Are You Anemic?

December 29 2016

Jacqueline Rosenhek

Iron, it is an essential mineral required by our bodies to help red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body and helps our cells produce energy.  Unfortunately, iron and/or vitamin B12 deficiency or anemia is actually one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in North America.  Anemia is a decrease in red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood. It is also a lack of ability for blood to carry oxygen in the body. The main causes for iron deficiency could be through blood loss, decreased red blood cell production or increased blood cell breakdown in the body. Women are also at higher risk of anemia due to menstruation and an increase in physical demand for blood supply during pregnancy. It is one thing to be lacking energy or to feel frequently tired, but anemia can sometimes be a little more specific if you watch out for signs like:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Brittle hair and nails or even hair loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale skin
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Cold hands and feet due to poor circulation
  • Frequent headaches

 

Anemia is a difficult disorder to deal with. It can even be potentially dangerous due to the fact that it can affect your immune system. Lowered blood circulation means that oxygen won’t reach certain parts of your body at an adequate rate which can make you more susceptible to many different illnesses and it may take your body more time to recover from said illnesses. Thankfully, this is treatable through natural means.  It is important to try to eat foods rich in iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin C. Iron and B12 help with both the production of red blood cells and the transport of oxygen throughout the body and vitamin C helps with the digestion of iron and helps with energy production and immune system support.  Eating foods rich in these vitamins is a very good and healthy start to eventually fixing the problem of iron deficiency. For iron, spinach, kale, pumpkin seeds, seafood, nuts and beans are all viable options. For B12, many fortified grains and soy products, fish, cheese and eggs are all good. For vitamin C, tomatoes, citrus fruit, peppers and exotic fruits like guava are all good options as well. To help improve circulation, it is a good idea to remain active by taking long walks or go jogging and if you smoke, it is definitely time to quit.  Anemia is not an easy thing to deal with, it can develop into an even more serious problem if left unnoticed, but you also have the power to not only take notice, but to take action and fix it for yourself.

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