If left untreated, anemia can be a very dangerous condition. Most people who suffer from anemia have similar symptoms; fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and a pale complexion. The bodily tissues of an anemic person are not able to get the correct amount of oxygen, which causes the signs and symptoms listed above. So you don’t have to experience any of these uncomfortable symptoms, here are 7 ways to prevent anemia.
7. Eat Iron-rich Foods
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Iron can be obtained from food that comes from animals and food that is derived from plants; both will supply you with plenty of iron. Examples of iron-rich foods include; mussels, oysters, liver, clams, turkey, sardines, shrimp, beef, enriched cereals, lentils, pumpkin seeds, canned beans, and enriched pasta. There are actually many food sources that have been enriched with iron, in order to help people to have more iron in their diet.
6. Drink Less Tea and Coffee
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Studies show that both tea and coffee inhibit the amount of iron the body is able to absorb. Tea has a high level of polyphenols, which greatly reduce the amount of iron absorbed. The reduction in iron absorption can be as much as 70 percent with tea and 40 percent with coffee. Even very strong coffee only reduces the absorption of iron by 50 percent, so tea is worse for people who are trying to prevent anemia.
5. Take Iron Supplements
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I take a supplement of iron each day, in order to keep from becoming anemic. The recommended daily dose of iron for a woman between the ages of 14 to 18 years of age is 15mg. For a woman between the ages of 19 and 50 years old, the dose goes up by 3mg. Pregnant women should have somewhere between 17 to 22mg, while breast-feeding women should drop down to 15mg. Once a woman goes past the age of 50, 8mg is a sufficient amount of iron to take in on a daily basis.
4. Use Cast-iron Cookware
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Food cooked in cast-iron cookware actually absorbs iron from the pan itself. I’d never actually thought about iron soaking into food from the pan it is being cooked in. There was a test performed on 20 different foods to see how much iron they absorbed when cooked in cast-iron pots and skillets. Surprisingly, spaghetti sauce and applesauce showed the highest increase in iron. Applesauce went from .35mg of iron to 7.3mg and spaghetti sauce rose from .6mg to 5.7mg. That is quite a jump in numbers!
3. Monitor Menstrual Cycles
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Women who have heavy bleeding during a menstrual cycle can become anemic. The reports of anemia occurring from excessive bleeding aren’t very high, but it still is possible so it’s good to keep an eye on your cycle. Out of the 10 percent that have iron deficiencies, only between 2 to 5 percent become anemic. These cases of anemia are generally mild too.
2. Drink Orange Juice
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The vitamin C in OJ helps the body absorb iron. If you don’t like orange juice, then maybe another type of citrus juice could be substituted, such as grapefruit juice. Some people don’t like the taste of juice in general, myself included, so taking a vitamin C tablet instead is another option. I find that many of the chewable varieties sold in stores today have a very pleasant taste to them.
1. Be Careful when Cooking Food
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Cooking foods in a very small amount of water will help the food retain much of its iron and also if food isn’t overcooked. Just remember that the more water you use to cook food in, the more iron there will be in the water you toss out. It also helps to cook foods at the lowest temperature possible for safe handling. Food cooked at a higher temp has a better chance of becoming over-cooked much quicker.
Even babies can become anemic. Breast-fed babies have a much lower risk of developing anemia, due to the high content of iron in breast milk, as opposed to formula. If breast-feeding isn’t possible, then iron-fortified formula should be used instead. Women and children are more likely to benefit from these 7 ways to prevent anemia then men, since they have a higher chance of becoming anemic than men do. Have you heard of any other ways to prevent anemia?
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