Our Iron Will: Healthy habits

Eating around the Rainbow

Healthy foods we eat have a variety of colors derived from the rich concentration of antioxidants in its skin and flesh. By eating a variety of foods of different colors throughout the day, you will be consuming more antioxidants.

Divide into portions a small plate

¼ for protein, ¼ for grain/carbohydrates and ½ for fruits & vegetables. If you ate all your meals this way, you would be taking many more vitamins and minerals.26

The best way to get all of our nutrients is through our food

You may require certain supplements (e.g. vitamin D) in addition to your diet, but supplementation should not replace a healthy diet.26

Everyone should include healthy foods in their diet, especially with thalassaemia

The challenge comes in balancing iron intake with the need for essential vitamins and nutrients

When iron is avoided in the diet, zinc intake is frequently reduced; zinc is an essential nutrient that has been shown to be particularly beneficial to immune status, bone health, and growth in thalassaemia.27
The best nutrition advice is to strive for an overall healthy diet high in anti-oxidants which are important for reducing the damage that can be caused by the free iron in your body.28
A well-balance nutrition through nutrient-rich foods and appropriate use of supplements, where necessary, can improve your overall health. Your doctor will be able to guide you.28

Blood levels of several vitamins and minerals are often low in individuals with Sickle cell disease

During sickle cell crises, energy intake can be especially poor.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes will provide a greater proportion of essential nutrients and appropriate supplementation (1-3 times the recommended intakes for most essential nutrients) can prevent deficiency.
If you take an appropriate dose of zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and E or treatment with a combination of high-dose antioxidants you can reduce the percentage of irreversibly sickled cells. Discuss with your doctor how to balance your diet.29

Exercise is a cornerstone to both physical and mental well-being

A busy lifestyle along with frequent hospital visits can reduce time to exercise. Some patients may also experience pain and fatigue which are a physical barrier to exercise.
You should not wait to exercise until you feel you have enough energy: regular exercise will create the energy to continue. Time spent engaging in physical activity should be split between aerobic, muscle strengthening, and bone strengthening activities.
The recommendation is 150 minutes of moderate activity every week: joining a gym or taking a yoga or dance class can be a fun way to engage in physical activity.
You may be able to do more than you imagine.26

Patients & Caregivers: in case of need to report an adverse drug reaction, please refer to your physician, asking him to fill in and submit the relevant case report to the concerned Health Authority, according to the Pharmacovigilance requirements in force in your Country. Nevertheless, please be kindly reminded that each patient can report any such cases directly to the national reporting system.