How to beat anemia?

Contents

Getting Anemia Under Control

Aplastic anemia is a condition in which the bone marrow doesn’t produce enough red blood cells. Hemolytic anemias, on the other hand, occur when red blood cells break up in the bloodstream. Blood transfusions and a bone marrow transplant are treatment options for both types of anemia.

The most common form of the disorder is iron deficiency anemia. According to the American Society of Hematology, it’s usually brought on by blood loss that could be associated with internal bleeding or a heavy menstrual period. It can also be triggered by insufficient iron in a person’s diet, a problem with the small intestine’s ability to absorb iron, or a sharp drop in iron levels during pregnancy.

“Even if the doctor figures out you’re iron deficient, it’s important to also figure out why,” said Goldberg. “When there’s anemia, we pretty much always evaluate the GI tract and look for ulcers and tumors, as those are very serious causes of anemia that need to be addressed.”

One way of identifying the underlying cause of anemia is with a reticulocyte or young red blood cell count. A high reticulocyte count suggests red blood cells are being produced but getting lost in the body; whereas a low count indicates insufficient red blood cell production or a nutritional iron deficiency.

If it’s determined that blood loss is to blame, then it’s critical to “both get the bleeding to stop and replace the iron lost,” said Patrick Foy, MD, a hematologist at Froedtert Lutheran Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“If you’re losing blood from somewhere, once you address that the anemia will go away fairly quickly,” said Paranjape. “For iron-deficiency, it’s pretty straightforward whether you take an iron supplement or adjust your diet.”

“Particularly if you’re a vegan , you’re going to run low not only on iron but vitamin B12 and folic acid, which also help produce healthy red blood cells” said Dr. Foy. For those patients, Paranjape recommends foods fortified with iron and vitamin B12, such as cereals, bread products, and soy milk.

According to the Mayo Clinic, untreated iron-deficiency anemia can lead to serious health concerns including a rapid or irregular heartbeat, developmental delays in children, and, in pregnant women, an increased risk for premature births and low birth weight babies. A recent study from researchers at the University of California, San Francisco suggests that older adults with anemia may be more likely to develop dementia.

“There are so many different causes and degrees of anemia,” said Goldberg. “It’s important to identify which one you have in order to get the best treatment.”

7 Best Home Remedies For Anemia

Do you feel constantly fatigued? Or has your skin been pale and dull recently? May be rest is not all that you need. Anemia is a condition where your body is low on red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells are the main part of haemoglobin in your blood that binds the oxygen. This simply means that if you have a low red blood cell count or haemoglobin then the cells in your body may not get enough oxygen to function properly as a result of which you might feel tired and energy less most of the time.There are many types of anemia but the most common one is caused due to a deficiency of iron in the body. The bone marrow requires iron to produce haemoglobin. Without enough iron in the body, it will not be able to produce haemoglobin for the red blood cells. According to an IndiaSpend analysis conducted in 2016, India tops the list of nations with most anemic women and children. In pregnant women, iron-deficiency anemia can cause serious complications while in children it can affect their language and motor skills. There are many home remedies for anemia that one can bring into practice.

The symptoms of anemia

Most of the important symptoms of anemia are very common and may go by unnoticed or confused for something else. Therefore, it’s important to get your haemoglobin count checked if you’ve been experiencing any of the following for a long time now:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Paleness or dullness of skin
  • Severe hair fall
  • Lack of energy
  • Regular palpitations (heart beating really fast)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Being moody or feeling low all the time

As per the World Health Organisation guidelines, men who have less than 13 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter are anemic and the same goes for women who have less than 12 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter. But, don’t fret. Anemia can be treated and managed with a little care and caution. If you have anemia, the first step would be to talk to your doctor about taking iron supplements and also enrich your diet with iron-rich foods. Here’s where we can help. We’ve put together some of the best home remedies for anemia that can help boost your energy and restore your vitality.

Here Are Some Natural Remedies for Anemia You Can Try

1. Increase Vitamin C intake

Anemia tends to weaken your immune system and thus, you may be more prone to infections and inflammatory diseases. Adequate doses of vitamin C can help fortify you from within and at the same time it also helps in the absorption of iron. Dote on oranges or you can even have a glass of lemon water every day.
(Also Read: 6 Amazing Vitamin C Benefits For Skin And Health)
Adequate doses of Vitamin C can help fortify you from within.

2. Yogurt with Turmeric
In his book, ‘Ayurvedic Home Remedies’, Dr. Vasant Lad suggest that those suffering from kapha-type anemia should have a cup of yogurt twice a day, morning and afternoon, with a teaspoon of turmeric. In kapha-type anemia, a person may experience swelling and the skin turns cold and clammy. This remedy helps in balancing the kapha dosha in the body.
(Also Read: 6 Impressive Health Benefits of Eating Curd (Yogurt) Daily​)


Yogurt helps manage anemia naturally.

3. Eat more green vegetables
The high amounts of chlorophyll contained in green vegetables like spinach, celery, mustard greens ​and broccoli is a good source of iron. Keep in mind that it’s best to have cooked spinach as raw the leaves contain oxalic acid with may prevent the absorption of iron in the body.
(Also Read: Broccoli Nutrition: This Nutritional Showstopper Can Do Wonders For Your Health​)

The high amounts of chlorophyll contained in green vegetables is a good source of iron.

4. Drink up
Fresh beetroot or pomegranate juice acts as great blood builders and also blood purifiers. Beetroots are rich in folic acid you can team them up with apples or carrot. Pomegranates, on the other hand, are rich in iron and also other minerals like copper and potassium. Both these juices, if had regularly, can boost your energy levels by supporting healthy blood flow and make you feel more active.
(Also Read: 6 Amazing Benefits of Beetroot: In the Pink of Health)


Beetroots are rich in folic acid.

5. Copper water
Copper water is considered very healthy in Ayurveda. Dr. Vasant Lad also advices to have water stored in a copper vessel overnight every morning. This helps in replenishing your body with natural minerals and is also known to be very good for treating hair loss.
(Also Read: 12 Amazing Healing Benefits of Drinking Water in a Copper Vessel​)

Copper water is considered very healthy in Ayurveda.

6. Sesame seeds
Eating sesame seeds is another great way of increasing your iron intake, especially black sesame seeds. You can soak the sesame seeds in some water for two to three hours and then grind them into a paste. Have this with a teaspoon of honey every day.

Eating sesame seeds is another great way of increasing your iron intake.

7. Raisins and dates
These dried fruits offer a combination of iron and Vitamin C. This enables the body to quickly and effectively absorb the iron from them. Eat a handful of raisins and one or two dates for breakfast or as a mid-meal snack. They are also know to give you instant energy.

Dried fruits offer a combination of iron and Vitamin C.

Follow these tips and manage anemia naturally!

Maryam Idan (center), a young Iraqi girl with sickle cell disease, was lucky: she could be cured with a stem cell transplant. Leslie Lehmann, MD, wants to make such transplants an option for more sickle cell patients.

I was surprised when chatting recently with Leslie Lehmann, MD, clinical director of the Stem Cell Transplantation Program at Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center (DF/CHCC). She turned to me and asked, “Did you know there’s been a cure for sickle cell disease for nearly 40 years?”

I had to admit that I didn’t. I’ve always thought of sickle cell—a painful and debilitating disease caused by an inherited mutation that makes red blood cells stiffen into a characteristic sickled shape—as a chronic disease to be managed, not one that could be cured.

I’m not alone in that belief. Lehmann often asks this question when she give talks for medical students, residents and other physicians. Their reaction is puzzlement, then a shaking of heads.

The cure is there, though. It’s a stem cell (aka bone marrow) transplant. The catch is that it’s not available to everyone—but for reasons that Lehmann thinks can be overcome.

Children and adults with the condition often receive treatment that alleviates symptoms or prevents complications (e.g., transfusions for anemia or strokes, penicillin to prevent infections, hydroxyurea to decrease pain crises and acute chest syndrome).

The malformed red blood cells of sickle cell disease can get stuck in small blood vessels, damaging organs and causing great pain. (NHLBI)

But none of these treatments address sickle cell’s root cause: the inherited mutation, which scrambles the gene for the adult form of hemoglobin. Hydroxyurea can force the body to stop making adult hemoglobin and instead make fetal hemoglobin (the form we produce during development and shortly after birth, and which never carries the sickle cell mutation). But it needs to be taken for life and it doesn’t work for everyone.

A stem cell transplant cures the disease by removing its source. Patients are “conditioned” with chemotherapy to completely destroy the hematopoietic (blood forming) stem cells in their bone marrow (including the ones that produce the malformed red blood cells). Doctors then rebuild their blood with healthy stem cells from a matched donor that doesn’t have the sickle cell mutation.

Stem cell transplants are often employed in blood and other cancers, but in sickle cell they’re currently available to a limited number of patients with truly severe disease. One reason is that they’re complicated and risky; many patients are too sick to tolerate the conditioning process, or their bodies don’t accept the donor cells.

A less intense form of stem-cell transplant may make cures possible for more children.

Then there’s the awareness issue. “Many physicians who see children with sickle cell don’t know if their patients are candidates for transplant,” Lehmann notes. “In turn, most families aren’t aware that it could be an option.”

Third is the “matched donor” requirement. “The matching requirements for a transplant in sickle cell are different from those in cancer,” Lehmann explains. “Right now only children with a sibling with identical but non-sickled red blood cells can qualify for a transplant. Only about 14 percent of patients are likely to have a match like that.”

But that may not always be the case. Lehmann is running the DF/CHCC arm of a clinical trial that could make non-related donations possible, as they can for many other kinds of transplants. Called the SCURT (Sickle Cell UnRelated Transplant) study, the trial tests the combination of a less intense (and therefore potentially safer) conditioning regimen and stem cells from unrelated donors.

“In cancer, less intense or ‘minimally ablative’ techniques let us eliminate just enough of a patient’s immune cells to avoid transplant rejection,” Lehmann says. “We think that we can achieve the same results for patients with sickle cell.

Leslie Lehmann, MD

“Also, we know that we don’t need to completely replace a patient’s red blood cells to achieve better health and quality of life,” she continues. “If we can get them to the point where just 15 or 20 percent of the hemoglobin they produce is normal, we can correct the disease. We shouldn’t need to completely replace their stem cells to achieve that.”

Lehmann thinks the SCURT study could help make stem cell transplantation a more widely accepted option. “We’ve been doing transplants for sickle cell since 1975,” she says. “The sickle cell community needs to know that it’s a choice available to families coping with SCD.”

To learn more about what it’s like for a child with sickle cell disease to undergo a stem cell transplant, read the story of Maryam Idan, a young Iraqi girl with sickle cell disease who came to Boston Children’s last year.

While Lehmann’s work on stem cell transplantation could help cure more children with sickle cell disease, DF/CHCC doctors are also developing ways to manage sickle cell disease better. Learn more about what DF/CHCC is doing to stop sickle cell pain crises and how flipping one genetic switch off could be a new way to stop the body from producing sickled cells in the first place.

13 Ways to Heal Anemia Naturally

Globally, anemia impacts 1.62 billion people, or 24.8% of the population.

Preschool-age children have the highest percentage rate of anemia in their population coming in at 47.4%. However, non-pregnant women have the most prevalence overall with approximately 468.4 million women in the world that are suffering from anemia (3).

As a clinician, I see many clients who struggle with anemia and the resulting side effects. I have noticed that it is especially common with people who have yeast or bacterial overgrowth, follow a vegetarian diet, or consume inflammatory foods.

I have seen improvements with clients who take initiative for seeking out the root cause of their anemia and address the diet as needed or include supplementation if necessary.

Warning Signs

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • A fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Cognitive problems
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Headache (1).

Anemia is characterized by an impaired production of red blood cells. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to our tissue as well as removing carbon dioxide, a waste product, from our tissues and eliminating it through the kidneys or lungs.

Anemia can become dangerous when oxygenation and waste elimination are impaired enough to cause a person to become symptomatic (4).

It has been known to cause permanent cognitive impairments and delayed physical development in infants if not addressed. The simple fix is typically supplemental iron.

However, if iron depletion is not the source of the problem, this can result in iron overload and still leave the person suffering from anemia and its effects. Therefore, it is extremely important to figure out the type and cause of each anemic case and address the underlying issue (5).

This article will address the different types of anemia, how to differentiate between them with testing, and solutions for resolving anemia.

Causes of Anemia:

  1. Excessive Bleeding
  2. Leaky Gut
  3. Low Stomach Acid
  4. Iron Deficiency
  5. B12 Deficiency
  6. Folate Deficiency
  7. Poor Diet
  8. Chronic Diseases
  9. Intestinal Disorders
  10. Infections
  11. Kidney Disease
  12. Liver Disease
  13. Thyroid Disease
  14. Pregnancy
  15. Enzyme Deficiencies
  16. Autoimmunity (10).

Different Types of Anemia

1. Microcytic (Iron Deficiency) Anemia: This is the most common type of anemia worldwide. It is characterized by small, often hypochromic (pale), red blood cells in a peripheral blood smear. This type of anemia is mostly caused by an iron deficit; this deficit occurs either because the body is not getting enough iron or it is not absorbing it properly.

Iron is a necessity for hemoglobin production and without it, the body cannot produce enough hemoglobin to make healthy red blood cells (5).

2. Megaloblastic (Vitamin Deficiency) Anemia: In addition to iron, your body needs folate and vitamin B-12 to produce enough healthy red blood cells. A diet lacking in these and other key nutrients can cause decreased red blood cell production.Additionally, some people may consume enough B-12, but their bodies aren’t able to process the vitamin. This can lead to vitamin deficiency anemia, also known as pernicious anemia (9).

3. Anemia of Chronic Disease: Certain diseases — such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, Crohn’s disease and other chronic inflammatory diseases — can interfere with the production of red blood cells.

4. Aplastic Anemia: This rare, life-threatening anemia occurs when your body does not produce enough red blood cells. Causes of aplastic anemia include infections, certain medicines, autoimmune diseases, and exposure to toxic chemicals.

5. Anemias Associated With Bone Marrow Disease: A variety of diseases, such as leukemia and myelofibrosis, can cause anemia by affecting blood production in your bone marrow. The effects of these types of cancer and cancer-like disorders vary from mild to life-threatening.

6. Hemolytic Anemias: This group of anemias develop when red blood cells are destroyed faster than bone marrow can replace them. Certain blood diseases increase red blood cell destruction. You can inherit a hemolytic anemia, or you can develop it later in life. This is typically the result of an autoimmune issue where a person’s immune system attacks their own red blood cell producing tissues.

7. Sickle Cell Anemia: This inherited and sometimes serious condition is an inherited hemolytic anemia. It’s caused by a defective form of hemoglobin that forces red blood cells to assume an abnormal crescent (sickle) shape. These irregular blood cells die prematurely, resulting in a chronic shortage of red blood cells.

8. Other Anemias: There are several other forms of anemia, such as thalassemia and malarial anemia.

Testing For Anemia

Making the diagnosis of anemia and then differentiating between the causes can be a challenge but it is important to identify the root cause of anemia in order to address it appropriately. The most accurate test is a bone marrow test but this is expensive and invasive.

The most efficient and non-invasive way to test for iron deficient anemia is done by looking at ferritin, serum iron, total iron binding capacity, and MCV levels in a blood sample (6). Other reliable indicators that aid in diagnosis include: hemoglobin, hematocrit, MCH, MCHC, red blood cells.

Let’s break down each of these components:

1. Ferritin: This is a blood cell protein that contains iron. This is the most reliable indicator of total iron status in the body. When it is low it indicates iron deficiency. (7). This is the first marker for early iron depletion. However, ferritin is an acute phase reactant and is elevated with inflammatory conditions. In inflammatory conditions where iron is elevated, it is important to evaluate Total Iron Binding Capacity to identify iron insufficiency.

2. Serum Iron: This is the amount of iron in the blood that is bound to transferrin and is not an accurate representation of total iron present in the body. Ferritin is a better indicator of iron deficiency due to iron being bound up in different forms that are highly variable. However, if this is low, it is considered to be one of the indicators of iron deficiency anemia. Serum iron is elevated with hemochromatosis, which is occurs when the body is iron overloaded.

3. Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC): This measures a red blood cell’s capacity to bind to transferrin. This will be elevated in iron deficiency, pregnancy, and blood loss. Low TIBC can also occur in chronic disease, elevated iron loads, liver disease, and infections (8). TIBC may be normal in anemia associated with chronic disease.

4. Hemoglobin: Hemoglobin carries oxygen to the cells and carries carbon dioxide to the lungs to be exhaled. This value may be low in iron deficient anemia and high in iron overload.

5. Hematocrit: This is the whole blood volume that consists of red blood cells. This can be low in iron deficient anemia or if excessive bleeding has occurred. This value may be high in times of dehydration or polycythemia, which is the overproduction of hemoglobin.

6. MCH: MCH stands for mean corpuscular hemoglobin. This is the average mass of hemoglobin per red blood cell. High levels indicate a megaloblastic anemia associated with deficiencies in folate or B12. Low levels indicate a microcytic anemia which is typically associated with blood loss or low iron levels.

7. MCHC: MCHC stands for mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration. This is the average concentration of hemoglobin in red blood cells. A decrease in MCHC is an indicator of hypochromic, or iron deficient anemia. A high MCHC value indicates methylation issues and is a megaloblastic anemia.

8. Red blood cells are the cells designed to carry oxygen and carbon dioxide. This value can be low due to blood loss or could be associated with hemolytic anemia, which is an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks its own red blood cells.

9. MCV: MCV stands for the mean corpuscular volume and is the average volume of a red blood cell. Low MCV is related to a microcytic, or iron deficient, red blood cell. High MCV is related to a megaloblastic, or vitamin deficient, red blood cell.

The Phases in the Development of Anemia

You can see the development of anemia on lab work in various phases. Once you understand these phases, you should be able to catch this condition much earlier than traditionally trained medical physicians. Here is the breakdown:

Phase I: Early iron storage depletion is marked by low ferritin levels. All the other iron and blood markers are typically normal but may even be slightly high.

Phase II: Iron-Deficiency non-anemia is marked by low ferritin, low iron, low iron saturation, and high total iron binding capacity.

Phase IV: Megaloblastic anemia is marked by high MCV, MCH, and MCHC and the individual needs B12, folate, and B6 (9).

The Complete Thyroid Panel that Dr. Jockers has approved for testing our clients, includes all of these levels as well as looks into other organ systems such as the thyroid, liver, cholesterol panel, inflammation markers, bacterial overgrowth, and more. The Complete Thyroid Panel allows us to differentiate between causes of anemia.

13 Steps to Heal Anemia Naturally

Here are the best action steps to get started with on your journey to heal anemia naturally. You should always consult with your physician before stopping or changing medications or taking on new health strategies.

Additionally, you should be working with a functional health practitioner to help guide you through these strategies. This is not an exhaustive list and there are other natural therapeutic strategies that I and functional health practitioners will utilize to help individuals with Amemia.

1. Improve Stomach Acid:

Low stomach acid levels are extremely common and often contribute to symptoms such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and stomach burning. This is typically attributed to too much stomach acid induced by stress. However, low stomach acid is actually the reason for GERD in the majority of cases.

Intrinsic Factor is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12. It is secreted by the parietal cells of the stomach lining and without it, B12 is not absorbed or utilized by our body appropriately. Factors that cause parietal cell death and ultimately suppress the secretion of intrinsic factor include: alcoholism, ulcerative gastritis, H. pylori, and gastric bypass surgery. All of these causes should be addressed in order to repair the parietal cells (11).

Low stomach acid leads to malabsorption of many nutrients, including iron and B vitamins, and improper sterilization of food. This leaves the gastrointestinal tract at increased risk for infection. Read this article to learn methods for improving stomach acid such as an anti-inflammatory diet, apple cider vinegar, lemon, lime, and many more great ideas.

2. Use Apple Cider Vinegar:

Begin using apple cider vinegar to immediately begin improving stomach acid levels. Drink 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in 4-6 ounces of water prior to every meal. This provides an acidic environment for food sterilization and the proper breakdown of food.

3. Anti-Inflammatory Diet:

The average American’s diet is filled with grains and sugar that promote total body inflammation due to blood sugar fluctuations and added stress to metabolic processes. Instead build your diet around good fats, non-starchy veggies, low glycemic fruits, herbs and clean protein.

When our bodies are inflamed, our organs are not able to properly utilize nutrients and create necessary substances for optimal functioning. This leaves us at risk for developing issues such as anemia and many chronic diseases.

4. Eliminate Food Sensitivities:

An autoimmune condition occurs when the body’s white blood cells produce a specific antibody to target a particular tissue or enzyme within a tissue of the body. For example, when the body produces an attack on red blood cells or bone marrow, this can produce an autoimmune anemia such as hemolytic anemias or aplastic anemias.

Based on twin studies, we now know that 25% of autoimmunity is genetics, and the other 75% is environment (12). Dr. Jockers and I believe there are 7 main environmental factors causing autoimmunity:

  1. Gluten Sensitivity
  2. GMO’s
  3. Gut Dysfunction
  4. Neurological Stress
  5. Toxins
  6. Stress and Adrenal Fatigue
  7. Infections

A food elimination diet takes out the most common gut irritating foods and allows the intestinal lining a chance to completely heal. This calms down the immune system and decreases inflammation, which will reduce autoimmunity and the side effects of autoimmune diseases.

5. Resolve Gastrointestinal Infections:

H Pylori and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth can result in things such as leaky gut and low stomach acid. Both of these disorders can interfere with the absorption process of iron and essential B vitamins for healthy red blood cells.

6. Heal Leaky Gut:

Leaky gut occurs when the enterocytes, or cells of the intestinal wall, have widening gap junctions. Things that cause these cells to split apart include: NSAIDs, antibiotics, blood sugar imbalance, environmental toxins, pathogens, pesticides, hormone imbalance, and processed foods.

Once the cells of the intestinal lining have atrophied and have started to loosen, large particles are able to get through that would not normally be able to get through the intestinal lining. This can result in infections, autoimmunity, low stomach and impaired nutrient absorption. As we have discussed above, these resulting effects can result in diseases such as anemia.

7. Iron Supplementation:

The body does have a physiological response that helps the body increase the absorption of iron in response to feedback telling the body that iron stores are depleted.

However, this response is minimal and depending on the severity of iron depletion, can take a long time to restore the body back to optimal levels. Significant iron loss requires replacement with iron supplements (6).

We carry Iron Power, which is designed to be gentle on the gastrointestinal system and decrease the side effects of constipation that most iron supplements cause.

I only use this product with individuals that have iron-deficiency or iron deficient anemia as seen on lab work. The findings would indicate very low serum ferritin (under 25), low iron serum (under 80) and possibly low hemoglobin, red blood cells and hematocrit.

For milder cases I will use 1 cap – 1-2 times daily with food and possibly with 500 mg of vitamin C supplementation which helps improve absorption.

For moderate cases I will use 1 cap 3 times daily with food and with 500 mg of vitamin C supplementation which helps improve absorption.

For advanced cases, I will use 2 caps – 3 times daily with food and with 500 mg of vitamin C supplementation which helps improve absorption.

I then retest blood iron levels at 90 day intervals to make sure we are improving the levels and exceeding the amount of iron they need.

8. B12 and Folate Supplementation:

Supplementation with B12 and Folate may be necessary until absorption of these crucial vitamins has improved.

B Strong™ is the supplement that we use to address these deficiencies. It contains the entire spectrum of B vitamins to support adrenal and neurological functions. It features activated forms of vitamins B2, B6, and B12; benfotiamine, a fat soluble, more physiologically active form of thiamine; and folate as Quatrefolic®, which is proven to have greater stability, solubility, and bioavailability over calcium salt forms of 5-MTHF.

Testing for B vitamin deficiencies can be done by using the Organic Acid Test.

9. Best Food Sources of Iron:

1) Grass Fed Beef or Pasture Raised Chicken Liver (Best Source)

2) Grass Fed Beef

3) Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

4) Nuts: Cashews, Almonds, Pine, Hazelnut, Pistachios

5) Leafy Greens: Spinach, Swiss Chard, Collard greens, Turnip Greens

6) Lentils

7) Pasture Raised Egg Yolk

8) Lamb

9) Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Powder

10) Quinoa (13).

10. Best Food Sources of Folate:

1) Grass Fed Beef or Pasture Raised Chicken Liver (Best Source)

2) Egg Yolk

3) Lentils

4) Almonds

5) Avocados

6) Spinach

7) Beetroot

8) Brussel Sprouts

9) Broccoli

10) Cabbage (14).

11. Best Food Sources for Vitamin B12

1) Grass Fed Beef Liver or Pasture Raised Chicken Liver (Best Source)

2) Grass Fed Beef

3) Pasture Raised Chicken

4) Pasture Raised Eggs

5) Raw Milk

6) Raw Cheese

7) Grass Fed Yogurt (14).

12. Eat Fermented Foods:

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, coconut kefir, assorted fermented vegetables, raw cheeses, and grass fed yogurt provide natural probiotics that help fertilize the gut with healthy microbes. These microbes help heal the gut lining, absorb nutrients such iron, B12, and folate, reduce inflammation, and strengthen your immune system.

13. Eat Liver

Liver is a great source of protein, iron, all of the B vitamins (including B12 and folate), balanced quantities of vitamin A, many trace elements and minerals including copper, zinc, chromium, phosphorous and selenium, essential fatty acids EPA, DHA and AA, as well as the powerful antioxidant CoQ10.

All of these compounds help to support the production of healthy red blood cells and fight disease, decrease inflammation and improve health.

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Mayoclinic: Anemia Symptoms and Causes:
3. De Benoist B et al., eds.Worldwide prevalence of anemia 1993-2005.WHO Global Database on Anemia Geneva, World Health Organization, 2008.Online Link
4. PubMed Health. Iron-Deficiency Anemia (2014). NHLBI Health Topics. National Center for Biotechnology Information,U.S. National Library of Medicine.
7. Mayo Clinic:
8. Medscape:
9. Aslinia, F, Mazza JJ, Yale SH. Megaloblastic anemia and other causes of macrocytosis. Clin Med Res. 2006;4:236-241.
10. American Society of Hematology (2016). Anemia. American Society of Hematology: Helping Hematologists Conquer Blood Diseases Worldwide.
11. Group, E. (2014). What is Intrinsic Factor? Global Healing Center.
12. The Immunogenetic Architecture of Autoimmune Disease
13. List of Top Iron Containing Foods:
14. List of Top B12 and Folate Foods:

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Suffering from Anemia? Here’s what you must eat to cure it naturally

Do you always feel lethargic, weak and unhealthy, but often end up ignoring this by confusing it with a monotonous life cycle or a seasonal change affecting your immunity. Well, a prolonged case of weakness and laziness can often be an indicator of an underlying disease like Anemia.
The imbalance of red blood cells in the body is one of the major causes of anemia. This usually happens due to excessive blood loss, low production of red blood, autoimmune diseases to name a few. Whatever be the reason, anemia impacts the overall growth and development of an individual. It is also caused due to the deficiency of iron and folate.

There are various types of anemia and generally happens when the hemoglobin level in the body goes down. Hemoglobin is a protein present in the red blood cells, which carries the oxygen to the various parts of the body.
Anemia is a common disorder in growing kids and pregnant ladies. Folate and vitamin B-12 impacts the production of RBC in the body and a lack of it can cause anemia. The severity of anemia depends on the cause. We thought of sharing some simple tips to increase the iron content in the blood and cure anemia by just tweaking the diet. Here’s a list of foods you can eat to prevent and treat anemia naturally.
Foods you can eat to prevent and treat anemia:
Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are naturally loaded with vitamins and minerals such as folate and iron, which is not only the best thing to eat to treat anemia and iron deficiency. Leafy greens like Kale, spinach, collard greens can be a great source of nutrition.
Meat and poultry
The right diet for an anemia patient should include a balance of nutrients. From iron-rich foods to healthy protein to omega3 fatty acids, it helps in the holistic growth and development of the body. From chicken to red meat to eggs, all these are a rich source of nutrients and can help in treating anemia easily.
Liver
Much like animal meat, liver is a great source of folate and iron and makes for the most nutritious organ meat. So, including it in your diet can be a great option.
Root vegetables
Most root veggies are rich in minerals and can increase the blood count with regular inclusion in the diet. In fact, carrots and sweet potatoes are also great to include in a daily diet due to their nutrient rich content.

Nuts and seeds
Loaded with the goodness of nutrition, these seeds and nuts are rich in various minerals and vitamins. Moreover, regular intake of nuts not only provide ample nutrition, but at the same time can be rich in fibers, which helps in increasing the blood count.

Anemia

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What is anemia?
Anemia is a medical diagnosis in which a person’s blood contains a lower than normal number of red blood cells (RBCs), the cells responsible for cycling oxygen and carbon dioxide between the tissues of the body and the lungs. The symptoms of anemia can also occur if the RBCs present in the blood don’t have enough hemoglobin, a protein that allows the cells to transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and that gives blood its red color.

What are the symptoms?
People with anemia typically feel tired and weak. In addition, they may experience symptoms such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Cold or numb hands and/or feet
  • Low body temperature
  • Pale skin
  • Irritability
  • Black, tarry, or bloody stools (from blood loss)
  • Weight loss
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)

These symptoms occur because the tissues in organs throughout the body may not be getting an optimal supply of oxygen, and because the heart must pump harder to cycle and deliver as much of the available oxygen-rich blood as possible.

What are the causes?
There are several different classifications of anemia, depending on the cause and the characteristics that are seen when examining the RBC’s under a microscope. RBCs are made continuously in the bone marrow and normally have a 120-day lifespan in the bloodstream. Anything that accelerates their loss or slows their production can result in anemia.

  • Blood loss: This is the most common cause of anemia, and occurs when a person loses a significant amount of RBCs through bleeding. Blood loss can be caused by heavy menstrual periods, surgery, traumatic injury, cancer, and bleeding in the digestive or urinary tract.
  • Low RBC production: The body requires certain nutrients to produce RBCs, including iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12. If a person doesn’t get enough of these nutrients, insufficient numbers of new cells are produced and anemia can result. Chronic kidney disease, cancer, infections, radiation therapy, some medications, and even pregnancy can also suppress the normal activities of the bone marrow and decrease RBC production.
  • High RBC destruction: Some inherited blood disorders can destroy RBCs at a rate faster than the body can replace them. These conditions include sickle-cell anemia and thalassemia.

Who is likely to develop anemia?
Anemia is considered widespread and affects an estimated three million Americans. It is most common in women, primarily because of menstrual blood loss and pregnancy; older adults, who are more likely to have nutritional deficiencies or chronic conditions that cause anemia; and children younger than age two. Risk factors for anemia include:

  • Diets low in iron, folic acid, and/or vitamin B12
  • Blood loss
  • Chronic infections
  • Conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease, and liver or kidney disease
  • Family history of inherited anemia

How is anemia diagnosed?
A doctor can diagnose anemia by performing a physical examination, asking questions about the patient’s symptoms and medical and family history, and performing a variety of blood tests. These tests may check the size and number of RBCs, hemoglobin, and level of iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12. The doctor may also conduct further tests to identify sources of bleeding or diagnose chronic illnesses that can cause anemia.

What is the conventional treatment?
The goal of treatment is two-fold. The first objective is to increase the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen throughout the body, which is done by increasing the number of RBCs and hemoglobin to normal levels. The second goal is to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of anemia, if possible. The source of any suspected blood loss should always be determined before initiating therapy.

The conventional therapies used to treat anemia depends on the condition’s cause, severity, and nature, and can include:

  • Supplemental iron to correct deficiency
  • Supplemental folic acid and vitamin B12 to correct deficiency
  • Antibiotics to treat infections
  • Erythropoietin (Procrit) to increase RBC production in people with kidney disease
  • Hormonal treatments to decrease heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Blood transfusions
  • Removal of the spleen to slow RBC destruction

What therapies does Dr. Weil recommend for anemia?
It’s vital to recognize that nutritional advice on iron has changed. As recently as the 1970s, the conventional wisdom was that iron is a tonic, and should be taken by virtually everyone to counteract fatigue and “tired blood.”

But more recent research suggests caution. Iron is a strong oxidant and can potentially promote the development of inflammatory conditions, including heart disease. Iron is also one of the few minerals that the body cannot readily eliminate, and overconsumption can make it accumulate to toxic levels. This is especially true of people with an inherited disease called hemochromatosis, or iron overload disease, which is believed to affect as many as one million Americans. So unless you are a menstruating woman, have had significant blood loss, or have otherwise been determined by a physician to be an appropriate candidate for iron supplementation, you should not take any supplement containing iron or otherwise take extraordinary steps to boost your iron intake. If supplemental iron is advised by a physician, you can take an over-the-counter iron supplement. Dr. Weil recommends a highly absorbable form of iron known as iron gluconate.

With that in mind, Dr. Weil suggests the following strategies for addressing mild to moderate cases of iron-deficiency anemia. These should be considered in addition to conventional therapy that addresses the root cause of anemia:

  • Cook in cast-iron pots (the cooked food absorbs iron).
  • Increase intake of red meat (preferably organic), chicken and fish, all of which provide some iron. Vegetarian sources include whole grains, dried beans, molasses, dried apricots and prunes, and leafy green vegetables such as kale, beet greens and chard, as well as exotic greens such as dandelions, lamb’s quarters, nettles and yellow dock.
  • Eat more foods that enhance iron absorption. These include fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, or yogurt or sauerkraut, both of which contain lactic acid, which promotes iron absorption. Fermented soy foods can aid absorption as well.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages, eggs, milk and bran, all of which can interfere with iron absorption.

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