Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that is present in your red blood cells. The primary function of hemoglobin is to carry oxygen throughout your body . The protein transports oxygen from your lungs, to the tissues. That way, living cells can perform properly.
The role of hemoglobin is crucial for a healthy life . Therefore, it is necessary to maintain normal levels of hemoglobin in your blood. Sometimes, people experience loss of blood and low hemoglobin levels due to various levels. Some people are naturally anemic. In any case, there are ways for how to increase hemoglobin. The first way is to take some iron supplements. And the other is to reach for natural remedies that will help you boost your hemoglobin production.
What is the normal level?
A blood test will reveal the levels of hemoglobin in your blood . Once you look at the blood test, you will know whether you need to boost the production or not.
Here are the normal levels of hemoglobin:
- 14 to 18 g/dl for adult men
- 12 to 16 g/dl for adult women
Bear in mind, these values can vary slightly due to different methods and measurements of different laboratories. But a value below 10 is considered low in every laboratory. Women experience low hemoglobin during pregnancy and during their periods. But there are other reasons for low hemoglobin. Among the common causes, you can look at diseases like diabetes, arthritis, kidney problems, stomach ulcers, digestive tract diseases, cancer, and diseases affecting the bone marrow. With that in mind, how to increase hemoglobin naturally?
Why you need hemoglobin?
Everyone needs iron . However, some people are susceptible to low hemoglobin. If the levels of hemoglobin drop significantly, the condition is diagnosed as anemia. Symptoms can become severe, and you might experience fatigue, dizziness, loss of energy, muscle cramps, difficulty concentrating, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, headache, migraines, unusually rapid heartbeat, pale skin, and insomnia.
Low hemoglobin levels can also happen due to blood loss from surgery or trauma and frequent blood donation. The good news is that you can easily find a way for how to increase hemoglobin and iron levels in your blood. Depending on the hemoglobin levels, and your blood type, it will take different length of time to restore hemoglobin to normal levels.
Why avoid iron supplements?
The quickest way to get hemoglobin up to the normal levels is to take some iron supplements. But similar as with other over the counter medicine, iron supplements carry their own set of risks . Iron supplements can upset your stomach and cause constipation.
Therefore, you will need to use them in combination with stool softeners. You can also take iron supplements in combination with food, but that will affect how much iron your body will absorb. Your body absorbs 60% less iron if you take the supplements in combination with food.
Therefore, a natural way to get iron to increase hemoglobin levels is often a better option.
Consume iron rich foods
Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein. It is only logical that increasing iron consumption will increase hemoglobin levels. The National Anemia Action Council also notes that iron deficiency is the most common cause of low hemoglobin .
Therefore, your best option is to up consumption of iron rich foods. The question is what are those iron rich foods that help how to increase hemoglobin? Lean meat, especially red meat is the best option for upping your iron consumption. But you can also look at liver, shrimps, spinach (leafy greens), almonds, dates, oysters, nuts, pumpkin seeds, lean turkey meat, quinoa, shellfish, fortified cereals, lentils, and asparagus.
Increase folic acid intake
Folic acid is another important compound in the production of hemoglobin. For those that have experienced pregnancy, you probably remember those folic acid supplements . But there is a way to up your folic acid consumption in a natural way.
The best sources of folic acid include leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale), sprouts, peanuts, bananas, broccoli, dried beans, and chicken liver. Notice that leafy greens are a good source of folic acid, iron, and also vitamin C, another important ingredient in hemoglobin production. Just add some spinach or kale to your daily smoothie recipe, and you’ll see an increase of iron.
Up your vitamin C consumption
Sometimes, low hemoglobin is a result of deficiency in vitamin C . You can easily correct it with consumption of vitamin C rich foods. It is also worth noting that vitamin C helps your body absorb iron properly. Without vitamin C, your body cannot absorb iron .
That being said, some foods high in vitamin C are papaya, citrus fruits (grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime), strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, bell peppers, kiwi, and guava fruit.
Beetroots deserve its own paragraph as a method for how to increase hemoglobin . Beetroot is high in iron, folic acid, vitamin C, but also fiber and potassium. Thanks to its nutritional profile, beetroot helps our body produce red blood cells and increase their count.
You can cook beetroots in a number of ways. The simplest and easiest is to prepare a healthy juice or smoothie with one beetroot, two to three carrots, and half a sweet potato. Drink this beverage once per day. You can also add grated beetroots to salads. If you want, you can roast them on the stove, or cook them in a microwave.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away is an age old saying. We all know it. But what makes apple so great and beneficial for our health ? Well, for starters, apples are fruits rich in iron, vitamin C, but also loaded with fiber. Just eat one apple per day with its skin. If you have to choose, the best apples are the green apples. They contain the most vitamins and iron.
And if you like to take things to the next level, mix apples with beetroots and other fruits in a healthy juice.
Pomegranate is a bit of an underrated fruit . You might notice a pattern, all red fruits and vegetables are good for your hemoglobin. The same applies for pomegranate, a fruit that is rich in calcium, iron, protein, fiber, and many other vitamins and minerals. As such, pomegranate can help for how to increase hemoglobin .
In order to up your hemoglobin, you can mix two teaspoons of dried pomegranate seed powder with a glass of warm milk once per day. And of course, a natural way is to eat one medium-sized fruit per day. Pomegranate is best for breakfast.
Chokeberry is another berry that is often forgotten and underrated. Known popularly as aronia, the fruit is packed with vitamin C, iron, and antioxidants. The health benefits include improving digestion, protecting the immune system, improving eye health, slowing the effects of aging, prevention of cancer, and lowering blood pressure.
If you want to improve your hemoglobin levels, consume 10 chokeberries every morning .
This herb plays an important role in raising your hemoglobin. Nettles are a good source of iron, vitamin C, vitamin B, but also other nutrients that improve hemoglobin production . There are a couple of ways you can add more nettle to your daily diet.
For example, you can add two teaspoons of dried nettle leaves in a cup of hot water. Steep the tea for 10 minutes, and then strain. Add a little honey for taste, and drink your cup of nettle tea two times per day. Some people also prefer to add nettles to smoothies and juices.
The power of exercise
You are probably wondering, how can exercise help me raise my hemoglobin levels? Well, studies show that exercise increase hematocrit, blood cell volume in athletes. When we exercise, our body produces more hemoglobin in order to meet the increasing demand for oxygen. Therefore, practice some aerobic exercise every day.
The Best Hemoglobin Natural booster
This is a recipe that a friend of mine told me a while ago. This recipe will quickly up your hemoglobin and iron levels. You will also feel energized and ready to start the day.
What you need:
- 1 medium jar of honey
- 1 large empty jar
- 5 to 10 walnuts
- 5 to 10 almonds
- 2 tablespoons of nettle seeds
- 10 beans of aronia (chokeberry)
Grind the walnuts and almonds, and then add to blender. Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the honey) in a blender. Blend for a minute or two. Add the mixture along with honey in the large empty jar. Mix until you get a smooth paste. Take one tablespoon per day in the morning.
What not to do?
When you have low hemoglobin levels, what you consume is just as important as what you avoid. Now that we know what you can do to up your hemoglobin, let’s take a look at what to avoid and what not to do.
- Avoid iron blockers like coffee, tea, beer, wine
- Avoid calcium rich foods like dairy products and calcium supplements
- Stay away from foods containing gluten
- Stay away from over the counter antacids
- Last, but not least, take cold baths at least once per day to improve blood circulation