Hemoglobin is the iron-containing protein found in Red Blood Cells (RBC). Its function is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all the tissues of the body and carbon dioxide back to the lungs. Hemoglobin Deficiency or Anemia is caused by the decrease in the number of red blood cells or by the decline in the ability of the blood to carry oxygen. The symptoms of this deficiency include tiredness, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, dizziness, headache, cold and pale skin, etc. Severe Anemia can also result in loss of consciousness, confusion, failure of the heart, and other vital organs.
What are normal Haemoglobin levels?
Hemoglobin is measured as a part of Complete Blood Count (CBC), the most common form of Blood Test a doctor usually does. Hemoglobin is measured in grams per deciliter (g/dL). The hemoglobin levels vary in women, men, and children. The normal hemoglobin levels are:
- Men 14 to 17.4 g/dL
- Women 12 to 16 g/dL
- Children 9.5 to 24.5 g/dL depending on their age.
However, the levels may vary if you live in high altitude areas, if you have done an extreme amount of exercise, or if you are pregnant.
Who does suffer from its deficiency?
Low hemoglobin is common among women who are pregnant or are menstruating, growing children, people who have recently undergone surgery, people who have suffered from heavy blood loss, people suffering from diseases related to the bone marrow, cancer, diabetes, kidney ailments, etc. The mainstream cause of low hemoglobin is nutritional deficiency.
Natural ways to increase your hemoglobin level
There are some foods which can help increase the hemoglobin levels. Their intake helps in maintaining right hemoglobin levels.
- Apple: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apple is rich in B-complex vitamins, vital in maintaining the red blood cells in perfect health. Apple has various other health benefits such as it helps in weight loss, reduces the risk of breast cancer, reduces the risk of diabetes, lowers bad cholesterol, decreases the risk of stroke, prevents dementia, etc. Eat an apple or drink a glass of apple juice every day to maintain the hemoglobin level.
- Pomegranate: Pomegranates are a natural source of Vitamin A, C, E, folic acid, and iron. It acts as a blood thinner and therefore helps in the proper circulation of blood in the body. It treats various risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, inflammatory activities, etc. Pomegranate has more antioxidant potential than Green Tea. So, start having a full pomegranate or drink a glass of its juice daily.
- Nettle: Nettle makes an excellent tonic for anemic people as it is rich in iron content. Along with that, it is a good source of Vitamin A, B, C, K, which increases the iron absorption capability of the body. Nettle is not eaten raw. It can be cooked as a vegetable or drank as nettle tea. Nettle teabags are readily available in the market.
- Sun-dried Tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes are a concentrated source of nutrients and are rich in iron. In 100g of this, 9.09mg iron is present, which is about 50% of the iron required daily, and so it goes beyond the category of “excellent source” as per the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). What better source of iron can you get? Include sun-dried tomatoes in your diet plan from today! They can be homemade or are readily available in the market.
- Seafood: The intake of iron can be increased by including seafood in your diet. Seafood is not only rich in iron but is also helpful in gaining Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Octopus contains as high as 9.5mg of iron in its 100g. The Seafood rich in iron are Clams, Oysters, Sardines, Shellfish, Tuna, Shrimps, etc.
- Eggs: According to a study, the intake of proteins is deeply related to hemoglobin formation. Eggs are a rich source of protein. The protein in egg white is very much responsible for the regeneration of hemoglobin. That’s why having eggs is a good option for building hemoglobin levels.
- Raisins: The iron content in raisins is 3mg per 100g of it. It is pretty much more than in other fruits and vegetables. It has various health benefits other than improving the hemoglobin level; Raisins purifies blood, regulates blood pressure, prevents hair loss, is suitable for bone health, miraculous for the digestive system, etc.
- Whole grains: Whole grains are a source of a variety of nutrients, including iron. They are rich in fiber, which is good for gastrointestinal health. Pieces of evidence point out that the consumption of whole grains is good for cardiovascular health and is also responsible for weight loss.
- Beetroot: It has been demonstrated in various studies that Beetroot does wonders to improve your hemoglobin level. In one such study, a group of adolescent girls was given beetroot juice every morning for 20 days, and after that, their hemoglobin levels were measured, and it was found that there was a significant improvement in their Hb levels.
- Mango: It has been observed through studies that Mangoes are useful for increasing hemoglobin in the blood. They are also anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are good at relieving constipation too. So, consume this delicious fruit to increase your hemoglobin levels.
- Green leafy vegetables: We have heard this a hundred times from our parents to include green leafy vegetables in our diet. They are a great source of iron. Spinach, Fenugreek Leaves is to be included in the daily diet to maintain hemoglobin levels. They have various other advantages such as diabetes prevention, good in calcium content so suitable for bones, lowers blood pressure, etc.
- Vitamin C rich food: Vitamin C is responsible for enhancing the iron absorption capability of the human body. So, if the intake of Vitamin C rich food is increased, the iron content in the body increases. Include Orange, Tomato, Papaya, Strawberry, Kiwi, etc. in your daily diet plan.
- Legumes: Legumes are a wealthy source of iron. Including legumes such as kidney beans, peas, lentils in your daily routine is helpful to increase the hemoglobin levels. They are a good option for iron intake in vegetarians.
- Red meat: It is a universally known fact that meat is a rich source of iron, especially red meat. It can be liver, ground beef, or chicken breast. It is the best way for the non-vegetarians to get their supply of iron.
Along with these, dates, watermelon, liver are also rich in iron. Include all of these in your diet plan and maintain the perfect Hemoglobin level!
- What to know about apples
- Apple health benefits
- Potent health effects of pomegranate
- Iron in sun-dried tomatoes
- Steamed octopus
- The relation of protein to hemoglobin building
- Effects of egg and vitamin A supplementation on hemoglobin
- A review of the dietary, health, and environmental status of whole-grain cereals
- Beetroot juice on hemoglobin among adolescent girls
- Effect of mango on hemoglobin
- The role of vitamin C in iron absorption