Are you feeling weak and dizzy? Getting breathless with little exertion? You may be suffering from anemia. Anemia is a condition in which the Hemoglobin (Hb Level) drops below a certain threshold. It impairs the ability of the blood to carry sufficient oxygen to the tissues and the organs which need it.
Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein present in red blood cells (RBCs). This protein is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to all tissues and organs throughout the body. It also carries carbon dioxide from the body to the lungs. In the absence of hemoglobin, the tissues are unable to efficiently use the aerobic metabolic process. Hence, generate the energy required for normal functioning resulting in weakness and fatigue, and severe death. The normal Hemoglobin level in blood is in the range of:
- 14 to 18 g/dl for adult men
- 12 to 16 g/dl for adult women
Why do Hemoglobin levels drop?
Anemia is a result of impaired production or excessive loss of RBCs. Sudden excessive blood loss due to any cause like trauma or surgery can lead to anemia. Replacing the lost volume solves the issue. More common causes of anemia due to blood loss are a result of more chronic and less severe bleeding like menstruation and gastrointestinal bleeding from ulcers and other diseases of the digestive tract.
However, more often anemia is a result of inadequate production of RBCs either due to nutritional deficiency of iron, folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin B12, or less frequently due to diseases affecting the bone marrow (RBCs are produced in the bone marrow) like cancer, kidney problems, arthritis, diabetes, etc.
Here are some natural ways to improve the Hemoglobin in blood:
As the old saying goes “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, it fits right here. Apples are rich in iron which is essential for a healthy Hemoglobin count. Eating an apple with its skin is the most effective, but you can opt for its juice along with beetroot, ginger, or lemon juice and drink it twice a day.
Beetroots are high in iron, folic acid, fiber, and potassium. Including it often in the diet helps to increase RBC count. Grate the beetroot and mix it with grated carrots, cabbage, onion, and tomato and eat it as a salad with olive oil or drink its juice once daily.
These are rich in iron, calcium, protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. Pomegranates are rich in vitamins A, C, and E and contain three times as many antioxidants as that green tea. Eat one medium-sized pomegranate or one glass of juice with breakfast.
Dates or dried dates
These are extremely nutritious. Along with iron, they contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A and B. And they are liked by kids too. Taking them regularly also boosts your energy levels.
It is available throughout the year and contains vitamins B and C, iron, carbohydrates, and potassium. This fruit increases your Hb level and stamina without increasing fat.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are a great source of iron and calcium. Fenugreek (methi), spinach (palak), etc. should be a part of your daily diet. They can be cooked alone or mixed with lentils and other vegetables or can be taken raw in salads or as soups.
Legumes & lentils
All types of legumes are rich in iron. Including soya, black-eyed peas, red kidney beans, etc. in your daily diet will gradually improve iron levels and help to energize you. Lentils like various daals, sesame seeds, and grains like bajra, maize, semolina, etc. are also rich in iron, so they can also be included.
Yogurt is rich in calcium and minerals. Regular intake of yogurt with a balanced diet can prevent a decrease in hemoglobin levels.
It is a rich source of iron, vitamin C, minerals, and other useful antioxidants.
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. They are eaten as it is or can add to salads.
Other Iron-Rich Foods
Other sources of iron are red meat, shrimp, tofu, liver, certain fish, almonds, fortified cereals, etc.
The vitality of Vitamin C
Just taking iron-rich foods isn’t enough, our body must absorb them fully. Vitamin C aids in this process. We can get vitamin C from papaya, oranges, lemon, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, grapefruit, tomatoes, spinach, kiwi fruit, spearmint leaves, basil leaves, coriander leaves, bay leaves, etc.
Folic Acid and Vitamin B12
Low Hemoglobin levels are due to folic acid and vitamin B12 deficiency as well. Liver, green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, fortified cereals, peanuts, bananas, and broccoli are all good sources of folic acid.
Try to include exercise in your daily routine. When you exercise, the body demands more oxygen throughout the body, encouraging the production of more Hemoglobin.