Harish Jharia

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21 July 2012

Health: 8 Foods for keeping Sickle Cell Patients healthy

© Harish Jharia 

We know that sickle cell disease is not really a disease because no bacteria or viruses are responsible for it. In fact this is a congenital / genetic / hereditary (जन्मजात / वंशानुगत) ailment that comes along with the patient at the time of birth.  The patient carries sickle shaped red blood cells instead of donut type circular shaped ones. Therefore, there are no known medicines to cure sickle cell disease, except for bone marrow transplant. 

Nevertheless, sickle cell patients can live a normal life by following certain specific ways of life, taking precautions and eating selected foods. In this article we are going to discuss 8 suitable foods that will help to improve blood circulation and enhance the production of red blood cells to quite some extent. 

Sickle cell patients may include at least two of the following 8 foods in their daily food intake.  They should completely stop taking all types of fatty foods and red meats and should minimize the intake of fat-less chicken to 4 to 3 times a month. 

Here are the eight foods:
  1. Green leafy vegetables, हरी पत्तेदार सब्जियां: Green, leafy vegetables like Kale (एक प्रकार की गोभी), Spinach (पालक), Bok Choy, Turnip Greens (पत्ते सहित शलगम) and pretty much every vegetable with its leaves are good for keeping you healthy.  You may take plenty of vegetables like cabbage (बन्दगोभी), mustard greens (सरसों का साग), onions (प्याज), radishes (मूली, गाजर).  They are high in folic acid and help in improving appetite, cell production, growth and red blood cell formation

  2. Beetroots, चुकंदर: Beetroots are high in iron that helps building the blood and oxygenation of the body. Beetroots have an added advantage of detoxifying the kidneys, liver and bladder. This is essentially needed for you since you are on so many ‘other’ harsh medicines. 
  3. Brown Rice, बिना पालिश किया चावल: If rice is your staple food, then switch-over to brown rice. This is one of the most energetically balanced foods. It strengthens the lungs and the spleen.

  4. Garlic (लहसुन): Garlic is a great immune system builder. It relieves cramps and helps to expel cold and dampness from your body by increasing your inner body temperature. It is just wonderful and works like a bodyguard.  
  5. More Veggies: Diets high in meats (मांसाहारी भोजन) and fatty foods tend to make sickle cell patients go into more problems. You  should try to eliminate meat from your diet completely and if required take fatless chicken or fish 4 to 3 times a month.

  6. Lentils and Coarse grains: Also take enough kidney beans (राजमा), lentils (दालें जैसे मसूर की दाल) and the coarse grains like sorghum (ज्वार), millet (बाजरा कोदों, कुटकी जैसा मोटा अन्न) for making a balanced diet for you.

  7. Cayenne Pepper, लालमिर्च: Red chilli (लालमिर्च) is another great detoxifier. It strengthens your immune system, disperses congestion, clears your sinuses, expels cold and helps to calm abdominal pains by dilating (widening) the veins/arteries in the abdomen, increasing blood circulation and thereby improving oxygenation. You might like to sprinkle it on almost everything. 
  8. Root vegetables: Root veggies like carrots (गाजर), potatoes (आलू), sweet potatoes (शकरकन्द), yams (जिमीकंद, सूरन, रतालू), yucca root, African yam, cassava and anything from that family are known for preventing sickling. They also help in increasing red blood cell production. You can bake, steam, juice or broil (भूनना) them. As long as you don’t deep-fry them they will help you in fighting the disease.  Making indian salads (सलाद), curries (सब्जी) and bharta (भरता) are fine.  
Read more about Sickle Cell Disease:
  1. Sickle Cell Anemia: Disease, Reasons, precautions and care: http://www.discovery-of-life.com/2012/07/sickle-cell-anemia-disease-reasons.html
  2. Crazy ideas: Better Respiratory Conditions for Sufferers of Sickle Cell Disease: http://www.discovery-of-life.com/2012/07/crazy-ideas-better-respiratory.html
  3. A Serious Blood complication : Sickle Cell Anemia (सिकल सैल एनीमिया /हँसिया सैल एनीमिया): http://www.discovery-of-life.com/2012/06/serious-blood-complication-sickle-cell.html
This article is written based on my personal observations and on the information collected from the media. My intention for publishing the same is to provide healthy reading and intellectual entertainment and not for educating the visitors. No literature or authentic books have been referred for writing the contents of this article. The visitors are advised not to refer the contents of this article for any research or testimony on athletic or legal purposes. The visitors are further advised to consult relevant experts before adapting any information from this article. The author or the website are not responsible for any errors, mistakes, or omissions there in. 
- Harish Jharia


  1. Thank you for sharing a very informative and much needed post. There are lots of people like me who suffer from this disease and they need to improve their diets to compensate deficiency.

  2. Health is the thing which we focus very less but actually it requires more attention. These tips are very useful to keep a healthy body and mind. Foods could be best cure.