Anemia is a common condition that is characterized by a decrease in the number of healthy red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which is responsible for transporting oxygen to the cells of the body. Iron and folate are both essential nutrients that play an important role in red blood cell health. Iron deficiency is the most common form of anemia, and is caused by inadequate dietary intake or impaired absorption of iron (Davison et al., 2016). Iron plays an important role in the formation of hemoglobin, and a deficiency of iron can lead to a decrease in hemoglobin production, resulting in anemia. From Anita’s description, it is possible that she has low iron stores, as she has never had a problem donating blood before. She could benefit from incorporating more iron-rich foods into her diets, such as red meat, poultry, fish, fortified breakfast cereals, lentils, beans, or tofu (Nordqvist, 2016). Additionally, she could increase her absorption of iron by consuming vitamin C-rich foods, like citrus fruits and bell peppers, with her meals. Folate deficiency may also lead to anemia. Folate is necessary for the production of red blood cells, and its deficiency can interfere with the body’s ability to produce red blood cells (Vasudevan et al., 2018). From Anita’s description, it is unlikely that she is deficient in folate, as she eats a variety of fruits and vegetables and follows the Dietary Guidelines. However, she could further increase her folate intake by consuming more fortified grain products, legumes, and leafy greens like spinach and kale (McCann et al., 2022). Cont…
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