Diet For Sickle Cell Anemia

yuccaApparently, people with sickle cell have lower levels of thiocyanate in their blood, a compound, and reduces ‘sickling’. This is evidenced by those SCD patients living in the Caribbean or African countries who have very few painful episodes, but once they move to the US…they have much more flare-ups. You need to continue the same diet you had back home, a diet rich in earthy foods like the following:



Foods Rich in Thiocyanate

African yam
alfalfa sprouts
bamboo shoot
bitter almond
Brussels sprouts
buffalo berry
elderberry flaxseed
lima bean
macadamia nuts
mustard green
radish sprouts
red clover

The supplement Dioscovite has thiocyanate as the active ingredient…so if you want to go that route, you can. Good luck!

Tosin Ola


  1. Battle M on June 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I am glad you posted this I was looking into good foods to eat I have SC Sickle Cell and well my family doesn’t know much about it I am the only person in my family to have it and I am 25 and I am trying to better myself by eating the right foods so I can minimize my attacks and remain as healthy as possible. I love all vegetable so that is no problem for me I think my biggest issue is drinking soda so I am ready to kick that habit….Thank you 🙂

  2. Ang on October 31, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Thank you so much for posting this!! My 4 year old little guy has SS Sickle Cell and it’s great to know I have other option’s of items to add to his diet. Who knew all these foods would be so benefitial .

  3. JIMBOAT on March 3, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    grains like millet sorghum are very rich in thiocyanates and cassava can be processed into garri which can store for months and still remain very good to eat…these foods with yam, cowpeas, groundnuts, and lots of green leafy vegeatbles can drastically reduce sickle cell attacks and enable victims live a happy fuller life.

  4. Necie on October 31, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I have SC disease and I would love to learn more about what to eat drink and exercises. I’m 36 and I have been going through and I’m tired of going through so I want to know what can I do to lower my crisises

  5. Blessed on April 3, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Loved the comment, I have a t7 year old teen boy that has SC. From toddler till now I have introducing him to the foods on this list. When younger, in and out of ER. With more millet & plaintains etc. less american diets = less crisis. When I question the doctors about these food list I ususally get the I don’t know look. I think I its all about the dollar bill in European medicine. We can’t take everything the doctor says like blood transfusions and hydration/medicines. These foods are here for our health. I buy lots of coco nut water 100% hydration. Wake up sickle cell patients there is a cure it’s what we eat., not in man . AMEN

  6. KUUKU on May 16, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    cassava is so very versatile that it can be used just like wheat flour for all the products u get from wheat but the world is not interested in championing that cause…so lets push that agenda for our own health bcos its so good against even cancer of all forms…

  7. resilient on October 13, 2015 at 2:26 am

    thanx for valuable comments..yes its in the food.sugarcane juice can be used as a sweetener in all the cold juices its also healthy has natural L-glutamine..i am from kenya and its really dissficult here ..still no aggressive support groups.i have a six year old SS warrior

  8. DoogieRN on January 25, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Yes and yes I am 38 years old living with Sickle Cell Anemia SS type. I am also a one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and a nurse and one who has learned about how Sickle Cell Anemia affects me. I went to a holistic practitioner and learned about my body and listening to what it need. Learning the subtle things I would or would not do that could illicit a crisis, learning my body’s early warning signs of an impending crisis. And though the journey learning all of that wasn’t easy or painless, it has been worth it. A nutritious and healthy eating habits with plenty of fluids, B vitamins, healthy meatss, fruits annd vegetables are the way to go with Sickle Cell Anemia, no doubt! Junk food and unhealthy fats and sugar tire our bodies out which are already tired from trying to correct itself from Sickles Cells doesn’t need any more work breaking down unhealthy substances that don’t provide the nutrients our body needs to function as ‘normally’ as it can. And smoking Marijuana and cigarettes and unhealthy lifestyle also adds to the struggle. Our bodies need as much energy to function and flow, with that comes less crisis!

  9. Jassy Bell on May 30, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    @Doogie RN I’m one of Jehovah’s Witnesses as well and I have an 11 month old daughter with sickle cell too and with the help of Jehovah I have been going the natural route with her. I give her a supplement called Evenflo for sickle cell patients. There’s herbs in it that have so many benefits. Please look it up.