Aging & Health A to Z
Lifestyle & Management
Some types of anemia can be managed with a healthy, balanced diet rich in iron, vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin C, which helps your body absorb iron. Because meat is a main source of some of these nutrients, strict vegetarians should have periodic blood tests and discuss the need for supplements with their healthcare professional.
- Iron is found in red meat, poultry, and some fish (such as salmon, tuna, shrimp). Other iron-rich foods include beans, lentils, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, nuts, soy, and iron-fortified cereals and breads.
- Folate is found in fortified cereals, meat, spinach, beans, citrus fruits and juices, cantaloupe, papaya, and bananas.
- Vitamin B12 is most plentiful in meat, fish, and dairy products, as well as fortified cereals.
- Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, melons and berries, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
If you are feeling extremely tired, don’t assume that you should take iron supplements unless your healthcare professional prescribes them. Having too much iron in your body can cause serious medical problems.
Updated: November 2016
Posted: March 2012