Anaemia is a decrease in haemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells, which alters their function. In prostate cancer, anaemia can arise for various reasons. Hormonal treatment may boost anaemia, as testosterone in men is one of the hormones responsible for synthesising red blood cells. The main symptom of anaemia is tiredness or feeling weak. In some cases, there may be a lack of iron, known as iron-deficiency anaemia, which is why patients should have a varied and balanced diet, ensuring an appropriate intake of iron-rich foods and enhancing its absorption.


Iron-rich animal-based foods:
  • White meat (lean): rabbit, turkey, chicken.
  • White and oily fish: sardines, sea bass, anchovies, etc.
  • Shellfish: mussels, clams, and cockles.
  • Eggs: hen and quail eggs.
Lean red meat (beef, horse, ox, lamb…) in moderation, maximum of one portion per week (125 g).
Iron-rich plant-based foods:
  • Cereals, such as wheat germ and bran.
  • Pulses, such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans.
  • Nuts and seeds, such as sesame, sunflower seeds, pistachios, and almonds.
  • Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and chard.
  • Enriched breakfast cereals.

To ensure iron absorption, when iron-rich foods or iron supplements are ingested, the following foods should be limited:

  • Whole-grain foods. If consumed, soak them for one hour before cooking, and then drain the water.
  • Dairy products: such as milk, yoghurt, or cheese.
  • Dark chocolate, cocoa, tea, and coffee.
  • Wine

Ensure that main meals contain, either as a starter, main course or side dish, foods with vitamin A or C, as they stimulate iron absorption:

  • Sources of vitamin A: cabbage, tomato, carrot, pepper, pumpkin…
  • Sources of vitamin C: citrus fruits (orange, tangerine, lemon), strawberries, kiwi, red pepper… A practical example is to season pulses with a squeeze of lemon.

If you follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, it is essential to seek advice from a registered dietitian to ensure sufficient iron intake.