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RO9 BloodDiseasesMonthBlood circulates through our body and delivers essential substances like oxygen and nutrients to the body cells. It also transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells. Blood is essential because there is no substitute for it. In order to create awareness and understanding in blood-related diseases, the month of September of every year is Blood Diseases Month by virtue of Proclamation No. 1833 signed on July 6, 2009, by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Accordingly, blood-diseases related to nutrition and environmental conditions continue to increase in prevalence and pose serious effects to Filipinos. The most common blood disorder is anemia, which is a condition where the body lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. In treating this type of blood disorder, it is important to increase the number of healthy red blood cells in the body. Another common blood disorder is hemophilia, which is a genetic disorder that affects the blood’s ability to clot due to low levels of blood-clotting proteins. Unfortunately, there is no cure yet for this condition. The only treatment available is replacement therapy, wherein concentrates of clotting factor VIII (for hemophilia A) and IX (for hemophilia B) are slowly dripped or injected into the vein.

According to the World Health Organization, one of the top ten cancers in the world is leukemia. It is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. Unfortunately, the causes of leukemia are still unknown. There are ways to keep your blood healthy. Changing your lifestyle especially your diet could help keep your blood on track and healthy. Here are some nutrients to keep your blood healthy:

1. Iron

Iron is important to increase the production of red blood cells. Food rich in iron are red meat, beans, cereals, tofu, dark chocolate, and dark green leafy vegetables. To enhance and for better iron adoption in the body, take vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits and vegetables with highest sources of vitamin C like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, tomato & tomato juice and cabbage.

2. Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential in normal development of stem cells into red blood cells. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, tuna fish, sweet potatoes, and dark green leafy vegetables. Since vitamin A is fat-soluble, the presence of dietary fat helps for better absorption in the body.

3. Vitamin B6 9 (known as pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6 supports the production of hemoglobin. This vitamin can be found in chicken, bananas, tomatoes, nuts, green beans, liver, and fish.

4. Vitamin B9 (folate or folic acid)

Vitamin B-9 is vital in making red blood cells. It also helps in protein metabolism and RNA/DNA production and repair. Vitamin B9 can be found in beans, liver, seafoods, fresh fruits, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli and lettuce.

5. Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)

Vitamin B12 keeps nerve tissues healthy and sustain blood cell production. Animal products such as fish, red meat, eggs, and dairy products like milk and cheese naturally contains vitamin B12

Red blood cells live about four months, so the body must constantly create new ones to replace the aged and dying cells. Proper nutrition ensures the body can produce new red blood cells. We do not want our families or ourselves to suffer from blood diseases so celebrating the Blood Diseases Month every September is one way to raise people’s awareness and understanding the blood-related diseases as well as educate the people on the nutrients needed to keep their blood healthy.

 

AA VI Cielo Katrina M. Mabalot

 

References:

1. “What is blood?” from https://www.oneblood.org/about-donating/blood-donor-basics/what-is-blood/

2. “September is blood diseases month” from http://pchrd.dost.gov.ph/index.php/events/6404-september-is-blood-diseases-month