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Medically Approved

6 drinks that can help with anemia

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Prune juiceBeetroot juiceSpinach smoothiesKale smoothiesPea protein shakesCacao smoothiesSummary
Iron deficiency anemia occurs when red blood cells lack the iron to create enough hemoglobin. There are several drinks that may help with this by boosting your iron intake.
Medically reviewed by Kim Rose-Francis RDN, CDCES, LD
Written by D. M. Pollock
Updated on

Anemia is a condition that can occur when you do not have enough hemoglobin in your red blood cells. This can lead to your body not receiving enough oxygen, which can result in you feeling faint and fatigued.

This condition is the most common blood disorder affecting over 3 million people in the United States.

Following the recommendations of a healthcare professional is important to help manage anemia. This could include taking supplements and changing your diet.

If your condition is severe, a healthcare professional may suggest you get intravenous (IV) iron infusions, such as ferric gluconate (Ferrlecit). You can help support the function of these medications by increasing the amount of iron-rich foods in your diet.

One way to do this is by increasing your iron intake through beverages. This provides an easy way to get the minerals and dietary support your body needs.

Read on to learn more about the different drink options you can try to increase the amount of iron in your diet.

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1. Prune juice

An image of prunes in a bowl.
930739920DevidDO/Getty Images

Prunes are a nutrient-rich fruit and a very good source of non-heme iron. Non-heme iron is a type of iron that is found in plants.

Just 1 cup of prune juice contains just over 3 milligrams (mg) of iron, which is 17% of the daily iron requirement.

Prunes also contain the antioxidant polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidant compounds that can help boost your digestion and cardiovascular health.

2. Beetroot juice

Beetroots are root vegetables that contain high concentrations of iron. Incorporating beetroots into your diet may help boost your iron intake.

Beetroots are rich in iron, and they can be a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins. A cup of raw beetroots contains just over 6.6% of your daily vitamin C requirement.

Drinking raw beetroot juice daily can be a great way of incorporating iron into your diet and can also be beneficial in lowering blood pressure levels.

3. Spinach smoothies

Smoothies are a great way to pack lots of minerals and vitamins into your daily diet. Spinach contains non-heme iron, along with other dark leafy vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. 3 cups of spinach contain 2 mg of iron.

Spinach also contains minerals such as magnesium and calcium.

There are many ways to incorporate spinach into your smoothies. Try combining spinach with the following fruits for a great-tasting smoothie:

  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • citrus
  • kiwi
  • papaya

4. Kale smoothies

Adding kale to your smoothies is another way to increase your iron intake. For every 100 g of kale, there is around 1.6 mg of iron. 1 cup of kale can provide 12.9 g of your required daily fiber intake.

Consider adding kale to meals alongside other vegetables that are high in vitamin C, such as tomatoes and bell peppers.

5. Pea protein shakes

Pea protein is a convenient and effective way to increase how much protein you fit into your daily diet. It is cruelty-free and versatile, which can be beneficial if you are a vegetarian or vegan as it can help implement enough protein into your diet.

It also has a high iron content. A 20-g serving of organic yellow pea protein powder contains 30% of your daily requirements of iron. This is unique to pea protein.

Combining pea protein into smoothies with other iron-rich ingredients like spinach and kale can provide a boost to help increase your daily iron intake.

6. Cacao smoothies

Cacao solids are known as a superfood and contain a very high quantity of minerals and vitamins. You can buy cacao as a powder, meaning you can add it to your favorite smoothies.

For every 2 tablespoons of organic cacao powder, you consume 4 mg of iron. This makes up 20% of your daily recommendation for iron intake.

Be careful what time of day you choose to drink your cacao smoothies. Cacao does contain some caffeine, so you may want to replace your morning coffee with a cacao smoothie to prevent it from interfering with your sleep.

Summary

Following an iron-rich diet may be beneficial if you have anemia. Trying out some of these drinks may help you with symptoms while being convenient and tasty.

These drinks have many other health benefits, such as increasing your potassium and magnesium intake, which are important minerals needed for good body function.

It is important to follow the recommendations of a healthcare professional, such as continuing to get IV iron treatments alongside any dietary strategies.

Download the free Optum Perks Discount Card to save up to 80% on some prescription medications.

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