Anemia is one of the most common problem of girls and women and how to get rid of anemia is one of the frequent question usually search out. As, we go through monthly periods, pregnancy and bleeding afterwards. So, I find it really important to discuss this very common pregnancy and health issue with all of you. I have mentioned everything in very easy and simplistic way and I hope you find it very beneficial…

Anemia: Condition in which number of our red blood cells or haemoglobin in these red cells are reduced.

Haemoglobin: It is a type of protein in our red bloods cells that is responsible for transporting oxygen from our lungs to the whole body and brings carbon dioxide back from our body parts to lungs to exhale out.

Most common type of Anemia in adult girls and women is Iron Deficiency Anemia. It can be corrected by including iron rich diet in our daily menus. If it cannot be corrected by food, then iron and folic acid supplements are prescribed by doctors. Best thing to do is to eat balanced diet along with multivitamins/supplements that covers most of essential nutrients we need.

What is Folic Acid & Folate?

In anemia and iron deficiency, doctors do advise us to have folic acid. Well, Folate and folic acid are B vitamins. We can get folate from diet and folic acid is its synthetic form.

Recommended daily intake of folate: 400 micrograms

Role of Folate & Folic acid in iron deficiency anemia: When we are diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, have you mummies noticed that we are always given Folic acid supplements by our doctors. Well, the reason is that, B Vitamins helps in Production or red blood cells in our body and helps correcting anemia and blood cell depletion.

Folate – vitamin b9 food

Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia:

  • Lack of balanced diet: While busy with home, kids, work and everything we super mums do, sometimes we ignore ourselves and we don’t bother about having a balanced diet.
  • Blood loss during Menstruation:
  1. Average blood loss in every menstrual cycle each month: 30-40 ml
  2.  Blood loss in Heavy menstruation each month: 60-80 ml
  • Pregnancy: our body needs more and more iron when we are pregnant, as it is our little baby’s need as well and because more and more blood cells are needed to supply oxygen to mem as well as to baby via placenta through umbilical cord.
  • Blood loss during labour and 40 days after giving birth: Blood loss during Vaginal Birth: 450-500 ml and bleeding for 40 days after that loss is separate. Some mums to have light bleeding after some days of giving birth some have heavy. If we breast feed our baby, there are chance to have no menstruation for some months of until we stop breast feeding our babies but some mums even if they breast feed experience regular menstruation straight after finishing 40 days bleeding.

How much Iron do we need daily?

  1. Women of age 19-50 needs 18 mg of iron/day.
  2. Pregnant woman need 27mg/day.

Most common symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia:

  • Pale Skin
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Brittle nails
  • Breathlessness
  • Palpitations
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite

When to Consult a Doctor?

Anemia cannot be diagnosed just by looking at pale skin along with other symptoms mentioned above. It is only diagnosed by a blood test that a doctor can do or refer you to phlebotomy department. After looking at blood results and your haemoglobin and iron levels, you doctor can prescribe you some supplements to correct the deficiency. So, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, go and see your doctor. If you are pregnant or even trying to get pregnant, then good levels of folic acid and iron are very important. Anemic mothers do have chances of having low birth weight babies. So, it is very crucial to see a doctor for getting advice and proper check-ups.

Iron Rich Food:

  • Good sources of iron include:
  • Meat, fish and tofu
  • Iron-fortified cereals & bread
  • Beans & Pulses
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Dried apricots, dates, prunes and raisins
  • Wholegrains e.g., brown rice
  • Most dark-green leafy vegetables – such as watercress and curly kale
  • Fruits like Pomegranate, mango, berries, apple, apricot and banana are also very rich in iron.

Vitamin C Rich food: As, folic acid and folate helps in production of red blood cells, Vitamin C helps in absorption of iron in our body cells and tissues. So, it is very important to have vitamin C rich food items in our daily diet as well. Vitamin C rich food that we can have every day and is very commonly available are oranges, strawberries, kiwifruits, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, peppers, papaya, apricot and brussels sprouts etc.,

Tips for Busy Mums:

If you are busy but at the same time want to keep yourself and kids healthy, then encourage your kids to have fortified cereals and ask them to make a smiley face with honey or chocolate sauce over their cereal bowl.

Involve them in salad preparations and talk to them in about the reasons of using specific food items in your salad and tell them about their benefits. Like Milk makes us strong or green vegetables, strawberries, apples or bananas makes our blood healthy. Encourage them to be creative in decorating their salads. This way they will be doing their job and the same time they also use their creativity and interest in it.

If you are super busy, just grab a banana or few berries or apple and have it with milk or any juice your like. You don’t need to make a salad out of these fruits.

I hope you like this article. I tried my best to make this pregnancy and health issue of women very simplistic, so that, everyone can understand. After all, health of a mother should be the top most priority, as a healthy mother will keep her family healthy and happy as well and we mums do work very hard, so, for us being healthy and active is very important….What do you think????

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20 COMMENTS

    • Thank you so much Khadija for liking my website. The aim of this website is to provide all important information about parenting and children in a very simple and easy way…

  1. Liked this article a lot. I have some of the symptoms that you mentioned above! I’m from an Asian country so white rice is our staple food. I’m considering taking in more brown rice instead.

    • Thank you Clark for your appreciation. This article is a general guide for everyone but we can mix and match and change the ingredients according to our taste and culture but at the same time we should keep in mind the nutritional values and health benefits of whatever we eat.

    • Thank you Fiona for your comments and white bread do have vitamins and is very nutritious as well. It’s is very important to eat good in preset to stay healthy especially during pregnancy.

  2. I’ve always been anemic but one interesting fact is that my body is overproducing now that I live at a very high altitude. Not sure if this will be a permanent or temporary shift, but I like the effects. Iron pills are so important as is eating foods that are good sources of iron. I’ve also enjoyed cooking in cast iron cookware.

    • Thank you Penelope for your views on this article. I agree with you, iron pills along with healthy diet is very important for us to have. Only diet sometimes is not enough to fulfill our iron requirements but taking pills along with food definitely is the best combination.

  3. I was anemic when I was pregnant and boy I tell you those Iron supplements were not fun. Prevention is always best. So I love how you provide a list of iron-rich foods pregnant women can and should be eating. If I know now what I did then I would have taken much more care of myself while I was pregnant. Thanks for taking the time to educate women at an important time in their lives.

    • Hi Melissa, thank you a lot for your appreciation. Your are absolutely right that eating good iron rich food especially during pregnancy is the best option, not only pregnant women but everyone should have a balanced diet to lead a healthy life.

      • I agree Sarah,
        Everyone should eat a balanced diet that ensures a healthy life. Anemia is serious and not something that should be taken lightly, any of us can become anemic.

  4. This info is very useful!
    I struggle with anemia due to iron deficiency, i cant tolerate iron tablets so i depend on foods with high iron, i learned of few i didn’t know about with your post!
    I will try to make it more fun for my son as well! So thank you for the info!
    Regards.

    • Thanks Arl for the comments. I am glad that you found this article very useful, iron deficiency Most common type of Anemia in adult girls and women especially but it can be corrected by including iron rich diet in our daily menus as you did 🙂

  5. The information you have provided are definitely life savers. I do prefer eating the iron rich foods as opposed to taking the supplements. My body seems to absorb the nutrients more effectively when I eat the foods to boost my red blood cells.

    • Thank you so much Phildora for your comments. Healthy food is not doubt the healthiest option to have but to fulfill our dietary requirement its good to have supplements along with good diet. Anemia can be corrected by eating healthy food like, green leafy vegetables, fruits and red meat as well, but a balanced approach should be followed.

    • Hi Amanda, Folic acid and iron supplements are very important to take along with healthy diet. This will help us overcome the deficiencies if we have any when we loose blood like in menstruation and postpartum bleeding.

  6. What a great round up! I wish I had seen this when I was pregnant. I had morning sickness all day every day for 7 months. I then read how iron tablets can cause this. I stopped them and just had nausea only for the last two months. How practical to include iron rich foods into your diet from the beginning. New mums are going to appreciate this website. Nicely done.

    • Hi Tabsmark, thank you so much for your comments and appreciation. Your pregnancy must be very difficult and I can understand your feeling as a mother of two kids. I am really happy that you find this post useful.

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