Home 8 foods that help manage sickle cell anemia
8 foods that help manage sickle cell anemia
8 foods that help manage sickle cell anemia

Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disorder that causes a person’s red blood cells to break down and become sickle-shaped, leading to a lack of oxygen in the body. Although medicines are used to manage the condition, nutrition is equally important. Eating balanced meals every day helps combat hypermetabolism, reduces sickling and pain, and controls other symptoms. Here are eight sickle cell anemia food options that patients can include in their nutrition regime.

Healthy fats
Foods like olive oil, canola oil, nuts, and flax seeds are healthy fats with essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Both of these nutrients contain disease-preventing agents necessary for those with sickle cell anemia.

Whole grains
Whole grains like wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal are loaded with vital minerals and nutrients like B vitamins, fiber, and folate. These help improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, and help produce healthy red blood cells in the body.

Lean meats like chicken, fatty fish like salmon, and even an occasional slab of red meat are healthy sickle cell anemia nutrition options. They contain protein, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids that help decrease inflammation, boost immune function, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Colorful fruits like bananas, oranges, kiwis, peaches, and lemons are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Patients must eat different verities every day to ensure they get the benefits of everything.

Like fruits, patients must also have plenty of veggies, mainly dark leafy options like spinach and kale, and colorful veggies like peppers. They provide a good amount of fiber, folate, and potassium that help protect the body from infections, lower blood pressure, and maintain skin and eye health.

Milk and milk products
Low-fat milk and milk products like cheese and yogurt provide vitamin D and calcium, both of which are essential for stronger bones. They also contain nutrients like potassium which can help improve heart health.

Like meat, beans, too, are an excellent source of protein, zinc, and iron, all of which are essential for the proper functioning of the body. Beans such as pinto, kidney, great northern, and peas like chickpeas, black-eyed, and pigeon are a few options for sickle cell anemia.

Staying hydrated helps prevent red blood cells from sickling. It also helps cool the body and facilitates critical processes like digestion more effectively. Patients should drink at least eight to ten glasses of water every day.