Anemia is still one of the health problems discussed in the world of health. Anemia conditions do not only affect adults, but also occur in many children.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anemia is a condition of reduced levels of hemoglobin in blood cells in the body. Hemoglobin is a protein substance that is in red blood cells. Its function is to carry oxygen throughout the body.
So, if the number is reduced, it will give symptoms to sufferers. Some signs and symptoms of anemia that are easily known such as pale, easily tired, dizzy, shortness of breath, and frequent cold sweating.
Each person’s hemoglobin level is distinguished by age, sex and place of residence. In men, hemoglobin levels are generally higher than in women.
In addition, if someone lives in a high place like mountains, the hemoglobin level is also higher compared to people who live in a low place like urban areas.
Signs and causes of anemia
To determine whether someone has anemia or not, it is necessary to look at the hemoglobin level through a blood test. Anemia is said when hemoglobin levels:
- <13 g / dl in adult males
- <12 g / dl in adult women
- <11 g / dl in pregnant women, and
- <11 g / dl in children
Anemic conditions are generally caused by a decrease in red blood cell production, the process of destruction of red blood cells more quickly, as well as the bleeding that lasts both acute and chronic.
Of the three causes, a common cause of anemia is a decrease in red blood cell production caused by a lack of nutrition in the form of iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid.
Because anemia is most often caused by a lack of nutrition, it is not surprising that one of the prevention efforts is to consume food sources that are rich in iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid.
Food sources of iron for the body
In children it takes 7-15 mg of iron every day, whereas in people need 8-18 mg of iron every day. Surely the need for iron is also different for people on a vegetarian diet that requires 1.8 times more nutrients than normal people
Therefore, you who have anemia really need to consume some of the following food sources every day so that iron needs are fulfilled and free from anemia.
For newborns who are full term and have a normal birth weight have enough iron stores in the body for the next 4-6 months. However, to maximize its development and growth, infants under 6 months of age still need breast milk as a source of iron and other nutritional fulfillment.
The iron content in breast milk is not as high as other food sources, but the iron in breast milk is 5 times more easily absorbed by the baby’s body compared to formula milk.
Meat and seafood
Meat (poultry, beef, lamb), liver, fish and shellfish are rich food sources of iron and folic acid. Food sources derived from animals are very easy to find and easy to process.
In 85 grams of lean beef, contains 2 mg of iron. Meanwhile, seafood such as shellfish contains higher iron, where every 85 grams contains 8 mg of iron.
Cereals and beans
Other unexpected sources of iron come from cereals (such as wheat, brown rice) and legumes (such as soybeans, peas and almonds, and cashews). Cereals and legumes have moderate iron content, around 2-3 mg every 85 grams.
Herbs and spices
Do not underestimate the content of spices. Apparently spices like turmeric, cumin, thyme leaves and mint leaves contain iron that the body needs.
In 1 teaspoon of spices there is an iron content of 1.2-1.6 mg. So, don’t forget to add spices to your daily cooking.
Vegetables such as spinach, potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, paprika and kale are sources of iron and vitamin B12 derived from plants.
Although the iron content is lower and more difficult to be absorbed by the body, other ingredients in vegetables such as vitamin C apparently help better absorption of iron in the digestive tract.
Brightly colored fruit
Fresh fruits such as oranges, strawberries, kiwi, guava and cantaloupe cantons are foods that are rich in vitamin C. Just like vegetables, the content of vitamin C in fruits helps the absorption of iron in the body faster, so the process of forming hemoglobin in blood can increase.
If foods containing vitamin C help maximize the absorption of iron, there are also food sources that inhibit iron absorption. Dairy products such as cheese and caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee should be avoided to be consumed simultaneously. If you really want to consume it, it’s better to give a pause at least 2 hours after eating a source of food that is rich in iron.
Anemia can be prevented by applying a good diet so that iron needs are met every day. If you are still confused about good food sources and how much to consume, just consult further with a nutrition specialist or nutritionist.