Hey, hello! i'm an 18 yr old girl and pretty underweight for my age due to anemia and such problems. My problem is not wanting to be skinny. It's wanting to get rid of this skinny body and gain muscle weight so that I can live the dream of being a runner and actually practice some serious workouts without feeling dizzy and nauseous. I suppose more than exercise first, I need proper diet. Could give me a few basic ideas and tips? Thank you!
Hi! Have you and your doctor determined the cause of your anemia? (For other readers: most anemia is caused by a vitamin deficiency in Vitamin B, Folic Acid, and/or Vitamin C but can be a symptom of inherited or other chronic disease). From my nutrition course, I learned that a common way to improve conditions by diet is by consuming foods rich in iron, Vitamin C, B vitamins, and folic acid within a meal. Some foods include:
- Vitamin C: This one’s easy…oranges, grapefruit, mango, berries, tomatoes, bell peppers
- Folic Acid: leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, mustard greens), and grains (quinoa, wheatberry), sweet potato, beans, lentils
- Vitamin B12: Red meat, whole eggs, yogurt, milk, cheese, nutritional yeast, fortified cereals, liver (I actually really love pâté de foie gras…)
- Breakfast: fortified cereal, milk, and an orange
- Lunch: Spinach or kale salad with cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, almonds, egg slices, balsamic vinegar and oil dressing
- Dinner: lean beef and string bean sautee, quinoa
- Snacks: Almonds, crudites (snap peas, bell peppers, cauliflower), whole grain toast
- Desserts: Greek yogurt with blueberries and/or strawberries.
Exercise! The good news is that cardio exercise like running helps to produce more red blood cells which can reduce anemia. Please talk to your doctor soon about what types and how much you can start out with. You want to get this done to have a fun and active summer!
Again for my other readers: People do not just develop anemia overnight; A person who eats meat has a 2-3 year supply of Vitamin B12 in their liver. Vegetarians and vegans who are not getting enough Vitamin B12 (which naturally comes from animal products) can have symptoms after ~5 years after they have depleted their liver supply (pernicious anemia).
Helpful links: http://www.webmd.com/diet/iron-rich-foods
Good luck and hope you can start running soon =) You’ll accomplish your dream I know it!