Anemia is most often characterized by iron or vitamin deficiency. But, there are other causes that explain this health problem. Find out which ones and the associated symptoms. You will also find all the natural solutions to fight against anemia. In addition to iron or vitamin supplementation, take the right steps to avoid deficiency.
What is anemia?
This health problem, which affects approximately 25% of the world’s population, is characterized by a lack of red blood cells. These are cells found in the blood that bring oxygen to organs and tissues.
Most people with anemia are nutritionally deficient in iron. Children of extra-school age and pregnant women are the first to be affected by anemia.
People with anemia feel tired and run out of breath more quickly than usual. This is because their hearts have to work harder to supply their bodies with sufficient oxygen.
On the other hand, there are several types of anemia. The most common is iron deficiency anemia which changes the size of red blood cells. These then become smaller than normal.
What are the causes ?
Several causes can explain anemia:
- iron or vitamin deficiency;
- chronic disease (cancer, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.) or bone marrow disease (aplastic anemia);
- genetic diseases also cause destruction of red blood cells;
- blood loss. This is called hemorrhagic anemia. Typically, blood loss occurs after surgery, childbirth, or a serious accident.
Namely, iron deficiency anemia, which is the most common, occurs in subjects suffering from iron deficiency or in women with heavy menstruation.
The signs of this health condition vary depending on the degree and how quickly the anemia sets in.
We generally observe in the subject who suffers from anemia:
- pale skin and mucous membranes;
- the extremities of the limbs are cold;
- shortness of breath on exertion (dyspnea);
- rapid heartbeat (tachycardia);
- tiredness ;
- headaches, dizziness and ringing in the ears;
- pain in the body
- the appearance of visual disturbances (floaters).
On the other hand, at a more advanced stage, other symptoms may appear such as:
- loss of appetite ;
- cessation of menstruation in women;
- impotence in men.
Finally, a moderate fever will appear or not depending on the case, and the examination may show edema of the lower limbs as well as a systolic heart murmur during auscultation.
Note, it is the blood test that will assess the hemoglobin level in the blood. The blood test will also classify the anemia to better treat it.
What are the natural treatments for anemia?
Eat meat or fish
To fight against anemia, the first thing to do is to adopt a diet rich in iron, vitamin B9 and B12.
You will find these substances in:
- Indeed, pork liver, with its 18 mg of iron per 100g, is the food richest in iron. And beef liver is also recommended;
- red meats;
- seafood such as clams or oysters.
In case of anemia, it is recommended to consume 2 servings of poultry and fish as well as 4 servings of meat weekly.
On the other hand, dietary fibers help fight against anemia because they are rich in iron and vitamin B9.
Choose cereals made from whole wheat and eat 14 servings of whole grains, 7 servings of iron-fortified cereals and 3 servings of legumes each week.
Fruits and vegetables
They are an important source of vitamin B9 and B12 and also contain vitamin C, which facilitates the absorption of iron by the body.
And to preserve all the substances of fruits and vegetables, favor steam cooking, and alternate between raw and cooked fruits and vegetables. Among the various fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins, there are spinach, beets, lentils, avocado, plums, peaches, apples, lemon, figs, bananas, etc.
Per week, try to eat at least 14 servings of green vegetables and 21 servings of fruit.
Avoid certain foods
Conversely, certain foods should be avoided if you suffer from anemia. Among them :
- tea and coffee which interfere with iron absorption. Otherwise, consume these drinks outside of meals (about two hours later). And herbal tea can replace tea;
- alcohol hinders the assimilation of vitamins and iron. Limit your alcohol consumption in case of anemia;
- drugs that reduce gastric acidity can also cause anemia because they interfere with iron absorption;
- industrial foods;
- and refined grains.
Change your eating habits
By changing your eating habits, you will naturally fight against anemia. To get more iron-rich foods into your diet, you can:
- replace white sugar with honey or agave syrup, which are natural;
- replace cooking butter with vegetable oils (sesame, sunflower, etc.);
- prefer organic potatoes in order to consume the skin;
- replace classic starchy foods such as rice with wholemeal products or quinoa;
- instead of the usual cereals, prefer muesli, rich in fiber, dried fruits and oilseeds;
- supplement your dishes with dried fruits such as walnuts or almonds.
Nettle tea is an effective home remedy for anemia. Infuse 3 g of nettle in 1 liter of boiling water for a quarter of an hour. Then drink throughout the day. You can also add orange blossoms to it.
This product is also a good natural treatment for anemia. Heat a glass of water without boiling. Then add a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of cider vinegar. Then, drink a glass a day.
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