People refuse to eat meat and animal products such as milk, cheese, and eggs for various reasons. However it can increase the risk of anemia, a potentially serious condition in which the body doesn't make enough red blood cells containing oxygen. For vegetarians who remove meat from the menu, anemia can be caused by iron deficiency. For vegans, which avoids all animal products including milk, eggs, and even honey, anemia can also be caused by vitamin B12 deficiency.
The solution is to eat a balanced diet with caution. By obtaining the required iron and B12 from other sources, you should be able to remain committed to a vegetarian or vegan diet and prevent anemia.
Facts about iron deficiency-related anemia
Anemia that we often encounter is due to iron deficiency. This condition means that you don't get enough iron in your diet. Iron is required to carry oxygen in red blood cell hemoglobin. These cells will bring oxygen throughout your body, and provide you with energy. Fatigue is the most common symptom of anemia, but many people have mild anemia without realizing it.
Start by learning to know how much iron you need every day:
Female, age 14 to 18:15 milligrams (mg)
Female, 19-50 years old: 18 mg
Female, 51 years old and older: 8 mg
Male, 14 to 18 years old: 11 mg
Male, 19 years old and older: 8 mg
There are two kinds of iron, namely: Heme and non-Heme.
Hematite Iron is the easiest to use by your body and is found in meats, poultry, and fish.
Non-heme iron found in vegetables – your body can still use it, just not easy.
Some vegetarian foods can be eaten to increase iron in their diets are:
Cereal, hot and cold
Sugar syrup Molasses
Green leafy Vegetables
Dried beans, such as black and red beans, and lentils
Rice or pasta
Dried fruit, especially raisins
Good advice for combining these iron-rich foods with foods high in vitamin C, because vitamin C helps the use of iron in your body. For example, you can eat your spinach salad with oranges, or drink a glass of orange juice with your cereal in the morning.
Multivitamins also contain iron, especially those labeled for women under the age of 50. You should discuss the use of a multivitamin of iron with your doctor, and get recommendations for the types of supplements to buy.
Fact anemia related to vitamin B12 deficiency
Also called pernicious anemia, this type of anemia is due to the deficiency of vitamin B12 in your diet. This Vitamin B plays an important role in making red blood cells. In nature, this vitamin is only available in meat or animal products, this is why vegans should be careful to find other ways to put it into their diets. Vegetarians who eat milk and eggs usually get enough B12 through these sources.
When you read nutritional labels on packaged foods, try looking for foods enriched with vitamin B12. There are examples of processed foods that contain vitamin B12 :
Rice or soy milk
Cereal or grain products
Multiple meat Substitutes (check label for vitamin B12)
Dietary supplements, such as those labeled as containing B-complexes
If you decide to use a dietary supplement, keep in mind some of these things. For example, know that even a healthy body doesn't readily absorb all the B-12 vitamins supplements. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist for the extra amount of B12 that is right for you.
If you choose a vegetarian or vegan diet, learn first how to make a healthy balance that includes enough iron and vitamin B12 intake to prevent anemia and give you a lot of energy.
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