(NaturalNews) Anemia is a blood condition in which the number and/or size of the red blood cells is reduced. Because red blood cells move oxygen from your lungs to the tissues, any decrease in size or amount limits how much oxygen is transported. Fortunately, anemia can usually be corrected through proper diet and/or supplementation.
There are 3 different types of nutritional anemia: iron, B-12, and folate. Common symptoms of anemia include weakness, tiredness, poor concentration skills, pale skin, mild depression, and an increased risk of infection.
Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia, and is usually caused by blood loss of some type. Women with heavy menstrual periods and teenagers and young children are at high risk, as are chronic dieters, female athletes, distance runners, and people on very restricted vegetarian diets. Common causes include surgery, accidents, bleeding ulcers, certain cancers, and chronic or repeated nose bleeds.
For iron-deficiency anemia, focus on iron rich foods such as:
(Organic foods are best for health.) *Oysters and clams *Organ meats like pork or calf liver *Sardines, tuna, and shrimp *Whole grains *Grape juice (no sugar or preservatives added) *Apricots, peaches, prunes and raisins *Pumpkin seeds
When eating foods containing iron or taking supplemental iron, enhance your diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron. If you take an iron supplement, swallow it with a juice that's high in vitamin C.
Another way to obtain extra vitamin C is to flavor your water by spritzing with vitamin C-laden lemon, lime, tangerine, or orange juice.
*Eat plenty of vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
*Eat high protein foods such as lean meats and poultry. Protein facilitates iron absorption. Be sure to choose certified organic grass fed or free range type meats which have not been subject to feed lot practices. Also add organic cheeses and nuts to your daily diet.
*Space your supplements and iron consumption out. The more iron you consume at once, the less the body actually absorbs. Eating multiple small iron-rich meals will result in better overall absorption.
*Use cast iron cookware. Tiny iron particles from the cookware are transferred to food during cooking and can provide a significant source of dietary iron.
B-12 anemia is also known as pernicious anemia. Even a slight deficiency of B-12 can lead to anemia. Deficiency in B-12 can also lead to fatigue, mania, and depression. Long term deficiency can potentially result in brain and central nervous system damage.
Vitamin B-12 can only be found naturally in animal products. The top ten food sources for B-12 are:
(Organic foods are best for health.) *Clams, oysters, and Mussels *Beef liver and beef *Seafood and fish (especially caviar, octopus, mackerel, herring, salmon, tuna, cod, sardines, trout. bluefish, crab and lobster) *Lamb (Mutton) *Cheese *Eggs
If you are a strict vegetarian or have had your stomach or intestines removed, get periodic lab tests to monitor B-12 levels. Supplementation will usually be necessary and occasionally injections of B-12 may be required when levels become too low.
Often, what may appear to be B-12 deficiency is actually folate deficiency. To prevent folate deficiency, include plenty of folate-rich foods in your diet, such as:
(Organic foods are best for health.) *Lentils, beans and peas *Green leafy vegetables such as spinach *Asparagus and corn *Wheat germ
Before taking an iron supplement be sure to have your iron levels checked. Too much iron is just as bad as not having enough, if not worse.
Due to the lingering toxins from the gulf oil spill it is recommended to avoid seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group "S.A N.E.Vax. Inc" which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers. Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".