Choose a vitamin-rich diet
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.
Aug. 19, 2014
- Your guide to anemia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/. Accessed June 26, 2014.
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- Anemia. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/anemia/. Accessed Feb. 7, 2013.
- Dietary supplement fact sheet: Iron. Office of Dietary Supplements. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/. Accessed May 25, 2014.
- Dietary supplement fact sheet: Folate. Office of Dietary Supplements. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/. Accessed May 25, 2014.
- Dietary supplement fact sheet: Vitamin C. Office of Dietary Supplements. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/. Accessed June 26, 2014.
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