This journey has been a long one. It began far before these articles blossomed. Along my journey I met Chef Ponder who was able to provide me, along with other community members, with valuable information regarding food and how what we consume affects our health. During one of his presentations a speaker shared her story about child bearing with us.
While eagerly awaiting her baby to arrive, she (like some other women) had a miscarriage. After much searching to understand why she had her miscarriage she met with a doctor who committed to helping her find the answer to this questions. And as you might have guessed, her doctor had her change her diet. After working with the doctor she took her body from not being able to support another life to being a happy mother of 3 children, if my memory serves me correctly.
Anemia is another one of those illnesses that requires you to make diet changes in order to address the underlying issues causing the illness. As you might imagine Chef Ponder warned that many health issues can be address with proper diet The following foods are great foods that help combat anemia (we went over to health line for some answers):
1. Leafy greens
Leafy greens, especially dark ones, are among the best sources of nonheme iron. They include:
- collard greens
- dandelion greens
- Swiss chard
Some leafy greens such as Swiss chard and collard greens also contain folate. A diet low in folate may cause folate-deficiency anemia. Citrus fruits, beans, and whole grains are good sources of folate.
When eating dark, leafy greens for iron, there’s a catch. Some greens high in iron, such as spinach and kale, are also high in oxalates. Oxalates are compounds that prevent the absorption of nonheme iron. So, while it’s beneficial to eat your greens as part of an overall anemia diet, don’t depend on them solely to treat the condition.
Vitamin C helps your stomach absorb iron. Eating leafy greens with foods that contain vitamin C such as oranges, red peppers, and strawberries, may increase iron absorption. Some greens are good sources of both iron and vitamin C, such as collard greens and Swiss chard.
2. Meat and poultry
All meat and poultry contain heme iron. Red meat, lamb, and venison are the best sources. Poultry and chicken have lower amounts. Eating meat or poultry with nonheme iron foods, such as leafy greens, can increase iron absorption.
Many people shy away from organ meats, but they’re a great source of iron. Liver is arguably the most popular organ meat. It’s rich in iron and folate. Some other iron-rich organ meats are heart, kidney, and beef tongue.
Some seafood provides heme iron. Shellfish such as oysters, clams, and shrimp are good sources. Most fish contain iron. Fish high in iron include:
- sardines, canned in oil
- canned or fresh tuna
- fresh salmon
- fresh halibut
- fresh perch
- fresh haddock
Although both fresh and canned salmon are good sources of iron, canned salmon is high in calcium. Calcium binds with iron and reduces its absorption. Foods high in calcium shouldn’t be eaten at the same time as iron-rich foods. Other examples of calcium-rich foods include:
- raw milk
5. Fortified foods
Many foods are fortified with iron. Add these foods to your diet if you’re a vegetarian or struggle to eat other sources of iron:
- fortified orange juice
- fortified, ready-to-eat cereals
- foods made from fortified refined flour such as white bread
- fortified pasta
- foods made from fortified cornmeal
- fortified white rice
Beans are good sources of iron for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. They’re also inexpensive and versatile. Some iron-rich options are:
- kidney beans
- black-eyed peas
- pinto beans
- black beans
- lima beans
7. Nuts and seeds
Many types of nuts and seeds are good sources of iron. They taste great on their own or sprinkled on salads or yogurt. When choosing nuts and seeds, choose raw varieties whenever possible. Some nuts and seeds that contain iron are:
- pumpkin seeds
- hemp seeds
- pine nuts
- sunflower seeds
Along with you, we are on our own journey to a stronger and more sustainable healthy self. These tips are to help give you resourceful information to help guide you along your own journey. However, we are not professionals. We recommend teaming up with professionals such as dietitians and doctors to help you along your journey. Read our article “The Industry” to help better understand the medical and pharmaceutical industries so that you can make informed decisions about your health as a consumer.
How do you manage your health? Are you managing your health or are medicines being managed as a part of the things you consume? How do you select your health professionals? Are you satisfied with your health and the plan that is in place to ensure your health? Do you have a voice in your health plan? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Stay healthy.
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