Bruised and Confused?

Ways to determine if you are anemic and foods to help you fix that.
When I was thirteen years old, and to this day, I realized that I bruise incredibly easily.  I would bump my arm, not even hard, and a perfectly dark purple bruise would appear within hours.  My parents were worried and took me to my pediatrician, who then ordered a blood test.  Now, I don't like needles much now, but as a thirteen year old girl, I was pretty tense about the entire event.  Side note, I actually passed out on the nurse who took my blood, and it took multiple attempts to get the amount needed for testing due to my continued aversion.  

Anemia is defined in the Miriam Webster dictionary as: a condition in which the blood is deficient in red blood cells, in hemoglobin, or in total volume.  In plain terms this just means is that you may feel fatigued with a decrease in energy, slightly weaker, have a shortness of breath, experience heart palpitations and lightheadedness, you could feel faint or dizzy, and you can be easily bruised.  Anemia is caused mainly through improper nutrition and poor diet.  Luckily, it is easy to add more of the essential vitamins into your diet.  Some very important vitamins include iron, B12 and folate, these are most specific to anemia.

It is super, super important to get as much iron in your diet as possible.  This can be done simply by taking multivitamin daily, but if you're like me and you are terrible at remembering to take vitamins, this is not your best option.  However, I rarely meet people with aversions to eating, that's usually something that does not easily slip ones mind.  In this case some foods you can add more of to your diet are spinach, red meat, eggs, dried fruits, iron-enriched cereals, poultry, beans, liver and artichokes.  Of course other foods contain iron as well, but these are a nice variety and happen to have an extreme amount of iron in them.

The next vitamin B12 is also very important when you think you have anemia.  Again, most multivitamins contain B12, but you can also get just a specific B12 vitamin.  Again, there are a a top ten foods that you can simply add to your diet.  Foods rich in B12 include Clams, Oysters, Muscles (one group), liver, caviar, octopus, fish, crab and lobster (another group), beef, lamb, cheese and eggs.  Fish may not be your favorite thing, but at least there are four other foods that you hopefully don't dislike.

Finally, there's folate.  I won't reiterate the vitamin thing, but I will give you another list of foods.  Some of them include a variety of beans (lentils, kidneys, lima, baked, green), then there are your vegetables (okra, black eyed peas, beets, broccoli, iceberg lettuce, spinach, brussels sprouts, corn, asparagus, potatoes, cabbage), sunflower seeds are good, as well as peanuts, eggs, and fruits (oranges, strawberries, orange juice).  Remember, you should really see a doctor and have a blood test, or better yet, go give blood.  It's mandatory that they take your iron level before each time they take blood, so you can do a good thing while checking on your health.  Just make sure to take your diet seriously, food is a powerful thing.

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Dr. David Warmflash
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Felisa Daskeo
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Ron Siojo
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Posted on Nov 17, 2010