Anaemia in simple terms is a decrease in the quantity of hemoglobin or in the number of red blood cells (RBC) in the blood. Hemoglobin is made up of haem (iron) and globin (protein) which is required for supplying oxygen and nutrients to all parts of our body.
What causes Anaemia?
Deficiency of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid
Excessive blood loss or surgery
Worm infestation in the stomach and intestine
Pregnancy or lactation due to increased requirements of nutrients (like iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid)
How can I know I have Anaemia?
Fatigue and dizziness
Loss of appetite and / or constipation
Adapting your diet to include foods which contain iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid helps to eliminate anaemia.
A glance below at the following remedies will help you to do just the same
If anaemia is caused by a deficiency of folic acid or vitamin B12, increase your intake of mushrooms, green leafy vegetables like fenugreek (methi) and other foods like broccoli, milk and wheat germ. Folic acid is a volatile nutrient and is destroyed by heat and light. So, it is wiser to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, cooked as little as possible to preserve their goodness.
Green leafy vegetables: Green leafy vegetables like spinach (palak), lettuce, celery (ajwain ka patta), fenugreek (methi) etc. are the richest sources of iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 and hence should be consumed in abundance. Try to have at least 100 to 125 grams of one leafy vegetable everyday either raw or cooked. You can incorporate these vegetables in the form of Methi Thepla, Spinach Soup, Palak Paneer etc.
Soyabeans: Soyabeans are a valuable source of iron, vitamin B12 and protein. A quarter cup of soya everyday in the form of beans or flour is highly effective in combating anaemia. Other forms of soya are milk, tofu (soya paneer), soya nuggets, granules etc. You can mix 100 grams of soya flour with 1 kg. of wheat flour and use to make chapatis too. Refer to the recipes of Soya Upma, and Soya Mutter ki Subzi, for delicious soya preparations.
Black sesame seeds (til): Black sesame seeds are an extremely rich source of iron. 2 tablespoons of soaked and puréed mixture of these seeds is beneficial if taken early in the morning. Alternatively, you can also try the recipe of Almond Til Chikki
Almonds (badam): Almonds are a rich source of iron and copper, both of which are important nutrients which together help in the synthesis of hemoglobin. Seven almonds should be soaked in water for about 2 hours and consumed every morning chewing them properly.
Other foods: Foods like dates, jaggery, nachni (ragi) are also very rich sources of iron. Make them a part of your regular meals and say good-bye to anaemia. Check out the recipe of Date and Banana Shake.
Foods to be Avoided
Tea and coffee
Refined foods like refined flour, pasta, sugar and polished rice
Ready-to-eat foods like wafers, popcorn etc.
Canned and preserved foods
Vitamin C helps in effective absorption of iron in the body. Have plenty of vitamin C rich fruits like orange, sweet lime, amla etc. along with iron rich foods. A simple way to enhance the intake of vitamin C is to squeeze the juice of lemon on leafy vegetables or have a glass of a citrus fruit juice with each meal to enhance the absorption of iron in the body.
Try and replace sugar with jaggery to sweeten foods wherever possible as the latter is a good source of iron.
Have whole grains like whole wheat, bajra, buckwheat, brown rice etc. as they are rich sources of iron. Serve iron fortified breakfast cereals especially to children to boost their systems with iron for healthy growth.