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Have you been feeling extremely fatigued lately? Is that tiredness also accompanied by feeling cold all the time and headaches? If you said yes, then it’s time to pay a visit to your doctor to get yourself checked for anaemia.
1 out of 2 Indian women is anaemic
According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2016, about 53.2% of non-pregnant women and 50.4% of pregnant women were found to be anaemic. India has basically very large numbers of anaemic patients and this could be because of various reasons like an iron-poor diet, excess blood loss during menstruation, poor absorption of iron in the blood and so on.
One of the other reason could also be the vegetarian diet that many Indians follow. Cutting down on meat or animal products such as milk and eggs can cause vitamin B12 deficiency which also causes anaemia.
To understand this better we consulted Dr Rahul Bhargava, director of Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram. According to him, anaemia is basically the deficiency of iron and vitamin B12 in our bodies. For an adult woman, the normal haemoglobin range is 12.0 to 15.5 grams per deciliter. Anything below that is considered anaemic.
So what you do at home prevent anaemia?
With little effort and care, anaemia can be easily prevented. Here Dr Bhargava suggests some methods you can do adopt to prevent this ailment.
1. Cook your food in iron utensils
Remember when our dadi and nani used to cook food in heavy and bulky iron woks? Well, there was a reason behind it! “Cooking your food in an iron utensil will increase the haemoglobin concentration in your blood,” says Dr Bhargava.
2. Consume jaggery every day
‘Gur’ or the jaggery can help you with your iron intake as it’s very rich in iron. Regular consumption of jaggery also facilitates the absorption of iron and it also increases the haemoglobin count. Hence, if you really want to cure your anaemia don’t forget to include jaggery in your diet.
3. Incorporate vitamin C in your diet
Without proper absorption of iron in your blood, no amount of iron-rich foods will be enough. So to make sure the iron that we are consuming gets absorbed correctly you need to add vitamin-C-rich food in your diet. Fruits like lemon which are rich in vitamin C helps the blood to absorb the iron properly.
4. Avoid drinking coffee or tea two hours before and after your meal
If you too have the habit of drinking coffee or tea with your meal then Dr Bhargava suggests dropping this habit as it decreases iron absorption.
5. Eat more green and leafy vegetables
Dr Bhargava suggests eating green leafy vegetables like spinach which can give your body a boost of vitamin B12. Anaemia generally happens when the blood cannot produce enough haemoglobin. And we need vitamin B12 to produce red blood cells, which mainly consists of haemoglobin.
6. Beetroot and banana are must-haves
Beetroot consists of natural iron whereas bananas are rich in iron, folate, vitamin c and potassium and help in increasing the haemoglobin count. Both are easily available all across the country and, the best part? They are perfect to treat and cure anaemia.
7. Snack on dates and raisins
These two dried fruits are high in iron and vitamin C content, which again serves the purpose of treating iron deficiency. Trust us, your snacking cannot get any better!