What is Anemia?
Anemia refers to the decrease in the number of red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin levels in RBCs, causing hypoxemia in tissues, compared to healthy individuals. RBCs carry and supply oxygen to different organs in the body.
The causes of iron deficiency are divided into three main reasons:
The causes of iron deficiency leading to anemia can be classified into three main reasons.
First, the body’s iron requirement increases resulting in iron deficiency anemia.
This is common in premature babies, infants, growing children, adolescents, and pregnant women.
In premature babies, infants, and adolescents, anemia can occur due to the increased demand for iron for weight gain and height increase, which can lead to anemia if food intake is insufficient.
In pregnant women, large amounts of iron are required for fetal and placental development, and due to an increased number of RBCs and bleeding during delivery, iron requirements increase.
Second, the loss of iron increases and anemia occurs. This can happen due to chronic loss of blood (blood loss) such as stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids, parasitic infections, esophageal vein hemorrhage caused by liver cirrhosis, chronic gastrointestinal bleeding caused by tumors, repeated nosebleeds, excessive menstrual periods, and frequent blood donations. If iron deficiency anemia occurs in adult males and postmenopausal women, it is not an age or condition in which iron needs increase, so it is essential to verify that gastrointestinal bleeding is not the cause.
This can be done through fecal hemostasis (an examination to check if blood is detected in the feces), rectal balance (an examination to detect abnormalities by inserting fingers into the rectum), and gastrointestinal endoscopy.
Thirdly, iron ingestion and absorption are reduced, leading to anemia. Lack of iron-containing food such as breast milk, milk, predation, vegetarian diet, etc., difficulty in iron absorption due to a lack of gastric acid in the gastrointestinal tract, and difficulty in iron absorption due to digestive diseases such as chronic diarrhea, absorption disorder syndrome, and intestinal tuberculosis can cause iron-deficiency anemia.
Eating iron-rich foods helps prevent anemia. Preventive iron use can also be helpful in case of expected iron deficiency, for example, in underweight infants, pregnant women under five months of pregnancy, blood donors, vegetarians, etc.
Which food can help to prevent Anemia?
Beef: A typical food good for anemia is red meat. Meat is rich in vitamin B12, which helps with folic acid activity involved in the production of RBCs to prevent anemia. In particular, beef contains a large amount of vitamin B12 and is high in essential amino acids, minerals, and vitamins that help produce RBCs. It is also good for pregnant and breastfeeding women who require a lot of iron, making it an important food to help their children’s growth.
Egg yolk: Egg yolks are good for preventing anemia, especially iron deficiency anemia. Eggs are a perfect food that contains all nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, and iron vitamins. In particular, the yolk is rich in iron, which helps prevent anemia. Unsaturated fatty acids and proteins in eggs also help produce RBCs, making it recommended for people who frequently suffer from anemia to eat one egg every day.
Spinach: Green vegetables are high in folic acid, which helps produce RBCs. One such vegetable is spinach, which is easy to cook and cheap to eat. Spinach contains a lot of iron, folic acid, and manganese, which are good for preventing anemia, and is rich in vitamin C that helps absorb iron, making it good for the prevention of anemia.