Foods to Eat if Anemic

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What is Anemia?

Anemia is a condition characterized by an insufficient number of red blood cells, however it can also be diagnosed if an individual exhibits a low hemoglobin level. Most often, individuals who do not consume adequate amounts of iron are diagnosed with anemia. While anemia is commonly caused by an insufficient diet, other lifestyle factors may contribute to the development of the disease. If you have been recently diagnosed with anemia, it is important to understand what type of anemia you have, as well as whether you condition will be short-lived, or chronic. Though some individuals may not experience any symptoms of anemia, others may exhibit shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, dizziness, pale skin, and cold hands and feet. No matter how your condition manifests itself, by learning what type of foods to eat if anemic, you can prevent the condition from worsening.

Meat and Dairy Products

Since anemia is most commonly caused by a lack of iron in the diet, it is important to understand what foods contain iron. Meat and dairy products contain high levels of iron, and can be extremely effective in the treatment of anemia. Red meats in particular, such as beef and liver, show very beneficial results–however chicken, turkey, fish, and even pork can help improve anemia status. In addition to these foods, consider eating milk, yogurt, cheese, and eggs. These are great options for vegetarians or other individuals who have difficulty eating large quantities of meat products. When purchasing dairy products, check the label of the item to determine how much iron is provided. Compare it against other similar products to find the one that is best for you.

Fruits and Vegetables

High fruit and vegetable intake is essential for proper health and optimal growth, and can be even more important for individuals who are suffering from anemia. However, when selecting fruits and vegetables, it is important to make the proper selections–orange fruits such as peaches, apricots, and oranges appear to be especially effective in the treatment of anemia, though bananas and raisins can also provide some help. Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and collard greens contain folic acid and Vitamin C, which also contain some anemia-fighting properties. Finally, consider including legumes, specificially white, red, or baked beans.

Iron-Fortified Grains

Even if you don’t like the food hereto mentioned, you can still achieve success in the treatment and prevention of anemia. Today, nearly all cereals, breads, and even pastas are fortified with iron. When choosing these packaged products, make sure to check the label for nutritional quality. Even though an item may be rich in iron, it may still be deficient in other vitamins and minerals. Read the labels of any potential item thoroughly and compare them against competing products before making a final decision.


Obviously, there are lots of options available for people who suffer from anemia. By understanding what foods to eat if anemic, you can take important steps in the promotion of a healthier lifestyle.