World Thalassemia Day, also known as International Thalassaemia Day is celebrated annually on May 8. This day commemorates the battle fought by thalassemia patients who fight every day against this disease to lead a better life. This day is observed by the Thalassaemia International Federation (TIF). World Thalassemia Day is also celebrated to honour scientists who strive hard every single day to ensure an improved quality of life to people with thalassaemia across the world. The theme for this year World Thalassemia Day is, 'The Dawning of a new era for Thalassaemia'. On the occasion of World Thalassemia Day 2020, we will share a list of five food items that Thalassemia patients must avoid.

What is Thalassaemia?

Thalassaemia disease is a type of blood disorder where red blood cells get destroyed causing difficulty in the formation of haemoglobin which can cause anaemia. It is also a genetic disease which gets transferred from parents to children. People who are suffering from thalassemia can manage the condition by avoiding eating foods which are rich in iodine. Overload of iron can be possible in thalassemia patients who require a regular blood transfusion. The iron from chronic blood transfusions gets stored in the liver. A dangerous situation can arise if iron from the gut is absorbed. Also, after the liver stores are full, the iron begins to accumulate in heart and pituitary gland. While suffering from thalassemia foods high in iron content should be avoided. Also, foods rich in vitamin C which helps in the absorption of iron should not be eaten.

Foods to Be Avoided By Thalassaemia Patients

1.  It might come as a surprise, but watermelon falls under the list of foods to be avoided if suffering from thalassaemia. This fruit is high in vitamin C and also contain iron which does not go well for thalassemia patients.

2. Dates are rich in iron and only recommended for people with low haemoglobin count. Therefore, this dry fruit should strictly be avoided by thalassemia patients.

3.  Green leafy vegetables though healthy, but for thalassemia patients, they are not ideal. Spinach, kale and broccoli should not be included in the list of meals for people suffering from this blood disorder disease.

4. Red meats like beef, mutton liver are a strict no for thalassaemia patients as they are high in iron content.

5. Pulses like chickpeas, black-eyed peas, pigeon peas to name a few also contain a decent amount of iron, hence should be avoided by thalassemia patients.

People suffering from non-transfused intermedia thalassemia can have tea along with meals as it helps in decreasing the absorption of iron. Apart from this, people suffering from thalassemia should eat foods rich in calcium and vitamin E. For calcium, it is safe to take dairy products, while for vitamin E nuts, cereals and eggs should be included in the diet. On World Thalassemia Day 2020, TIF will conduct online activities to raise awareness of thalassemia. Also, since the world is hit by coronavirus pandemic, so TIF will also give knowledge on how COVID-19 situation can have an impact on thalassemia patients.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 08, 2020 10:00 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website