Hemoglobin is a protein found in our red blood cells. It has a rich iron content in it.
The most important function of this protein is transporting oxygen to each cell and tissue of our body. This oxygen carrier pigment is formed in the bone marrow. Our blood appears red because of hemoglobin only.
Its main function is to transfer oxygen from lungs to tissues and carbon dioxide from the tissue back in the lungs. In this process, the iron portion of hemoglobin is attached to the oxygen of the lungs and forms a temporary oxy-hemoglobin particle.
When it reaches the tissues, where the oxygen concentration is low and carbon dioxide is increased, oxy-hemoglobin breaks and releases oxygen. Then it binds with the carbon dioxide and takes it out to the lungs with circulating blood. The carbon dioxide then exits the lungs in the exhalation. The process of exchanging oxygen with the blood keeps us alive and functioning.
Oxygen is fuel for the body. What is more, we will not be able to absorb energy from the food we eat without oxygen in the system. It’s the hemoglobin in our blood that carries oxygen from the air we breathe to each organ in the body.
What happens when Hemoglobin is low?
Reduced levels of hemoglobin can weaken the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen and other nutrients. A reduced supply of oxygen to the brain and other vital organs can be fatal and cause many health issues. The symptoms of decreased hemoglobin levels begin with feeling tired, dizzy and having low energy. Furthermore, pale color of skin is also an indicator of low hemoglobin levels.
Even more serious health problems such as kidney dysfunction, lack of blood, lack of nutrition, blood marrow problems, tumors, etc. can be caused by low hemoglobin. What is more, the condition can become serious if the person suffers blood loss due to an injury.
How to Increase Hemoglobin Levels?
Fortunately, we can overcome hemoglobin deficiency easily with a healthy diet. Food contains many nutrients that keep the body healthy and give it strength. We should include fruit and vegetables that promote hemoglobin in our diet. What we need to increase hemoglobin is eating vegetables, fruit, pulses and do regular exercise. Here are some foods which are really effective in increasing the levels of Hemoglobin:
Spinach contains plenty of iron and vitamin B12. What is more, spinach is also a high source of folic acid. Eating spinach is the best way to increase hemoglobin levels. Include spinach in your daily diet. Make spinach soup to enjoy its health benefits.
Pomegranate is very effective in increasing the hemoglobin levels fast. It contains high amounts of protein and carbohydrate. It also contains iron and calcium. Eat pomegranates in the morning on an empty stomach to treat anemia or drink pomegranate juice daily. It improves blood circulation by increasing the amount of hemoglobin in the blood rapidly.
As you can get a lot of iron from spinach and pomegranates, it also important that your body absorbs the elemental iron. Tomatoes play an important role in this. They are rich in vitamin C, thus they increase the body’s acceptability to iron. Eat two raw tomatoes daily. Drink a glass of tomato juice and include plenty of tomatoes in your cooking and salads.
Dates are a rich source of iron as well. Just 100-gram dates contain 90 mg of iron. Soak 2 dates in a cup of milk (non-dairy) overnight. In the morning, eat the soaked dates on an empty stomach. Drink the milk as well. If you are allergic to milk and other dairy products, you can use water instead. Soak the dates in warm water for 2-3 hours and eat them after that. Drinking the water is also beneficial for increasing of the hemoglobin levels.
Beetroot and Apple Juice
Apples contain a good amount of iron, while beetroot is a rich source of folic acid. A combination of apples and beetroots is an awesome remedy to increase hemoglobin. Mix one cup of beetroot juice and one cup of apple juice. Add a teaspoon of honey and drink this twice a day.
Dried fruits like raisins, walnuts, almonds also help to increase iron levels fast. Raisins are a good home remedy to fight anemia. They contain a high amount of nutrients such as iron, protein, fiber and sodium. Soak 10 to 15 raisins in a cup of water overnight. The next morning, mix some honey with the soaked raisins and eat the mix.
Honey is also a rich source of iron and vitamin B12. Eating honey regularly is beneficial for anemic patients. You can consume it by mixing it with fruit salads, sandwiches, non-dairy milk. Honey also has natural antibiotic properties.
A fully ripe guava is more nutritious than a raw one. Guavas contain a good amount of iron. They are a tasty remedy for the ladies with low hemoglobin.
Elements That Increase Hemoglobin
Iron is most important when it comes to fighting hemoglobin deficiency. Our bodies contain 3 to 5 gm of iron. Peanuts, fenugreek, dates, almonds, millet, sorghum, whole grains are a good sources of iron. Food items made of wheat and mixed grain are also beneficial. Apart from this, dairy products also increase hemoglobin. Eating peanuts with Jaggery together brings benefits quickly.
Vitamin C is essential for the absorption of the iron element in the body. Without Vitamin C, all the iron content of food goes to waste. Hence it is equally important to consume vitamin-rich foods along with iron-rich foods. Orange, papaya, lemon, strawberries and broccoli are some of the best sources of vitamin C.
Proteins support the vitamin C in the absorption of iron from digested foods. As we said earlier, hemoglobin is also a protein. Include foods like chicken meat, fish, green peas and pulses to get the required daily amount or proteins in your diet.
Foods That Inhibit Absorption of Iron
Eggs are also a good source of protein. But, if you suffer from hemoglobin deficiency, eating eggs is not advised. This is because of the chemical called phosvitin protein found in eggs. Researchers show that this protein inhibits the absorption of iron in the body. This phenomenon is also known as the “Egg Factor”.
In addition, products such as coffee, tea, cola, wine, beer, over-the-counter antacids, calcium-rich foods, or calcium supplements reduce the body’s ability to absorb the iron. So, if your hemoglobin level is low then you should avoid consuming these food products.
Medication to Increase Hemoglobin
A patient can be given iron and other nutritional supplements in the form of medication. What is more, if needed, a blood transfusion can also be done to maintain the hemoglobin levels. However, prevention is better than cure. Why take medicines and go through transfusion when you can increase hemoglobin levels with healthy food.
Hemoglobin is very important for the body, its deficiency reduces the ability for oxygen to be carried around the body. Due to which the number of red blood cells decreases in the body and anemia occurs. Most of the kidney problems are due to hemoglobin deficiency.
What is more, low levels of hemoglobin can also be caused by vitamin C deficiency because the body does not absorb the iron in the right amount. Therefore, with eating food containing vitamin C, the hemoglobin level can be corrected.