Anaemia refers to a variety of conditions in which the concentration of haemoglobin, an oxygen carrying molecule in the blood, is reduced. Common symptoms of anaemia are tiredness and fatigue. The most common causes of anaemia are iron deficiency, folate deficiency and/or vitamin B12 deficiency (pernicious anaemia).
Iron deficiency anaemia is the most common anaemia in Australia and can be caused by inadequate intake of iron containing foods. Iron containing foods include red meat, seafood, poultry, wholegrain breads and cereals, nuts, legumes and green leafy vegetables. The iron from meat, seafood and poultry is better absorbed than that from plant foods.
Another type of anaemia is pernicious anaemia which occurs when the body lacks intrinsic factor (the substance that helps the body absorb vitamin B12 from food). Pernicious anaemia is a result of vitamin B12 deficiency.