Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein component of our blood that is needed for the processing of oxygen transfer from the lungs and to the organs and tissues in our body. Also, it serves to carry carbon dioxide, which is a metabolic waste product—away from the cells and back to the lungs to be exhaled.
Although there are many reasons such as bone marrow defects, blood loss, kidney problems, cancer and use of certain drugs that can cause low levels of hemoglobin, nutritional deficiency of folic acid, iron, vitamin B12 and and vitamin C, is the most common reason for low haemoglobin levels.
Deficiency of each of these can be corrected by adding healthy foods into your diet. Below are 9 natural ways to improve your hemoglobin level.
1. Blackstrap Molasses
A folk remedy that is used to fight anemia and increase your hemoglobin level is blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap molasses has folate, iron and many B vitamins that can help increase red blood cell production efficiently.
You can mix 2 teaspoons each of apple cider vinegar and blackstrap molasses in 1 cup of water. Drink this once daily.
Chitosan is structurally similar to cellulose, which is a complex carbohydrate found in plants, and which consists of glucose molecules connected to one another. This substance is mainly found within the exoskeleton of shrimp, prawns, crab and other shellfish.
But it is best taken as a supplement. Not only that, but clinical studies have shown that shrimp can help lower cholesterol levels and urea, and help you lose excess fat.
3. Consume Iron-Rich Foods
According to the National Anemia Action Council, iron deficiency is the most common cause of low hemoglobin levels. The top iron rich foods include green leafy vegetables includingbeetroot, spinach, asparagus, tofu, whole egg, chicken liver, apple, oysters, apricot, pomegranate, prunes, watermelon, dates, pumpkin seeds, raisins and almonds.
4. Eat Apple Daily
Consuming an apple a day can help maintain a normal level of hemoglobin. This is because apples are rich in iron and other health-friendly components that are needed for a healthy hemoglobin count.
You can either eat 1 apple a day or you can drink juice made with ½ cup each of apple and beetroot juice at least twice a day. You can add a dash of ginger or lemon juice for extra flavour.
Moderate to high intensity workouts are highly recommended when you to increase your hemoglobin level. This is because when you exercise, your body produces more hemoglobin to meet the increasing demand for oxygen throughout the body.
6. Fenugreek Seeds
Cook 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds with your evening meal every night, and add a little rice, for 15 days to help your increase hemoglobin levels.
7. Increase Vitamin C Intake
Low hemoglobin levels due to a deficiency of vitamin C can be corrected by consuming more foods rich in vitamin C. Iron cannot be fully absorbed by your body without the help of this vitamin.
Eat foods rich in vitamin C including oranges, papaya, strawberries, lemon, broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes, grapefruit and spinach. Also, you can take vitamin C supplements after consulting your doctor.
8. Increase Folic Acid Intake
Folic acid, a B-complex vitamin, is needed to make red blood cells. A folic acid deficiency leads to a low level of hemoglobin.
Some great food sources of folic acid are sprouts, green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, dried beans, bananas, peanuts, chicken liver and broccoli. Beetroot is also highly recommended to increase your body’s red blood cell count, as it is high in folic acid and iron, as well as fiber, potassium and fiber.
Almonds have the highest iron content. Just 1 ounce of almonds daily provides 6% of iron.
photo credit: hifihealthcare