Many types of anemia can't be prevented. However, you can help avoid iron deficiency anemia and vitamin deficiency anemias by choosing a diet that includes a variety of vitamins and nutrients, including:

  • Iron. Iron-rich foods include beef and other meats, beans, lentils, iron-fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, and dried fruit.
  • Folate. This nutrient, and its synthetic form folic acid, can be found in citrus fruits and juices, bananas, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes and fortified breads, cereals, and pasta.
  • Vitamin B-12. This vitamin is found naturally in meat and dairy products. It's also added to some cereals and soy products, such as soy milk.
  • Vitamin C. Foods containing vitamin C — such as citrus fruits, melons and berries — help increase iron absorption.

Consider genetic counseling if you have a family history of anemia

If you have a family history of an inherited anemia, such as sickle cell anemia or thalassemia, talk to your doctor and possibly a genetic counselor about your risk and what risks you may pass on to your children.

Mar. 08, 2013