People who get to know from their blood report that their haemoglobin levels are low often want to know what could be the reason and how to get the levels back to normal.
Haemoglobin is an iron containing protein in blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. The normal level of haemoglobin in blood is 14-18 mg/dl for men and 12-16 mg/dl for women.
The most common reason for low haemoglobin levels is nutritional deficiences. Deficiency of Iron, folic acid, vitamin C and Vitamin B12 causes low haemoglobin levels. But several reasons like blood loss, bone marrow defects, cancer, kidney problems and use of certain drugs can also lower the levels.
Depending on what caused your haemoglobin levels to lower your doctor might prescribe your iron and vitamin supplements to improve the levels.
But these supplements may take a longer time stabilize your haemoglobin and you cannot take them forever. So in the long run these few dietary changes may help you to keep your haemoglobin levels healthy naturally.
Ways to increase the haemoglobin levels
Low haemoglobin levels due to iron deficiency anaemia can be corrected by including iron rich sources in your diet. Leafy vegetables like spinach and fenugreek leaves, beans and lentils like massor daal, chole, moong dal, toor dal, urad daal, rajma. Asparagus and sesame seeds are other good sources of iron. Grains like barley, rice semolina, bajra and maize can also be included. You could use combination of any of these sources to cool the delicious iron rich recipes. If not munch on dried fruits such as almonds, dried peaches or raisins. If you are non-vegetarian then meat and fish are the best sources of iron.
Vitamin C rich foods help the body to absorb iron from foods. Low haemoglobin levels due to deficiency of Vitamin C can be corrected by eating fruits like guava, kiwi, papaya, oranges, strawberries and grapefruits. You can enjoy them together by making a delicious fruit salad or a mixed fruit juice. Vitamin C rich
Vegetable includes capsicum, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes and spinach.
If your haemoglobin count is low because your body is not producing sufficient red blood cells then you could be defienct in folic acid Complex vitamin that is required to make red blood cells. Sources of folic acid include lentils, dried beans, peas, Brussels sprouts, banana, corn, beets, pineapple and peanuts.
Another way is to add dried herbs to your diet which will increase the absorption of iron. Especially coriander, spearmint, basil, chervil, dried parsley, bay leaf may be helpful.
If you are deficient in Iron then you should avoid having calcium rich food like milk and cheese. They block the absorption of iron. Don’t drink too much of coffee, tea and alcohol either. Foods containing gluten like pastas and wheat products also cause anaemia.
Sometimes foods such as parsley that are rich in oxalic acid may also interfere with the absorption of iron. Have all these in limited quantities.