You can prevent some forms of vitamin deficiency anemias by choosing a healthy diet that includes a variety of foods.
Foods rich in folate include:
Dark green leafy vegetables
Enriched grain products, such as bread, cereal, pasta and rice
Fruits and fruit juices
Foods rich in vitamin B-12 include:
Fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals
Milk, cheese and yogurt
Red and white meats and shellfish
Foods rich in vitamin C include:
Citrus fruits and juices
Most adults need these daily dietary amounts of the following vitamins:
Vitamin B-12, 2.4 micrograms (mcg)
Folate or folic acid, 400 mcg
Vitamin C, 75 to 90 milligrams
Pregnant and breast-feeding women may require more of each vitamin.
Consider a multivitamin
If you're concerned about getting enough vitamins from the food you eat, ask your doctor whether a multivitamin may be right for you. Most people get enough vitamins from the foods they eat. But if your diet is restricted, you may wish to take a multivitamin.
Smoking interferes with the absorption of nutrients, such as vitamin C, so it can raise your risk of a vitamin deficiency. If you smoke, quit. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you've tried to quit on your own and haven't been successful, talk with your doctor about strategies to help you quit.
Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all
Alcohol can contribute to vitamin deficiency anemia. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, moderate drinking is generally considered to be:
Two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger
One drink a day for men older than age 65
One drink a day for women of any age
A drink is 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of beer, 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine or 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of 80-proof distilled spirits.