sandwich.

7. Spinach

Spinach is not just a rich source of iron, it’s also packed with fiber, vitamins A, B9, C and E, calcium, beta-carotene and vitamin C! So you don’t need to take foods with vitamin C just to absorb all the iron in spinach. A half a cup serving of boiled spinach will satisfy 20% of a woman’s RDA of iron.

8. Tomatoes

Just like spinach, tomatoes are packed with iron and vitamin C. Vitamin C allows for maximum absorption of iron. We recommend drinking a glass of fresh tomato juice at least once a day to prevent anemia. Apart from vitamin C and iron, tomatoes are loaded with vitamin E and beta carotene. These nutrients protect from chronic diseases while conditioning the skin and hair!

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