Anemia (also called Anaemia) is medical condition that is much more widely prevalent than what it is thought of, with estimates suggesting that 10 percent of the population above the age of 65 tend to be anemic. The rate of anemia is much more common in the case of pregnant women – as many as one in five pregnant women are supposed to be anemic.
The presence of anemic conditions can be recognised with a few symptoms that many would have normally thought of as a routine part of life. For instance, tiredness and fatigue are some of the symptoms of anemia. There are other symptoms of anemia, such as shortness of breath, general weakness, heavy palpitations, and a pale look that would seem like there not being sufficient blood in the body.
With a lesser quantity of haemoglobin, the skin starts looking pale and it lacks the healthy pink colour that underlies healthy skin. Sudden and unexplained hair loss is also one of the symptoms of anemia. While the symptoms may all denote towards an anemic condition in the individual, the diagnosis of anemia is done through a Complete Blood Count test, or CBC Test. The CBC Test could be part of a normal and routine medical examination, or it may be prescribed by the physician if anemic condition is suspected.
Sometimes, the Red Blood Corpuscles tend to have a shorter lifespan, leading to a fall in the count of RBC’s in the blood stream. Iron is extremely important for the efficient functioning of haemoglobin. When there is a profuse loss of blood, vast resources of iron in the body tend to be depleted; even though blood is capable of regeneration, the lost resources of iron may not be restored back into the blood. Loss of iron in the body is one more reason for anemia, a condition that is termed iron deficiency anemia.
Blood loss during the menstrual cycle in women is often associated with iron deficiency anemia, though the severity of anemia in this case may not be much, as there is not much blood loss that could possibly lead to anemia. However, other conditions that are associated with blood loss, such as colon cancer or severe conditions of ulcer, often lead to iron deficiency anemia. Trauma and the blood loss that it causes would normally be in large quantities, and this could lead to iron deficiency anemia if not treated properly and with care. Let’s go through the other reasons and causes for anemia as we consider the different home remedies for anemia in the following sections.
Home Remedies for Anemia
Vegetables for Anemia
Home remedies for Anemia should start with iron, whose deficiency is often zeroed in as the prime culprit in leading to anemic conditions. The body has a good reserve of iron, but if the reserves are depleted and if the iron resources are not to be replenished, the best way to refurbish the stock of iron in the body would be to have a diet rich in iron. As someone who tries to deal with anemia the natural way, your first target has to be food and diet, as you choose foods that have proven to be a good source of iron.
The good part of the equation is that iron is essential for healthy living of most plants and animals, which makes the availability of iron through food not such a big deal. Red meat and poultry are good sources of iron among the animal sources, while vegetarians do have choice to eyed peas, as well as by consuming a lot of fresh leafy vegetables. Ideally, your diet should comprise more of fresh vegetables than anything else. If you love salads, there can be no better reason to have more of fresh and green salads to fill most of your stomach with, which would serve in replenishing the iron resources, serving as an effective home remedy for anemia, and also as an effective element in weight loss programmes.
Apples for Anemia
There may not be many health programmes that do not constitute a role played by apples. Apples are tasty and rich in nutritional value. As an effective home remedy for anemia, apples help in increasing the iron content in the body. To start off with, you may have 2 or 3 apples a day, to give your new diet a boost with apple power.
Apple is also known to contain arsenic acid and phosphorus, which are known to be good in replenishing the nutrients required for increasing blood cell count. If you love fruit juice, you know the home remedy for anemia – make a healthy apple juice with close to a kilogram of apples, and have a dose of fresh apple juice around half an hour before your lunch and half an hour before you hit the bed.
Honey for Anemia
Honey has always been known for its ability to help immensely in dealing with anemia, and you could add honey to a cup of beetroot juice and consume the relishing mixture everyday to have your anemia addressed. Or, you could have a few raisins dropped into some honey, mix them up and have them together as an effective home remedy for anemia.
Another god home remedy for anemia, using the good old honey again, would be to slice up a banana and mix it with honey. Banana in itself is a rich source of so many vital nutrients and vitamins, and mixing banana with honey would be a heady mix, capable of addressing any anemic condition and proving to be an effective home remedy for anemia.
Fenugreek for Anemia
If you are looking for herbal remedies for anemia, you should not overlook the goodness of Fenugreek. This is a herb that is common among the Mediterranean regions. Fenugreek is widely used in cuisines around the world and for a variety of cooking purposes, while the herb is also a wonderful medicinal product that would come in handy as an effective home remedy for anemia.
Fenugreek is a store house of proteins, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3 and potassium, along with its tremendous medicinal properties that would be very useful for women during menstrual cycle. Apart from its numerous health benefits, Fenugreek extract is also widely used as an effective tonic to improve blood cell count. Eating a few raw Fenugreek seeds on a daily basis works well for treatment of anemia and proving to be a lasting remedy in correcting deficiencies that give rise to anemic conditions.
Lettuce for Anemia
Another effective home remedy for anemia is the liberal use of lettuce in your daily diet. Lettuce is a naturally fresh plant that is rich in nutrients, the chief among them being iron. Lettuce with high contents of iron and other nutrients is generally observed with the rich green colour of lettuce, as against the pale leaves of lettuce, which may indicate the lack of adequate nutrients in lettuce.
You could have lettuce as a rich salad, eating lettuce raw along with other salad vegetables or as a major component in sandwiches. Lettuce could also be cooked into rich gravy and consumed as frequently as possible to prevent as well as immediately address anemia.
Celery for Anemia
Among the other vegetable sources that may be rich in iron and could work as a suitable home remedy for anemia would be celery. There are many varieties of celery soups available and which can easily be made at home to make for delicious food. Celery is a good source of Vitamin C as well as fibre, and is also a fine source of folic acid.
You may recall that folic acid deficiency is a major cause for anemia, which is called folic acid deficiency anemia. Folic acid is one of the types of B Vitamins, which plays a key role in the body’s ability to make blood cells. Celery, being a rich source of folic acid, immediately addresses the folic acid deficiency by helping the body produce more red blood cells.
Almonds for Anemia
If you like nuts, there is nothing like having almonds to help restore the vitality of your blood cells. Almonds are a rich source of copper, along with other vitamins and minerals. You could have around 10 medium sized almonds a day, after the almonds have been soaked in water for around two hours. The almonds should then be taken out of water and have their outer red skin peeled.
This is to ensure that the outer skin doesn’t act as an irritant on the stomach, to those who may be allergic to it. The almonds could then be crushed and made into a paste to be had in the morning for around three months. The nutrients present in the almonds ensure that the blood cells become rejuvenated, acting as a useful home remedy for anemia.
Beetroot for Anemia
The common root that is also tasty and juicy comes in handy as an effective home remedy for anemia. Beetroots have been known to be good sources of iron, and for their ability to increase the rate of absorption of oxygen in the blood. Further, it is also a good source or many vitamins and minerals. Beetroot could be added to salad and had raw, or you could drink beetroot juice, mixed with other nutritious vegetable juices such as carrots or cucumber, as a good treatment for anemia.
Figs for Anemia
These simple fruits are high in minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. Dried figs can be used as healthy snacks, which would be natural remedies for anemia. Further, dried figs can also be added to breakfast cereals, as well as to a lot of other baked products such as cakes and muffins, as effective treatment for anemia.
Spinach for Anemia
Spinach is that good green friend of yours that you can trust with all the goodness of nature. Spinach is rich in nutrients and has antioxidants that could prove vital for your health. The list of nutrients that you draw out of spinach is a long one and iron is certainly one of them, capable of making a difference to you as home remedies for anemia.
Dandelion for Anemia
Dandelion is the common flowering plant with bright yellow flowers that you could have seen as you walked past the garden next door or round the corner but failed to take any serious note of the simple herb. The best things in life are simple and dandelion goes on to prove it.
Dandelion is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and lots of calcium, and is known for its properties as an effective blood purifier and detoxifier, which comes handy in many medical conditions, including anemia. Dandelion is a pretty good storehouse of iron and has high levels of proteins, making it a ready home remedy for anemia. Dandelion leaves can be added to salads and had fresh, rich with all their nutrient values.
If you love the strong aroma of onion and garlic, you might want to sauté onions and garlic along with dandelion leaves with sesame oil or olive oil and had along with your dinner as a delicious home remedy for anemia. Dandelion is good not just for anemia but also in a host of other health problems such as jaundice, dyspepsia, urinary infections, hepatitis and rheumatism as well, making it one of the sought after herbs with medicinal properties.
Bananas for Anemia
Home remedies for anemia wouldn’t get any easier than purchasing the omni-present banana off your favourite retailer, peeling it clean and slipping it down your throat for a fulfilling experience. If you thought bananas were all too commonplace to make a significant difference to your anemic conditions, think again – banana is a vast storehouse of vitamins and minerals, including folic acid and iron, which makes it such a sweetheart when it comes to home remedies for anemia.
Dried Fruits for Anemia
An easy and delicious home remedy for anemia would be to take up munching on dried fruits on a regular basis. With dried fruits, you have choice – whether it is prunes, the dried versions of plums, or raisins, the dried forms of grapes, you get concentrated iron content into your system, along with a host of other minerals and nutrients. Apart from being a tasty snack, you get them readily available so that you do not have to take special efforts at getting them ready. Whether it is dried figs or dried apricots, you could revel in their taste and relish their nutrients as an effective home remedy for anemia.
Soybeans for Anemia
It’s iron all the way and soybeans turn out to be reliable sources of iron. Soybeans contain vast resources of high nutritional value elements with a good deal of proteins and prominent levels of amino acid lycine, along with many vitamins. Soy could be included in your diet in many forms and recipes that are tasty and healthy, providing you with a high protein and low carbohydrate diet, while turning out to be an effective home remedy for anemia.
Lifestyle and Nutrition for Anemia
While you could deal with an anemic condition with the help of the different home remedies, you would have to inculcate certain dietary habits and lifestyles, along with choosing the right kind of diet with proper nutritional information, to cure anemia and to prevent anemia from recurring.
Iron and Anemia
As you could see from the discussion, iron plays a vital role in regeneration of blood cells, and that is because iron is an essential building block of red blood cells. It is iron deficiency that leads to shortfalls in the quantity of red blood cells, which in turn, leads to anemia.
Your choice of food and other home remedies should focus on adequate supply of iron to your body, to help in the healthy formation of red blood cells. There are two main types of iron based on the form that they take – they are heme iron and non-heme iron, which determine the rate of absorption of iron into the human body, among other factors. That brings us to the next important factor in iron for anemia – iron absorption.
Iron Absorption for Anemia
You could be consuming the right quantities of iron and from the right sources, but what good would it be if the body failed to absorb the iron that you take in? Iron could be classified as heme iron, which is the most readily absorbed by the body, available in many sources such as red meat, shellfish and poultry. However, when it comes to the other sources of iron, such as plant sources, egg, milk and meat, iron takes the non-heme form, which may not be readily absorbed by the body.
That’s because of the presence of phytates, which are binding particles that get the iron glued together, ensuring its safe passage through the digestive tract without being absorbed by the intestine. Hence, while sources such as soybean and spinach may be good when it comes to their iron content, only a small percentage of iron present is taken in by the body.
Include Iron absorption enhancers – Vitamin C and Citric Acid
While not all iron may be readily absorbed by the body, you need to include substances that promote iron absorption so that you draw the most benefits from your iron rich diet. Vitamin C and citric acid have been found to be good iron absorption enhancers, and it would help for you to consume sources of Vitamin C along with your iron rich diet for home remedies for anemia to be effective.
You might want to consume orange juice as you consume iron-rich foods, as orange juice is a good source of Vitamin C, promoting the absorption of iron into the body. Similarly, since citric acid is also an iron absorption enhancer, you might want to consume prominent fruit sources of citric acid as you consume iron-rich food, as in the case of lemon, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, pineapples and tomatoes.
Avoid Iron Absorption Inhibitors – Coffee and Tea
There is good reason why you would do a good job in cutting down on your tea and coffee consumption. Just like certain foods promote iron absorption into the system, there are others that inhibit or prevent the absorption of iron, thus negating the effects of home remedies for anemia. Tannic acid is an iron absorption inhibitor, prominently found in black tea; while caffeine is another element that prevents the smooth absorption of iron into the system. It would help to avoid coffee and tea when you are on a course of home remedies for anemia.
Avoid Iron Absorption Inhibitors – Grains, Legumes, Fibre, Minerals
Now, that might sound strange that you would have to avoid some of the essential elements and minerals to be able to get the most out of home remedies for anemia. While you cannot avoid minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper, which are iron absorption inhibitors, along with grains and legumes that contain phytic acid, which again is an iron absorption inhibitor, you might want to reconsider the time of the day when you consume these inhibitors.
Ideally, you might want to phase out your consumption of iron absorption inhibitors away from your consumption of iron sources, which would be an effective ploy to get your body get more iron from sources of iron.
Eat Steamed Vegetables
Steaming vegetables preserves the nutrients available in them without their getting lost in the cooking process. However, there is another angle to the story. When it comes to iron rich food such as spinach, there is not just iron but also oxalic acid, which has a tendency of combining with iron and turning into an iron absorption inhibitor.
When you steam or cook spinach or other green leafy vegetables, you would release oxalic acid that otherwise would cling on to iron and would not let it be absorbed by the system. You could release oxalic acid from iron-rich food by cooking and mashing it before you eat.
Green Vegetables – Chlorophyll and Anemia
Treating anemia with home remedies is a holistic process that takes multi-pronged approaches. When you consider the different approaches to home remedies for anemia, you would also note the effect of green vegetables on reversal of the anemic condition. This is a direct effect of chlorophyll, which shares the same molecular structure as that of haemoglobin that is at the centre of anemia.
The primary difference is that chlorophyll has magnesium at the core while haemoglobin features iron. It has been clinically observed that chlorophyll made a qualitative difference to patients who were anemic, when chlorophyll was administered in moderate quantities along with other combinations involved in blood regeneration. It is this account that makes for inclusion of fresh green vegetables and leaves in your diet for sustained recovery from anemia.
Cold Water Bath for Anemia
It has been suggested in many natural treatments that it is best to take bath in cold water to deal with anemia. Consistently taking bath in very hot water is not good for the body anyway. Having a cold water bath twice a day is a good way to take care after anemia. This, coupled with a diet rich in raw and leafy vegetables, and a healthy dose of fruits administered on a daily basis, can prove to be effective home remedies for anemia.