Haemoglobin is basically the chemical present in red blood cells that carries oxygen from lungs to other parts of our body. Haemoglobin is made up of two main components namely heme and globin. Globin is protein and heme is iron.
An adult man must have haemoglobin in the range of 14 to 18 mg/dl and an adult woman requires 12 to 16 mg/dl. Haemoglobin deficiency leads to weakness, fatigue, pale skin, rapid heartbeat, poor appetite, headache, dizziness, shortness in breath, and brittle skin. Severe deficiency may result in anaemia.
Compared to men, women are most likely to suffer with haemoglobin deficiency due to menstrual bleeding, pregnancy and other related conditions.
Haemoglobin is indispensable for a healthy life and it is fortunate that it can be increased naturally by adding certain foods to our daily diet plan.
Superfoods to improve haemoglobin levels
Beetroot juice is an excellent home remedy to increase haemoglobin levels. Beetroots are great sources of iron that helps to increase blood count and blood flow.
Beetroot leaves contain vitamins A and C. Lack of these two vitamins also leads to anemia. Drinking beetroot juice along with its roots and leaves are the best way to improve haemoglobin.
Preparation of beetroot juice
- Take two medium sized beetroots.
- Wash them well.
- Peel off and cut into pieces.
- Put them in blender.
- Wash beetroot leaves and roots. Put these in the blender.
- Blend well.
- Pour the entire juice in a glass.
- Drink without adding sugar. (Beetroot is naturally sweet)
To make it healthier, you can also add apple, carrot, and other fruits and vegetables of your preference.
Pomegranates boost haemoglobin production and also improve blood circulation. Regular consumption of pomegranate juice increases the red blood cells in the body.
Preparation of pomegranate juice
- Wash a pomegranate.
- Cut from the top to remove the crown.
- Take out one cup of seeds.
- Put it in a blender jar.
- Add ½ cup water.
- Blend it for few minutes to break the seeds.
- Filter the juice. You can use a strainer or a clean cloth to strain.
- Pour the juice into a glass.
- Drink without adding sugar.
Drinking freshly prepared juice gives you more vitamins, antioxidants and also helps to improve blood circulation.
A meager 100 grams of roasted pumpkin seeds contains 15 mg of iron which means 83% of daily recommended value. Raw pumpkin seeds are a better way to eat.
This way you get lot of nutrients which also helps to improve the haemoglobin level.
Vitamin C rich foods
Deficiency of vitamin C leads to deficiency of haemoglobin. Vitamin B- complex is needed to make red blood cells. Proper intake of vitamin C rich fruits like strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, papaya, kiwi, guava and folic acid rich foods like dried beans, sprouts, peas, pineapple, peanuts and lentils also help to overcome haemoglobin deficiency.
All nuts have sufficient iron content in them, but almonds are great sources of iron. One ounce of almonds provides 6% of iron. When compared to other nuts, almonds are cheapest and are also easily available.
Dates are an incredible source of iron and energy. 250g of dates contain 3 mg of iron which means 16% of daily recommended value. Dates are low in cholesterol and fat, so it is highly recommended for pregnant women to boost their stamina.
Spinach is a great source of calcium, vitamin A, B9, iron, fibre, and beta carotene. All these help in improving overall health. Spinach contains 3.2 mg of iron which is 20% of the daily recommended value.
Ways to consume spinach
- Add to green vegetable salads.
- Boil spinach leaves in a cup of water, add necessary ingredients to make a healthy soup and drink when warm.
Chocolate is beneficial for increasing the haemoglobin level. The cocoa in dark chocolate contains 70% iron that helps in reducing anemia and increases haemoglobin production.
Fish also helps in preventing anemia due to the presence of iron in it. The popular fatty fishes like salmon, oysters, tuna, and mussels are rich in iron and hence help in increasing haemoglobin levels naturally. Tuna contains B vitamins that are key in the formation of red blood cells.
Watermelon is filled with 90% water but is also rich in iron and other nutrients. It contains vitamin C that helps the body to absorb iron quickly. It is beneficial for pregnant women to improve their energy levels. This fruit is however not suitable for pregnant mothers who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes (very small quantities wouldn’t hurt)
You can use fresh green leafy vegetables such as Swiss chard, spinach, beet greens, kale, and fenugreek leaves to balance the level of calcium as well as haemoglobin.
Legumes are rich in iron. Legumes include chickpeas, red kidney beans, black beans, soya nuts, black eyed peas and fava beans. Regular intake of legumes gradually increases your iron level. Those who suffer from gastric issues can limit their consumption to thrice a week.