Anemia is a symptom caused by a myriad of conditions. These conditions include iron deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency, vitamin C deficiency, Vitamin E deficiency, vitamin B6 deficiency, and thyroid disorders, for openers.
Since the most significant and common forms of anemia are related to diet, it is this area that I will address.
Most people equate anemia with iron deficiency as evidenced and encouraged by commercials for products like Geritol, which extol the virtues of it and presenting it as a cure-all for any condition that produces tiredness.
While iron deficiency is fairly common for women in childbearing years due to frequent loss of iron-containing hemoglobin in the menstrual flow, it is less likely to be the cause of anemia in the elderly who are the prime targets for these advertisements.
In fact, due to years of consuming excess iron in supplement form, many elderly persons develop severe iron excesses, because extreme iron overdose can cause the dangerous condition known as siderosis, which results in damage to the liver, pancreas, and heart, and cause a form of arthritis.
Iron deficiency should first be tested prior to medication. It is suspected in infancy, pregnancy, females with heavy periods, and any other condition causing sudden chronic blood loss. Iron absorption is reduced by the consumption of coffee, tea, excessive soy protein, and alcoholism.
Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, rare as it may be, is still a concern. In the past, B12 injections used to be the norm. Vegans were always targeted for B12 deficiency, but those days are long gone.
Despite the common source of B12 being found in flesh foods, there are others that never make the mainstream press. Seed yogurts, unboiled miso, sunflower seeds, grapes, seaweed (kelp, arame, dulse, hijiki, etc) and even organic sulfur crystals provide enough B12 to satisfy what the body needs.
One little-mentioned aspect of anemia is cellular obstruction. All the nutrients in the world are useless if they never reach the cells. This is why many natural physicians utilize fasting. Instead of hemoglobin levels falling even further during a fast, they actually rise significantly, improving the condition because the fast stimulates the blood-forming tissues to function more effectively. But this can only be done in selected cases where the cellular obstruction is the primary cause and not iron deficiency.
Foods rich in iron, aside from flesh, include dark green vegetables like lettuce, spinach, alfalfa, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, parsley, celery, kale, cucumbers, leeks, and watercress. Then there are dried fruits like apricots, raisins, figs, dates, peaches, prunes, and pears. And let’s not forget the fresh stuff like cherries, berries, bananas, grapes, apples, beets, carrots, yams, legumes, whole grains and wheat, black cherry juice, grape juice, and the juice forms of the aforementioned vegetables.
The general anti-anemia foods are all green vegetables, Spirulina, onions, beets, carrots, legumes, yams, potatoes with skin, dried apricots, figs, raisins, dates, grapes, bananas, plums, oranges, grapefruits, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, wheat germ, whole grains, blackstrap molasses, brewer’s yeast, miso, yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, and teas of dandelion leaf, comfrey, yellow dock, raspberry, and fenugreek.
Another excellent source of anti-anemia prevention is unrefined apple cider vinegar as it acts like vitamin C as a reducing agent to increase absorption of iron. There are two ways to facilitate this. One way is to buy popular apple cider vinegar drinks. Another way is to prepare it yourself. What you will need for this is at least a 16-ounce bottle. After I give you the “how to” for 16 ounces, you can double it for 32 ounces or quadruple it for 64 ounces. You’ll get the idea, I’m sure. So, in a 16-ounce bottle put in 4-5 tablespoons of unrefined apple cider vinegar, 9 drops of stevia or honey to taste, one quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, half the bottle filled with unrefined apple juice, and the rest of the bottle filled with unfluoridated water. Shake well and refrigerate. Bear in mind that the cinnamon will settle to the bottom so give it a good shake before drinking. This is how I like it. But fit it to your taste buds.
Reversing anemia starts with the first bite of the right foods.
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