Haemoglobin is a protein rich in iron and is found in red blood cells. The main function of haemoglobin is to carry oxygen throughout the body. In other words, it carries oxygen from the lungs to the other parts of the body so that the cells can carry on with their basic functions. It also carries carbon dioxide back to the lungs from those cells so that this gas can be exhaled.
Haemoglobin is important for maintaining a healthy life. The normal levels of haemoglobin in human body include:
• 14-18g/dl for adult men
• 12-16g/dl for adult women
Foods that improve haemoglobin
1. Consume iron-rich food products: According to National Anaemia Action Council, lack of iron is the most common cause behind low haemoglobin levels. To improve iron content in your blood, you can take asparagus, tofu, almonds, oysters, fortified breakfast cereals, liver, red meat, shrimp, spinach, dates and lentils. However, consult your doctor for the right intake, as too much consumption of iron may be harmful for your health.
2. Improve your vitamin C intake: Absorption of iron is improved if vitamin C is taken in adequate quantities. Lemon, tomatoes, papaya, oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, grapefruit, etc. are some of the fruits that are rich in vitamin C. In fact, if there is a deficiency of vitamin C in our blood, haemoglobin levels go down. You may also take vitamin supplements to improve haemoglobin in your body, but consult a doctor first.
3. Focus on food items rich in folic acid: This acid is basically vitamin B complex, which is required to make red blood cells. Food products that are rich in folic acid include rice, liver, breakfast cereals, sprouts, dried beans, wheat germ, peanuts etc. A diet comprising 200-400 milligrams of foliates is enough to supplement your Vitamin B needs.
4. Include beetroot as a part of your diet: Rich in iron, folic acid, fibres and potassium, beetroot helps in augmenting haemoglobin levels. Drinking beetroot juice daily increases the iron content in your red blood cells.
5. Have apples: They are rich in iron and if you have an apple daily, then your haemoglobin level will improve significantly. If possible, take a green apple with its skin. Apple juice mixed with beetroot juice has a marked effect on haemoglobin levels. You can also add some ginger or lemon juice to this mixture and have the concoction twice a day.
6. Eat blackstrap molasses: This food is rich in iron, vitamin, folic acid etc. and improves the haemoglobin level in your blood. Take 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses and apple cider vinegar each, mix them in a cup of water and drink this concoction once a day.