7 natural remedies to keep anaemia at bay
Anaemia in adolescents Dates Pomegranate Vitamin C
Anaemia is a common condition among Indian women.
Described as a condition that comes about due to a drop in the number of red blood cells in a person blood, anaemia is a fairly common occurrence in pregnant women, growing children and women with excessive bleeding during menstruation. While iron supplements do work to treat the condition, there are some natural ways to beat anemia too. Here are 7 ways you can do that.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach (palak), fenugreek (methi), coriander (dhania) and Malabar spinach (Basella alba) are a great source of iron as well as folic acid that is important for the body, especially during pregnancy. If you suffer from anaemia, make it a point to use these veggies in your soup, rotis, sambar or curries this is one of the best ways for vegans to increase the content of iron in the diet.
Pomegranate is a fruit that is rich in iron and also other minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Besides, it also contains vitamin C which helps to improve the absorption of dietary iron and this makes it one of the best natural remedies for anaemia. Eating the ripe pomegranate seeds is the best way to make the most of this fruit; alternatively, you could also make it into a glass of juice and drink it a few times every week.
Dates are a good source of dietary fiber and antioxidants; they are also rich in vitamin B complex, vitamin C and an excellent source of iron. This makes them an effective remedy for anaemia. Dates can be eaten fresh or mixed into recipes of laddoos, barfis and cakes or made into a chutney with tamarind and jaggery.
The dark-coloured sugar substitute used in most Indian households, jaggery is an excellent source of iron and regular consumption of jaggery can help improve your haemoglobin levels. Mix in some jaggery into tea or coffee or into breakfast cereal or you could sprinkle a pinch of the powdered jaggery into rasam, sambar and dal or when preparing desserts such as payasam or kheer using sugar, substitute a part of the sugar with jaggery syrup to get the benefits of the iron it contains.
Shatavari is obtained from the plant Asparagus racemosus, and according to Ayurveda it is considered a good remedy for anaemia. A well-known Ayurvedic drink called shatavari kalpa is available in the form of a liquid as well as granules that can be mixed into milk to give a refreshing drink.
Ayurveda also recommends the use of the plant punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa) for the treatment of anaemia. Regular consumption of about 10 ml of the juice of this plant for about one to two months is said to be good for dealing with the symptoms of anaemia. Several formulations of this medicine are also available commercially in the form of asava (a liquid preparation containing alcohol) or as a powder. It is best to consult an Ayurvedic physician before using punarnava or shatavari formulations so as to understand the formulation and the dose that work best for your anaemia.
Fruits rich in vitamin C
Vitamin C plays an important role in the absorption of iron from the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, make sure you get enough of this vitamin by eating more of citrus fruits such as oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit and grapefruit; you could also add a dash of lemon juice to your salads and curries to get the benefit of the vitamin C it contains. Read more about the health benefits of vitamin C.
Iron deficiency anaemia can be managed by increasing the consumption of these foods and herbs that are rich in iron and vitamin C. However, if you suffer from other forms of anaemia such as pernicious anaemia, sickle cell anaemia or haemolytic anaemia, it is best to speak to your doctor about dealing with it.