Avoiding anaemia

Anaemia is the name of the condition that arises when you have a very low red blood cell count, or the quality of your red blood cells is not good enough.

Hemoglobin is the protein inside red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to tissues, and anaemia leads to a lack of oxygen in organs.

The symptoms of anaemia include fatigue, dizziness, yellowing of the eyes, pale skin, shortness of breath, weak muscles, low blood pressure and rapid heart rate.

Most of the time, anaemia comes about from having a deficiency of iron. Sometimes it can be brought about from deficiencies in folic acid, vitamins B12 and B6. It can also be induced from certain drugs, heavy menstruation and some medical disorders.

If you are concerned you or someone you know has anaemia, see your doctor.

Here is a quick guide to avoiding anaemia.

Make sure you eat a well balanced diet that includes plenty of iron-rich foods. Good food options for iron include apples, bananas, apricots, asparagus, broccoli, red meat, tofu and whole grains.

Make sure you complement your iron-rich foods with Vitamin C, preferably ingested through foods not tablets. Oranges have lots of Vitamin C.

Snack on dried fruits if you need to snack. These are laden with iron.

Reduce your intake of black tea and coffee. These drinks contain ingredients that interfere with the absorption of iron.

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