Anemia: an issue faced by most of the working women in India. There are two types; first one is Iron-deficiency anaemia, the most common type, which can be overcome with diet changes and iron supplements. Another one is sickle cell anemia, caused due to cell deformity, but it is rare.
If you have symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, pale skin, low immunity, shortness of breath, dizziness, a tingling or crawling feeling in the legs, then you may be anemic.
There are several reasons for the iron-deficiency anemia in women, such as heavy menstruation, multiple pregnancies, diet poor in iron. Other reasons include hemorrhoids, gastritis, and ulcers (caused due to excessive use of aspirin and Ibrufen). Deficiency of vitamin C, vitamin B12 and folic acid are also major contributors in this type of anemia as B12 and folate are necessary for formation of red blood cells and vitamin C is essential for absorption of hemoglobin.
Non vegetarian foods like red meat, chicken, eggs, seafood, and fish are high in iron. Whereas in vegetarian sources, nuts and seeds, dry fruits like apricots, dates, raisins, prunes and figs, green leafy vegetables, tofu, oats, strawberries are excellent sources of iron. But the vegetarians and vegans also need to eat foods rich in vitamin B12 and vitamin C. Breakfast cereals, oats, soya milks and soya yoghurts fortified with B12 or a B-complex or B12 supplement is advisable to be taken by vegans. Lemon and gooseberry (“amla”) have high amounts of vitamin C which can be consumed regularly.
In cases where the hemoglobin is low (8 or below) one has to go for supplements, but be sure you choose supplements with natural sources which are easily digestible. If you take supplements with elemental source of iron, it is difficult to digest and you will suffer with unwanted side effects and your hemoglobin level would still remain low.
Naturopathy recipe for keeping your iron levels up to the mark.
Groundnuts – 100 gm
Almonds – 50 gm
Seedless Dates – 100 gm
Roast the nuts, let them cool down, then grind it together with the dates and make lemon sized balls and consume one on daily basis.