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The Diet Cure For Anaemia

Aug 14, 2008
Years ago such feminine symptoms were quite respectable and were attributed to lovesickness. Doctors had a name for the disease; it was called chlorosis. Nowadays these pallid wallflowers are more frequently diagnosed as victims of nutritional anemia.

Red blood gives color to romance and imparts a rosy glow to the spectacles through which we view the world. Red blood is largely a matter of assimilated iron, and a good many people, especially women, fail to get enough of this romantic mineral.
Consider the career of one of your work-crazy red blood cells.

In the lungs it grasps a big load of oxygen, dashes back through a portion of your 7,000-mile-long circulatory system, dumps its oxygen into a hungry cell, picks up a return load of carbon dioxide and hustles back to the lungs to repeat the cycle. It is good for about 60,000 round trips before it finally wears out.

Oxygen is vital in keeping your tissues alive and rarin' to go. But if you don't keep enough iron on tap to manufacture a billion brand new red cells per minute, your blood can't carry enough oxygen to keep you functioning at your best. It's as if you took half breaths instead of full ones. You can't muster enough energy for a respectable lovesick sigh.

You're too tired out to smile at the boy friend's puns and the thought of jitterbugging around with him is unbearable. So maybe he goes hunting around for some High-Haemoglobin Hannah who can keep up the pace.

Not that you need such a lot of iron, but you need it every day and even the richest foods do not contain it in large amounts. Once a deficiency is established it is all but impossible to overcome it in reasonable time through ordinary diet. Because of monthly losses, women require more iron than men and are more commonly the victims of nutritional anaemia.

By itself, iron is no great shakes as a go-getter. It is more inclined to lie on its back under a tree. Copper is a sort of truant officer that rounds it up and blackjacks it into going to work in the red cells. Cobalt, according to late word from the laboratories, also has a part in red blood cell formation.

Luckily, iron and copper occur pretty much in the same foods, and you hardly need worry about cobalt deficiencies. Tops among blood-building foods are liver, calf, pork, beef or chicken. Red meats are valuable too. Surprisingly enough, ordinary molasses the blacker the better turns out to be unexpectedly rich in assimilable iron. Three tablespoons of molasses supplies about one-third the daily iron needs. Eggs and apricots are superb blood-builders too.

Leafy green vegetables contain considerable iron, but not all of it is easily absorbed and it is rarely that such foods are consumed in great bulk. Whole wheat flour contains about three times the iron of white flour, although the new fortified products contain added iron that brings the values to practically the same figure. Oranges, the pulp, not the juice contain fair iron. Milk and green vegetables assure ample copper intake; there is iron in milk, too, and although it is in small amount it is easily assimilated. Liver and oysters rank high in copper and nuts, cereals, and dried fruits contain substantial amounts.

Pernicious anaemia is different from the common nutritional type, in that it is caused by specific deficiency of some unknown element. Late word from the laboratories indicates that this unknown factor is a protein it's not our fault if those important fellows keep bobbing up in the nutritional story. Whatever the factor is, liver contains it and liver extracts are the accepted form of treatment.

Anaemia is sometimes caused, too, by lack of Vitamin C, through loss of blood caused by haemorrhage characteristic of scurvy, or by interfering with the blood-forming cells in the marrow of the long bones.
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