Foods for anemia: the 6 most suitable to prevent the disease

The red meat, beets, beans and sour fruits are listed with the main food for anemia. That’s because they are a natural source of iron , a mineral that is used by the body to produce hemoglobin and red blood cells.

We have separated the six best foods to fight anemia and some that should be avoided or reduced in consumption.

However, it is important to always consult a doctor when you experience the first symptoms. He will assess whether it will be possible to treat with food alone or whether supplementation will be necessary.

6 foods that fight anemia

1. Beans

One of the best foods for anemia is beans , especially black beans , which are considered a great source of non-heme iron found in plant foods. ( 1 )

To give you an idea, each shell of cooked carioca beans has about 1.95 mg of iron , while the same portion of black beans has, on average, 2.05 mg of the mineral. ( 2 )

So that the iron in beans is better absorbed by the body, soak the beans before cooking and always consume it together with a whole grain, such as rice , which contains an amino acid that can increase the bioavailability of this type of iron. ( 3 )

2. Beetroot

You know that grandma’s recipe for drinking beetroot juice to treat anemia? Know that it really works.

The root is a source of iron (0.32 mg per 100 g serving) and vitamins A and C , which serve to increase the bioavailability of this mineral in the body. ( 2 )

The consumption of the juice of this vegetable increases the levels of hemoglobin in the blood. ( 4 ) And they also stimulate cell propagation of red blood cells. (5)

3. Red meats

Red meat is one of the best foods to fight anemia. It is a source of heme iron, which is better absorbed by the body because it is of animal origin.

100 grams of beef contains 2.37 mg of the mineral, while the same amount of liver has an incredible 5.79 mg, which is more than half of the daily consumption indication for an adult woman (10 mg). ( 6 )

4. Dark green vegetables

Dark green leafy vegetables such as arugula , watercress and kale are another type of food that helps fight the disease.

Firstly because they are a source of iron. Each serving of kale , for example, has 0.66 mg of the mineral. ( 7 )

In addition, these vegetables are rich in vitamin A that combines with iron and makes the body identify and absorb a greater amount. ( 8 )

For this reason these vegetables are indispensable for people who follow vegetarian diets. ( 9 )

5. Fish and seafood

Fish and seafood are another example of foods for anemia. Firstly, because they are foods of animal origin and, therefore, they are a source of heme iron.

100 grams of salmon has 0.37 mg of the mineral, while the same portion of shrimp has, on average, 2.20 mg. ( 2 )

Fish consumption is ideal because it contains iron, but also because it can increase the use of non-heme iron from vegetables. ( 10 )

6. Sour fruits

Acidic fruits such as lemon, orange, cashew , strawberry and acerola are essential items when you need to fight anemia. They are all natural sources of vitamin C . ( 1 )

This nutrient can increase up to six times the absorption of vegetable iron. For this reason citrus fruits are strongly recommended for vegetarians. ( 11 )

Foods that should be avoided

Did you know that some foods should be avoided or reduced consumption during the treatment of anemia? Well, egg white , for example, rich in albumin protein is not the best option, as it inhibits the absorption of both types of iron. ( 11 )

The spinach to be rich in a antinutrient derived from food and soybean should also be avoided during treatment. ( 12 )

The consumption of milk and dairy products, due to proteins, and beverages such as coffee and teas, which have high amounts of polyphenols such as tannins, also impede the absorption of the mineral. ( 13 )

what is anemia

Anemia is a disease caused by a decrease in hemoglobin , a type of protein present inside blood cells and used to carry oxygen through the blood.

The problem of anemia is perceived because it causes symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, dizziness, weakness and even tachycardia (rapid heartbeat), because the heart needs to work harder to deliver oxygen to all parts of the body.

Left untreated, the disease impairs the immune system , increasing the risk of disease, reducing the ability to learn and impairing the growth and cognitive development of children. (1)

It is important to highlight that anemia most frequently affects children, pregnant women and people who follow vegetarian diets.

Anemia Juice Recipe

This juice recipe will help fight anemia in a delicious and healthy way. It combines iron from beetroot and leafy vegetables with vitamin C from fruit.

Ingredients

  • 2 glasses of natural orange juice
  • 1 small beet
  • 2 cabbage leaves.

Preparation mode

Blend ingredients in a blender until smooth. The best thing is that this juice is naturally sweet, so it doesn’t even need to be sweetened. You can add ice to make it more refreshing.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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