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7 Day Anemia Diet Meal Plan (PDF & Menu)

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Anemia means that you don’t have enough red blood cells or haemoglobin in your body. This causes your body to not enough have oxygen.

There are various types of anemia, but the most common is iron deficiency anemia (IDA). It can be caused by many factors, but it commonly caused by a lack of iron in your diet or blood loss.

With insufficient iron, your body can not create enough haemoglobin that carries the oxygen throughout the body. Because of this, iron anemia can leave you tired and short of breath.

An iron deficiency anemia diet should have both heme and non-heme iron source, such as meat, poultry, seafood, leafy vegetables, legumes and nuts. Other nutrients are also needed so that the body can absorb iron better.

This article will cover everything you need to know about following a anemia diet and give you a sample 7 day diet plan plan to follow that contains daily meals and a shopping list.

You can jump straight into the 7 day pdf of the plan here.

View 7 Day Anaemia Diet Plan PDF

Foods High in Iron

There are various foods that contain good amounts of iron. These include:

  • Dark leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, collard greens, broccoli)
  • Nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, cashews, pistachios, pine nuts)
  • Meat (beef, lamb, venison, poultry, liver)
  • Seafood (shellfish, oysters, shrimps, sardines, tuna, salmon)
  • Beans and pulses (kidney beans, chickpeas, soybeans, black beans, peas)
  • Iron-fortified foods (cereals, orange juice, bread)

You should aim to get iron from a variety of different sources, since absorption rates can differ depending on particular factors. For examples, some dark leafy greens contain oxalates, which reduces iron absorption. 

Heme vs Non-heme Iron

Heme iron is found in animal products like meat, poultry and seafood, wheres non-heme is found in vegetarian options like nuts, legumes, seeds and vegetables.

The body absorbs heme-iron better than non-heme iron. However, other factors can affect how non-heme iron is absorbed. For example, eating vitamin C with iron at the same meal can improve absorption.

However, bran fiber and large amounts of calcium, particularly when taken as a supplement, can reduce absorption of non-heme iron.

Groups at Risk of Iron Anemia Deficiency

  • Menstruating women – if a woman bleeds heavily during menstruation, iron deficiency aneamia can develop
  • Children and teenagers – because of their rapid growth, they have higher iron needs
  • Elderly (over 65) – older people often have poorer nutrition and chronic inflammatory diseases that can result inanemia
  • Vegetarians – heme iron is better absorbed but is only found in meat, fish and poultry. Non-heme iron sources are available, but are generally found in smaller amounts. If someone doesn’t eat sufficient non-heme sources, then a person may need to eat more of these sources or give more attention to how they eat it (e.g eat more vitamin C foods with iron, eating less calcium with iron)
  • Pregnant women – during pregnancy, more red blood cells and therefore, haemoglobin is needed for the fetus. Creating haemoglobin requires iron. IDA during pregnancy can cause low birth weights, so supplementation is often advised.
  • People with poor diets
  • People who donate blood often
  • High performance and endurance athletes (e.g marathon runners)

Tips for an Anemia Diet Plan

  • Eat fewer foods or beverages that stop iron absorption. These include coffee or tea, eggs, foods high in oxalates, and foods high in calcium.
  • Eat iron-rich with foods high in vitamin C. Vitamin C can help absorption of iron. Foods high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries and tomatoes.
  • Eat a variety heme and non-heme iron foods. Heme iron sources include meat, fish and poultry, whereas non-heme sources include leafy green vegetables and legumes.
  • Eat folate and vitamin B-12 rich foods. These help support red blood cell production. Folate and vitamin B-12 rich foods include meat and seafood, as well as dairy products like cheese and eggs.

Foods to Limit on an Anemia Diet

Certain foods can affect iron absorption such as

  • Tea and coffee
  • Milk and some dairy products
  • Foods that have tannins (e.g grapes and corn)
  • Foods that have phytates (e.g brown rice)
  • Foods that have oxalic acid (e.g peanuts and chocolate)

What’s the Best Diet for an Anemia Diet

It has been ranked the number 1 diet according to the U.S. News & World Report for multiple years, primarily because of the health benefits and because of how easy it is to follow.

However, it does contain a medium amount of carbs, which as noted in the previous section, can have a greater impact on blood sugar levels as a low GI diet.

However, with just a few small changes, it can work with both. This is done primarily reducing the amount of carbs but choosing healthy, low GI foods

The Mediterranean diet is a balanced way of eating that is recommended by doctors and health professionals. It has many studies backing its use for its health benefits and sustainable weight loss.

Because it is easy to follow, it is also a good option to lose weight, as it isn’t a diet that is too restrictive and difficult to follow.

Many credible organizations suggest following a Mediterranean diet for longevity and health. These include:

Many studies find very positive feedback from people following the Mediterranean diet across a number of different health markers. We’ve listed some studies alongside the health conditions below.

  • Lower risk of cardiovascular events, coronary heart disease,  (16, 17)
  • Lower risk of coronary heart disease (18, 19)
  • Lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (20)
  • Lower risk of breast cancer (21)
  • Lower risk of obesity (22)
  • Better cognitive function (23)

7 Day Anemia Diet Meal Plan

This meal plan will follow a Mediterranean-style diet with lower amounts of carbohydrates. Foods that are higher in carbs will be healthy choices like vegetables, fruits, legumes and beans.

Anemia Diet Sample Menu

In the meal plan are recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

BreakfastLunchDinner
MondayBasil & Spinach ScrambleMixed Bean Salad Salmon Harrisa Yogurt
TuesdaySardines on ToastPanzanella SaladGreek Salad Omelette
WednesdayBerry SmoothieTomato & Watermelon SaladGrilled Aubergine Slices with Hummus
ThursdayBasil & Spinach ScrambleGreek SaladChicken & Peach Fusion
FridaySardines on ToastCarrot, Orange & Avocado SaladSpicy Tomato Baked Eggs
SaturdayBerry SmoothieTomato & Feta OmeletteMoussaka
SundayBasil & Spinach ScrambleMoussaka (leftovers)Chicken & Avocado Salad

Snacks are recommended between meal times. Some great snacks include:

  • A handful of nuts or seeds
  • A piece of fruit
  • Carrots or baby carrots
  • Berries or grapes

Each day contains less than 100g of carbs.

View 7 Day Anaemia Diet Plan PDF

Anemia Diet Recipes

Day 1: Monday

Breakfast: Basil & Spinach ScrambleBasil and Spinach Scramble

Nutrition

  • Calories – 294
  • Protein – 16g
  • Carbs – 8g
  • Fat – 24g

Prep & cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g cherry tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • 60ml milk
  • handful basil, chopped
  • 200g baby spinach
  • black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the tomatoes. While they are cooking, beat the eggs in a jug and add the milk, black pepper, and basil.
  2. Remove the tomatoes from the pan and place on the plates. Add the oil, spinach and egg mixture to the pan, stirring occasionally until the eggs scramble. Once set, add to the plates and serve.

Lunch: Mixed Bean Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 240
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 22g
  • Fat – 12g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 145g jar artichoke heart in oil
  • ½ tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • 200g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 150g pack tomatoes, quartered
  • Handful Kalamata black olives
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Drain the jar of artichokes, reserving 1-2 tbsp of oil. Add the oil, sun-dried tomato paste and vinegar and stir until smooth. Season to taste.
  2. Chop the artichokes and tip into a bowl. Add the cannellini beans, tomatoes, olives, spring onions and half of the feta cheese. Stir in the artichoke oil mixture and tip into a serving bowl. Crumble over the remaining feta cheese, then serve.

Dinner: Salmon Harissa Yogurt

Nutrition

  • Calories – 485
  • Protein – 48g
  • Carbs – 34g
  • Fat – 12g

Prep & cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 50g couscous
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • small bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus a pinch
  • 200ml hot vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 170g Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Heat the grill. Put the couscous, sultanas, most of the coriander, 1 tsp cinnamon & seasoning into a bowl. Pour over hot vegetable stock and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix together cinnamon, honey & oil. Put salmon on a baking tray, spread over the honey mixture and season. Cook under grill for 8 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, swirl together the harissa and yogurt. Fluff up the couscous with a fork and serve with the fish and yogurt. Sprinkle with the remaining coriander.

View 7 Day Anaemia Diet Plan PDF

Day 2: Tuesday

Breakfast: Sardines on Toast

Nutrition

  • Calories – 269
  • Protein – 15g
  • Carbs – 22g
  • Fat – 13g

Prep & cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, chopped and deseeded
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 x 120g cans of sardines in olive oil
  • 2 slices of brown bread
  • small bunch of parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan, cook onions for a few minutes before adding the garlic, red chilli and lemon zest.
  2. Add sardines and heat for a few minutes until warm.
  3. Toast the bread. Add parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice to the sardines. Divide between toast before serving.

Lunch: Panzanella Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 452
  • Protein – 6g
  • Carbs – 37g
  • Fat – 25g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 400g tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ripe avocado, stoned, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 slices of brown bread
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • small handful basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Chop the tomatoes and put them in a bowl. Season well and add the garlic, capers, avocado and onion. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, tear the bread into chunks and place in a bowl. Drizzle over half of the olive oil and half of the vinegar. When ready to serve, scatter tomatoes and basil leaves and drizzle with remaining oil and vinegar. Stir before serving.

Dinner: Greek Salad OmeletteGreek Salad Omelette

Nutrition

  • Calories – 369
  • Protein – 15g
  • Carbs – 10g
  • Fat – 21g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 4 eggs
  • handful of parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 100g cherry tomato,
  • handful black olives
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Heat the grill to high. Whisk the eggs in a bowl with the chopped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat the oil in a frying pan, then fry the onion over a high heat for about 4 minutes until they start to brown. Add the tomatoes and olives and cook for about 2 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to medium & add the eggs, cooking them for about 2 minutes, stirring until they begin to set. Add feta, then place the pan under the grill for 5-6 minutes until the omelette is golden. Cut into wedges and serve.

View 7 Day Anaemia Diet Plan PDF

Day 3: Wednesday

Breakfast: Berry Smoothie

Nutrition

  • Calories – 207
  • Protein – 15g
  • Carbs – 27g
  • Fat – 4g

Prep & cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 250g frozen berries
  • 250g Greek yogurt
  • 50ml milk
  • 15g porridge oats
  • 2 tsp honey (optional)

Instructions

  1. Whizz berries, yogurt and milk together until smooth. Stir through porridge oats and pour into glasses. Serve with a drizzle of honey.

Lunch: Tomato and Watermelon SaladWatermelon & Tomato Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 177
  • Protein – 5g
  • Carbs – 13g
  • Fat – 13g

Prep time + cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 120g tomatoes, chopped
  • 250g watermelon, cut into chunks
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. For the dressing, Mix the oil, vinegar, chilli flakes and mint and then season.
  2. Put the tomatoes and watermelon into a bowl. Pour over the dressing, add the feta, then serve.

Dinner: Grilled Aubergine Slices with Hummus

Nutrition

  • Calories – 552
  • Protein – 17g
  • Carbs – 49g
  • Fat – 37g

Prep & cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 aubergine, sliced lengthways
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 slices brown bread
  • 150g hummus
  • 50g walnuts, toasted
  • 40g parsley, leaves chopped
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • juice ½ lemon

Instructions

  1. Lay aubergine on baking sheet. Add olive oil, then season. Grill for 15 minutes, turning twice until cooked through. Whiz bread into crumbs.
  2. Spread hummus on aubergine slices. Tip breadcrumbs onto a plate, then press the hummus side of the aubergine into the crumbs to coat. Grill again, crumbside up, for 3 minutes. until golden.
  3. Add walnuts, parsley & tomatoes in a bowl, season, then add lemon juice. Serve with salad.

View 7 Day Anaemia Diet Plan PDF

Day 4: Thursday

Breakfast: Basil and Spinach Scramble

Lunch: Greek Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 273
  • Protein – 6g
  • Carbs – 14g
  • Fat – 24g

Prep & cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 120g tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded, then roughly chopped
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 16 Kalamata olives
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and lightly season.
  2. Serve with wholemeal bread (optional)

Dinner: Chicken & Peach Fusion

Nutrition

  • Calories – 384
  • Protein – 26g
  • Carbs – 20g
  • Fat – 22g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 200g chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ripe peaches, stoned and cut into quarters
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tbsp clear honey
  • ½ red chilli, finely chopped
  • 55g bag herb salad
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled
  • Broccoli/green beans to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat a frying pan. Place the chicken in ½ tbsp of oil, and season. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through. Add to a plate.
  2. Place peach slices in ½ tbsp oil with black pepper. Grill for 1-2 minutes each side.
  3. Mix the remaining olive oil, vinegar, honey and chilli. Toss with the salad leaves. Arrange the chicken with the peach slices on top and scatter with feta before serving.

View 7 Day Anaemia Diet Plan PDF

Day 5: Friday

Breakfast: Sardines on Toast

Lunch: Carrot, Orange & Avocado

Nutrition

  • Calories – 177
  • Protein – 5g
  • Carbs – 13g
  • Fat – 13g

Prep time + cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 orange, plus zest and juice of 1
  • 2 carrots, halved lengthways and sliced with a peeler
  • 35g bag rocket (arugula)
  • 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cut the segments from 1 of the oranges and put in a bowl with the carrots, rocket and avocado. Whisk together the orange juice, zest and oil. Toss through the salad, and season.

Dinner: Spicy Tomato Baked Eggs

Nutrition

  • Calories – 417
  • Protein – 19g
  • Carbs – 45g
  • Fat – 17g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded & chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • small bunch coriander, stalks and leaves chopped separately
  • 800g can cherry tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • brown bread, to serve

View 7 Day Anaemia Diet Plan PDF

Day 6: Saturday

Breakfast: Berry Smoothie

Lunch: Tomato & Feta Omelette

Nutrition

  • Calories – 320
  • Protein – 19g
  • Carbs – 21g
  • Fat – 20g

Prep & cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled
  • mixed salad leaves, to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the eggs and cook, swirling them occasionally. After a few minutes, scatter the feta and tomatoes. Cook for another minute before serving.

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan with a lid, then cook the onions, chili, garlic and coriander stalks for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the tomatoes, then simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Using the back of a large spoon, make 4 dips in the sauce, then crack an egg into each one. Put a lid on the pan, then cook over a low heat for 6-8 mins, until the eggs are done to your liking. Scatter with the coriander leaves and serve with bread.

Dinner: Moussaka

Nutrition

  • Calories – 457
  • Protein – 36g
  • Carbs – 18g
  • Fat – 24g

Prep time + cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 aubergine
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g pack feta cheese, crumbled
  • Fresh mint
  • Brown bread, to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft. Add the mince and fry for 3-4 minutes until browned.
  2. Tip the tomatoes into the pan and stir in the tomato purée and cinnamon, then season. Leave the mince to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the aubergine half way through.
  3. Sprinkle the feta and dried mint over the mince. Serve with toasted bread.

View 7 Day Anaemia Diet Plan PDF

Day 7: Sunday

Breakfast: Basil and Spinach Scramble

Lunch: Moussaka (leftovers)

Dinner: Chicken & Avocado Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories -396
  • Protein – 31g
  • Carbs – 15g
  • Fat – 26g

Prep time + cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 2 skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tsp olive oil (1 for the salad)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 120g tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat grill to medium. Rub the chicken with 1 tsp of the olive oil and the paprika. Cook for 4-5 minutes each side until lightly charred and cooked through.
  2. Mix the salad ingredients together, season and add the rest of the oil. Thickly slice the chicken and serve with the salad.

Anemia Diet Shopping List

This shopping list corresponds exactly to the 7-day diet plan, serving 2 people. No snacks are included.

7 Day Low Carb Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

Get the full PDF of the meal plan and shopping list here.

View 7 Day Anaemia Diet Plan PDF

Life After the Meal Plan

Find more recipes on our site

Your journey doesn’t end after 7 days of healthy recipes for anemia. It’s about finding recipes that can become staples in your household and creating eating habits that actually last.

We’ve got plenty of recipes online already. Just use the search function on our home page if you’re looking for a specific ingredient or check out our recipe page.

Disclosure

We would like to take a moment to note that this post is for information purposes only. It does not claim to provide medical advice or to be able to treat any medical condition. It makes no claims in respect to weight loss, either in terms of the amount or rate at which weight loss could be achieved. If you have any concerns regarding your health please contact your medical practitioner before making changes.