Affecting about 3.5 million people, anemia is the most common blood condition in the United States. Specifically, people with chronic diseases, women, and young children are more vulnerable to developing anemia than others.

Your body uses healthy red blood cells, otherwise known as hemoglobin, to carry oxygen throughout your body. When your hemoglobin is too low, your cells will not receive enough oxygen, causing anemia to rear its ugly head.

When your organs are not getting what they need in order to work properly, you can end up experiencing the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Yellowish skin

It’s pretty safe to say that none of the aforementioned anemia symptoms sound like very much fun. Start taking proactive steps now so you don’t have to deal with headaches, dizziness, and the rest of anemia’s gang later on down the road.

Some of the best ways to avoid anemia include:

Get the Right Nutrients

One of the most common types is iron deficiency anemia. Without enough iron, hemoglobin is unable to deliver oxygen-rich blood to the rest of your organs. Give your body the tools it needs to avoid anemia by taking an iron supplements from a natural vitamin store.

Along with iron, your body also needs B-12 and folate to make red blood cells. A supplement that has a combination of both phytonutrients and essential minerals and vitamins, such as Metagenics PhytoMulti without Iron, will help make sure your body is getting the B-12 and folate it needs.

Eat Foods Rich in Iron

Avoid anemia by adding foods that are both rich in iron and help your body absorb iron into your diet. There are two main types of iron found in foods that help hemoglobin and red blood cell production: nonheme iron and heme iron. Nonheme iron is found in foods fortified with iron and plant foods. Heme iron is found in poultry, meat, and seafood, and is absorbed more easily by the body.

Foods that will fend off anemia include:

  • Meat: While all meat contains heme iron, lamb, red meat, and venison are the best sources. Pair these with leafy greens and other nonheme iron foods in order to maximize iron absorption.
  • Seafood: Shellfish such as clams, oysters, and shrimp, and fish such as haddock, halibut, perch, and salmon, are all great sources of heme iron. Because calcium binds with iron and reduces its absorption, make sure to avoid eating calcium-rich foods at the same time as foods high in iron.
  • Leafy Greens: Dark, leafy greens such as dandelion greens, kale, and spinach are some of the best sources of nonheme iron. Collard greens and Swiss chard are rich in iron as well as folate, which is also helpful in avoiding anemia.
  • Fortified Foods: If you are a vegetarian or have a hard time eating other sources of iron, make sure you add foods fortified with iron to your diet. These include foods made from fortified refined flour, fortified orange juice, fortified pasta, and fortified white rice.

Now that you’ve got the roadmap on how to avoid anemia, jump in the driver’s seat and shop vitamins, herbs, and supplements for the tools your body needs to create healthy red blood cells.