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Thalassemia diet the dos and donts

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Thalassemia is a disorder subjected to the blood which is a genetic disease, lent down through inheritance, irrespective of age groups. Thalassemia leads to an insufficient amount of haemoglobin which hampers the normal the functioning of the body. Haemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells which is responsible to carry oxygen in the body for its effective functioning. As a result of thalassemia affecting the haemoglobin count, a person suffering through this disorder suffers through fatigue, weakness, paleness and anaemia. Though thalassemia is absolutely non-curable, there is a special diet recommended to lessen the symptoms:

 

Foods to be eaten:

1] Cereals:

Cereals including soy, rice, maize, etc, when consumed along with milk help tremendously in reducing the absorption of iron from the constituents of food composition. This enhances the level of haemoglobin in the body. However, these cereals aren’t to be consumed with vitamin C.

 

2] Calcium:

Calcium proves to be one of the major sources of nutrient-rich food which help in strengthening the bones and body functioning. Since thalassemia leads to weakness and tiredness, calcium provided diet is highly recommended. A rich source of calcium is almonds.

 

3] Dairy Products:

Since, dairy products like cheese, milk, cottage cheese, yoghurt, etc decreases the absorption of iron in the body, it is beneficial for thalassemia. However, these products are to be consumed as per the composition of fat. Low-fat products are advised to avoid weight gain.

 

4] Tea and Coffee:

Tea and coffee reduce the absorption of iron. In addition, it mostly is the inclusion of dairy product – milk. Hence, thalassemia patients can drink tea and coffee in calculative abundance.

 

Foods to be avoided:

1] Watermelon:

Watermelon is a fruit which constitutes a favourite element in summer. However, watermelon is highly rich in the nutrient – iron. It is also a major absorbent of iron; hence watermelon is absolutely eliminated from thalassemia diet.

 

2] Dates:

Dates are often recommended to people suffering from low haemoglobin count. However, it is a fact that dates are highly supplied with iron and hence to be avoided in case of thalassemia.

 

3] Beans:

Beans such as kidney beans, soybeans, chickpeas, etc are high in iron content. However, it should be noted that soybeans when taken with milk add onto the prescribed thalassemia – diet.

 

4] Raisins:

Raises are major sources for minerals as well as of Vitamin C. However, it should be avoided by thalassemia patients.

 

In addition to the recommended diet, thalassemia patients should exercise regularly which would help them to boost energy level as well as activeness. Though, this disorder has no cure but chronic associated symptoms can be avoided to a good extent by following the needful steps.

 

For more, consult our diet expert Miss Belly

 

Written by–

Padma Lekhi