Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein present in red blood cells and is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. It is necessary to maintain normal levels of hemoglobin in your blood for your body to function properly i.e. 14 to 18 g/dl for adult men and 12 to 16 g/dl for adult women. When the level of hemoglobin drops, it can cause weakness, fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness, poor appetite and rapid heartbeat. If the level of hemoglobin decreases significantly, the condition may be diagnosed as anemia and symptoms can become severe.
7 Ways to Increase Hemoglobin:
1. Eat Iron-Rich Foods:
Iron deficiency is the most common cause of low hemoglobin levels.The top iron rich foods include green leafy vegetables like spinach, beetroot, tofu, asparagus, chicken liver, whole egg, oysters, apple, pomegranate, apricot, watermelon, prunes, pumpkin seeds, dates, almonds, raisins, amla and jaggery.
2. Increase Vitamin C Intake:
It is important to have a combination of both iron and vitamin C as the latter is a carrier rich molecule that can be used for better absorption of iron.Eat foods rich in vitamin C such as oranges, lemon, strawberries, papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, grapefruit and tomatoes.
3. Increase Folic Acid Intake:
Folic acid, a B-complex vitamin, is required to make red blood cells and a folic acid deficiency automatically leads to a low level of hemoglobin. Some good food sources of folic acid are green leafy vegetables, sprouts, dried beans, wheat germ, peanuts, bananas, broccoli and chicken liver.Beetroot is also highly recommended to increase the body’s red blood cell count as it is high in folic acid as well as iron, potassium and fiber.
4. An Apple (or Pomegranate) a Day Keeps The Doctor Away:
An apple a day can help maintain a normal level, since apples are rich in iron plus other health-friendly components that are required for a healthy hemoglobin count. You can either eat 1 apple a day, or drink juice made with ½ cup each of apple and beetroot juice twice a day. Add a dash of ginger or lemon juice for extra flavour.Pomegranate is also rich in iron, calcium, fiber and protein. Its nutritional value can help increase hemoglobin and promote healthy blood flow.
5. Drink Nettle Tea:
“Nettle is a herb that is a good source of B vitamins, iron, vitamin C and can play a key role in raising your hemoglobin level.All you need to do, is add 2 teaspoons of dried nettle leaves to a cup of hot water and allow it to steep for 10 minutes. Then strain, and add a little honey. Drink this twice daily.
6. Avoid Iron Blockers:
Avoid eating foods that can block your body’s ability to absorb iron, especially if you have a low hemoglobin count i.e. coffee, tea, cola drinks, wine, beer, etc.
Moderate to high intensity workouts are highly recommended, because when you exercise – your body produces more hemoglobin to meet the increasing demand for oxygen throughout the body.
Credit: Voice of wadi