Iron deficiency and natural ways to prevent it

Do you sometimes experience fatigue, weakness, and poor health, but tend to dismiss it as a routine or seasonal impact on your immune system? However, persistent feelings of lethargy and sluggishness could be an indication of an underlying health condition, such as anemia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India has one of the highest rates of anemia globally, particularly among women.

Risk factors for anemia

Dr Babina Nandakumar, Chief Medical Officer, Jindal NatureCure Institute says: “Several factors can increase the likelihood of developing anemia. If your diet lacks essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, vitamin B-12, folate and copper, you are at increased risk for anemia. Intestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease, which can affect the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, also increase the risk of anemia.

“Women who have not gone through menopause are more likely to develop iron deficiency anemia than men and postmenopausal women due to the loss of red blood cells during menstruation. Pregnant women who do not take multivitamins with folic acid and iron are also at risk of anemia,” she adds.

Chronic conditions like cancer, kidney failure, and other long-term illnesses can lead to anemia of chronic disease by causing a shortage of red blood cells. Also, slow and continuous blood loss from an ulcer or other internal source can cause iron deficiency anemia.

If there’s a history of inherited anemia in your family, such as sickle cell disease, you may also be at a higher risk of developing this condition. Finally, people over the age of 65 have a higher risk of developing anemia.

Naturopathic ways to prevent or manage anemia

Consuming a diet rich in iron, vitamin B12, folic acid and copper can help address anemia by replenishing the body’s red blood cell stores and supporting the production of healthy blood cells. Here are some dietary tips:


Green leafy vegetables

Leafy green vegetables are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals that can help fight anemia, including folate and iron. Foods such as kale, spinach and collard greens are naturally high in these nutrients and can be an important component of a balanced diet to treat anemia and iron deficiency.


According to Dr. Nandakumar, “Root vegetables are a valuable addition to a diet aimed at increasing blood count and treating anemia due to their high mineral content. Regular consumption of root vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes may be beneficial for people looking to increase their nutrient intake and improve blood cell production.

Seeds and nuts

Seeds and nuts are a group of nutrient-dense foods that can help treat anemia due to their high mineral and vitamin content. In addition to providing ample nutrition, regular consumption of nuts and seeds can also be a rich source of dietary fiber, which can help improve blood cell production and increase blood count. Therefore, including nuts and seeds in a balanced diet can provide a variety of essential nutrients and can be helpful in addressing anemia.

C vitamin

“Increasing your vitamin C intake can be helpful in addressing anemia as it aids in the absorption of iron in the body. Iron absorption occurs primarily in the duodenum, and vitamin C helps capture non-heme iron and facilitate its absorption. By sealing iron in specific areas of the body, vitamin C can help the body absorb it effectively. Including vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers in a balanced diet can be an easy way to increase your vitamin C intake and improve iron absorption, which can help treat anemia,” says Dr. Nandakumar.

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