Health Tip: Reduce Your Risk of Anemia

-- Anemia occurs when there aren't enough red blood cells in your blood, or they are deficient in a protein called hemoglobin. This means your red blood cells don't carry enough oxygen to the rest of the body.

Women and people with chronic disease are at greater risk of becoming anemic.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers these suggestions to help prevent anemia:

  • Get plenty of iron in your diet by eating such foods as leafy green vegetables, lean red meats, iron-fortified breads and cereals, fish and dried fruits.
  • Consume foods with plenty of vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin B12 to help your body absorb more iron.
  • Avoid restrictive or fad diets that prevent a healthy balance of vitamins and minerals.
  • Don't drink coffee or tea with meals. They make it more difficult for your body to absorb iron.
  • Get tested for anemia every five to 10 years while in your childbearing years. If your doctor tells you that you're at greater risk of anemia, the physician may recommend annual testing.

Posted: June 2008


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