Hemoglobin fulfills the important function of transporting oxygen from the lungs to our blood and tissues, in addition to being the protein responsible for our blood having an intense red color. Maintaining adequate hemoglobin levels is essential to guarantee our health and keep us free from conditions such as anemia.
When we have low hemoglobin, we can suffer from symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and extreme tiredness. That is why it is essential to take steps to raise it. Making various adjustments to our diet may be the key to achieving this. This time, in a HOWTO, we will talk about foods to raise hemoglobin that will help you.
How to raise hemoglobin
Blood tests can tell us what our blood hemoglobin value is. Knowing this count is important because it will help us determine if hemoglobin is low or high and if the body is getting the oxygen it needs. Later, the doctor will decide what the best treatment to continue to attack the causes that have originated the low hemoglobin. Do you suspect that your hemoglobin level is altered? Check our article where we explain what are the normal values of hemoglobin in the blood.
Now, how to raise the hemoglobin will depend on why the hemoglobin is low. One of the causes of low hemoglobin It is the deficiency of iron and other vitamins that are used by the bone marrow to create hemoglobin and other blood cells. This condition caused by a lack of iron is known as iron deficiency anemia. Humans get their daily servings of iron from the food they eat. For this reason, ensuring that we are eating enough iron will be crucial to raising hemoglobin.
Other vitamins needed to understand how to raise hemoglobin They are the B complex vitamins and folic acid. A deficiency in these substances can cause the red blood cells made by the body to be defective.
On the other hand, there are times when the hemoglobin level does not drop due to a lack of iron, but due to the body’s inability to absorb the iron it consumes. In this case, the doctor will need to assess why it happens. Usually, in these cases, eating foods that optimize iron absorption, such as foods rich in vitamin C, can give extra help. All this will be key to knowing how to cure anemia quickly.
A doctor will be in charge of determining what is the cause of low hemoglobin in each patient. To know all the reasons behind low hemoglobin, we invite you to read our article what are the causes of low hemoglobin.
Foods to raise hemoglobin
A balanced diet that provides all the vitamins and minerals necessary for the proper functioning of the body is one of the most important treatments to cure anemia quickly. Between the foods to raise hemoglobin, there are all those that have iron, vitamins of the B complex, folate or folic acid and vitamin C.
List of foods rich in vitamin B12
The body absorbs vitamin B12 through two steps: in the first, hydrochloric acid from the stomach breaks down vitamin B12 from food; in the second, vitamin B12 is combined with a substance called “intrinsic factor” found in the stomach, so that the body can absorb it effectively. A type of anemia called pernicious anemia occurs when the body fails to produce intrinsic factor. Among the foods to raise hemoglobin that contain vitamin B12, are:
- Bovine liver
- Bird meat
- Dairy products and eggs
- Food products fortified with vitamin B12, such as certain cereals and nutritional yeasts
Adults need a recommended amount of 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day. In pregnant women and adolescents, this figure rises to 2.6 mcg.
List of foods rich in folic acid
Folate is a B vitamin that we can find in many foods. Its synthesized form, called folic acid, is used in fortified foods and nutritional supplements. Folate is used to create blood cells, and a lack of it in the body can cause megaloblastic anemia. To raise hemoglobin, foods rich in folate like these will be good allies:
- Cow liver
- Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, spinach, mustard greens, and asparagus
- Fruits like oranges
- Beans and peas
Additionally, folic acid is commonly added to the following foods:
- Breakfast cereals
- Fortified corn flour
- Enriched bread
- Pasta and rice
Adults 19 years of age and older need a recommended amount of folate from 400 mcg. For their part, pregnant women and adolescents need 600 mcg.
List of foods rich in vitamin C
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, acts in the body as an antioxidant and improves the absorption of iron in the body. These are some food sources of vitamin C:
- Citric fruits
- Red and green peppers
- Vegetables like broccoli or potatoes
- Vitamin C fortified foods and drinks
Adult women require a daily average of 75 mg of vitamin C, while men require 90 mg. Teenagers and pregnant women need 80 and 85 mg, respectively.
List of foods rich in iron
When we talk about foods to raise hemoglobin, some of the most important are the foods with iron, as this mineral is essential for the production of hemoglobin. Therefore, it is recommended to incorporate these options into the diet:
- Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, soybeans and beans are the grains with the highest iron content
- Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, artichoke, and chard
- Whole grains
- Chicken, beef, turkey and pork
- Shellfish such as oysters, clams, mussels, or cockles
- Blue fish such as anchovies, sardines and anchovies
Iron in food comes in two forms: heme iron and non-heme iron. The first is of animal origin and is more easily absorbed by the body. The second is of plant origin and requires that its consumption be accompanied by foods that help the absorption of iron. In addition, there are dietary iron supplements that can also help raise hemoglobin.
For women 19 to 50 years of age, the recommended daily amount of iron is 18 mg, while that of men is 8 mg. Adults over 51 years of age will require a daily average of 8 mg. For their part, pregnant women and adolescents need some 27 mg.
For better absorption of iron, it is recommended that foods and supplements are consumed outside of meal times, preferably on an empty stomach. It is important to avoid taking iron supplements with dairy products, as calcium inhibits the absorption of iron. Coffee and tea are also iron inhibitors. Instead, it can be taken with orange juices or other fruits rich in vitamin C.
Fruits to raise hemoglobin
In many fruits, we can find a rich source of iron and vitamin C, so they can become good allies among foods to increase hemoglobin.
Fruits with iron
- Dried peaches
- Passion fruit
However, it is important to note that just eating fruits to raise hemoglobin will not be enough to cover the amount of iron we need each day.
Fruits with vitamin C
You can consume the whole fruits or prepare them in nutritious juices to raise hemoglobin that include other ingredients rich in iron, such as spinach.
Recipes to raise hemoglobin
One of the most natural treatments to raise hemoglobin in a healthy way is to eat a balanced diet. If you don’t know how to get started, here are some ideas for iron-rich recipes so you can start making your own diet to raise hemoglobin.
Beef in mushroom and tomato sauce
There is no denying the power of meats to raise hemoglobin, thanks to its high iron content. This juicy beef in sauce recipe is an ideal main dish for those looking to improve their hemoglobin levels. The ingredients you need to make it are:
- 2 beef steaks
- 1/2 onion
- 125 g of mushrooms
- 1/2 vegetable or chicken broth
Now, to prepare this recipe, follow these steps:
- Sprinkle the fillets with flour and brown them in a frying pan with oil
- Next, chop the onion into finely chunks and peel the carrots.
- Fillet the mushrooms and put everything in a pot with the tomato sauce, let it cook until it boils.
- Add the broth and the fillets with their juice. Turn off the fire once it is tender.
Between the recipes to raise hemoglobin, creamy lentils are a healthy and flavorful option. Although they contain non-heme iron, which is more difficult to absorb, this recipe also includes ingredients rich in vitamin C that will help the body take advantage of all the iron in these …