Hemoglobin present in the blood has a major responsibility of transferring oxygen from lungs to the other part of the body.Your body haemoglobin level should be maintained at an optimum level.You can increase the level of haemoglobin in the blood if its low by using natural remedies.
Have you ever wondered why your blood is red in colour? Why some people have darker red colour and some have bright reddish blood?
Well, the answer to that question is very simple.
Our blood contains 3 main types of cells which are Red Blood Cells (RBC) also known as Erythrocytes, White Blood Cells (WBC) also known as Leukocytes, and Platelets also known as Thrombocytes.
The Red Blood Cells or RBCs contain a special pigment known as Hemoglobin which imparts colour to our blood.
Let us see in short what this pigment is –
What Is Hemoglobin?
Hemoglobin is derived from two words “hem” which refers to iron and “globin” referring to protein. So, haemoglobin is made up of two parts that are iron and protein.
The iron part of haemoglobin imparts the characteristic red colour to our blood. Hemoglobin is denoted as Hb.
So, we can define Hemoglobin as a protein moiety of blood which helps to carry oxygen to all the cells of our body.
Hemoglobin is a very important part of red blood cells which maintains its shape. Its natural shape in concave and has no cell constituent present like nucleus is present in it which makes it easy for the RBCs to move through even the narrowest blood vessels.
Structure of RBCs
Hemoglobin is made up of four protein molecules or globulin chains that are connected together. The proper adult haemoglobin molecule contains two alpha-globulin chains and two beta-globulin chains.
In fetuses and infants, beta chains are not seen and the haemoglobin molecule is made up of two alpha chains and two gamma chains. As the baby grows, the gamma chains are gradually replaced by beta chains, forming the adult hemoglobin structure.
Functions of Hemoglobin:
- Hemoglobin has a natural maximum affinity and therefore attracts the most amount of oxygen and carries it forward to the furthermost cells.
- It helps in maintaining the shape of RBCs.
- The haemoglobin molecule exhibit cooperation mechanism which enables the Hb molecule to lose the bonded oxygen molecule at the cellular site and attach with carbon dioxide molecule to be delivered to the lungs.
- Imparts characteristic colour to the blood.
Normal count of Hemoglobin:
- Newborns: 17 to 22 gm./dL.
- Children: 11 to 13.5 gm./dL.
- Adult male: 14.5 to 18.5 gm./dL.
- Adult woman: 12 to 16 gm./dL.
- Men after medium age: 12.4 to 14.9 gm./dL.
- Women after middle age: 11.7 to 13.8 gm./dL.
When the Hemoglobin count decreases it points to an underlying disease and it is not at all healthy. The disorders which arise due to decrease in Hb count are-
Symptoms of Hemoglobin Deficiency:
- Being tired all the time or easy fatigue.
- Slow physical and mental development in children.
- Poor performance in school for children.
- Inflamed tongue (Glossitis).
- Problems in regulating proper body temperature.
- Poor immune system.
- Quick increase of breathing rate.
- Improper digestion.
Disorders due to Decreases in Hb count:
The most common type of Anemia is Sickle Cell Anemia. In this disease, the shape of the RBC changes to a half moon shaped or sickle-shaped. This makes it hard for the oxygen molecules to bind to it and move in the narrow blood vessels.
Thalassemia is caused when the production of haemoglobin chains is impaired. The most common forms affecting the alpha globin chain also known as Alpha Thalassemia or the beta globin chain also known as Beta Thalassemia.
Porphyria disorders usually affect the production of functional ‘hem’ molecules in haemoglobin. The ‘hem’ component is composed of a porphyrin ring complex and iron. Porphyria affects the production of a functional porphyrin complex through a genetic mutation at any one of the enzyme related steps involved in its production.
4. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a very harmful gas which is generally produced by burning incents sticks or burning oil lamps. CO has a greater affinity for haemoglobin than oxygen. It replaces all the oxygen in the blood and eventually, the person dies.
This usually happens when people sleep in a badly ventilated room with burning gas.
Now, we know how much important haemoglobin is for us. To maintain proper haemoglobin count in our blood we need to keep a regular check on it. If we see any decrease in the amount of haemoglobin, we should immediately take steps to take it back to normal.
So, the question arises how to increase hemoglobin?
How To Increase Hemoglobin Level Quickly?
1. Iron Supplement Pills:
The important part of haemoglobin is iron and that is why many doctors recommend some iron supplement pills available in the market. Iron deficiency directly causes a decrease in the count of haemoglobin. Let us see the popular ones of market-
a. Carbonyl Iron:
It is a dietary supplement, prescribed for iron deficiencies and iron deficiency anaemia. Brand names: Ebony, Evaglow.
b. Cyanocobalamin or Vitamin B12:
It is used for treating anaemia and folic acid deficiency and many more diseases. Brand names: Abiron, Adfe
c. Ferrous Sulfate:
It is useful for anaemia.
2. Dietary Changes:
Some fruits available in the market are one of the best natural sources of iron which will help to increase your Hb count.
i. Sun Dried Tomato:
100 gm. of tomato contains 9.1 mg of iron. Eat 2 tomatoes every day it increases your iron content easily.
It is not easy to eat the only sun dried tomatoes so include it in your daily curries and soups.
ii. Dried Apricots:
100 g of dried apricots contains 6.3 mg of iron. You can eat fresh apricots but by drying it you can store it for months and munch on them regularly.
100 g of raisins contain 3 mg of iron. It is considered as one of the best sources of iron. Eat it every day in the morning to increase the haemoglobin content.
100 g of persimmons contain 2.5 mg of iron. They are orange-colored seasonal fruits that resemble tomatoes.
100 g of mulberries contains 1.8 mg of iron.Mulberries are a great fruit to add to your iron-rich diet because they are great in taste and can be used either dried or fresh to garnish your dessert or spruce up that boring morning oatmeal.
100 g of dates contains 1 mg of iron. This is a high nutritional fruit and is often taken by pregnant women.
It is to be avoided by diabetics.
100 g of pomegranate contains 0.3 mg of iron. This fruit is so far the best fruit for haemoglobin reduced diseases. It contains a chemical known as punicalagin which protects the heart and blood vessels. It is said that one pomegranate a day keeps anaemia away!
100 g of watermelon contains 0.2 mg of iron. It is a refreshing summer fruit packed with a lot of nutrients. It is a great fruit for boosting your haemoglobin.
Since childhood, you must have heard the saying that ‘one apple a day keeps the doctor away!’ It is a very true saying as apple is rich in useful nutrients. Eat one apple daily to keep blood problems at bay.
Green veggies are always recommended for various diseases and as natural home remedies as they are packed with minerals and nutrients. The veggies good for haemoglobin boost are-
Add mushrooms in various recipes to have a diet which includes iron.
ii. Lemon Grass:
It is a widely used flavouring agent and a good source of iron. Use it more in your daily diet to improve haemoglobin count.
100 grams of green peas contain 1.4 mg of iron. Add peas in your daily veggies or eat them raw, depends on you, but it will help your haemoglobin a lot.
It is a widely hated food by your children but very useful for haemoglobin deficiency. Beans are rich in iron. Make it a soup or eat them in your veggies but do not skip it! The best source is Soybean.
Seen in the popular show Popeye, it is a very useful food ingredient. You can eat it as a veggie or juice it up and make a delicious smoothie!
They are also known as pulses and are a part of the legume family and are dense in a variety of nutrients like iron, protein, manganese, and folic acid.
2 tablespoons of parsley contain 0.47 mg of iron. You can use it as a garnish on your food items and take it daily for the much-needed source of iron.
This leafy vegetable contains a proper 0.66 mg of iron per 91 grams. Broccoli is also loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C, vitamin K for normal blood clotting and folate, essential for cell repair.
Include it in your diet, or drink its fresh rice along with spinach.
ix. Brussels Sprouts:
One cup of raw Brussels sprouts contains 1.23 mg of iron. Brussels sprouts are also rich in Vitamin C which helps in boosting the immune system of our body, vitamin K for the healing of wounds and vitamin A for night vision.
It has more iron than any of the green vegetables and is very good or your blood. It is high in iron, folic acid, fibre and potassium. Its high nutritional values increase the body’s red blood cell count.
Cook 1-2 beetroots in boiling water and add spices. Remove the skin and eat it. You can also juice it up and drink it daily.
The Other way to use it is
Take a medium sized Beetroot, 3 Carrots and half Sweet potato
Procedure to be followed:
- Prepare juice with all these ingredients.
- Drink it daily at least once.
Include it in your daily diet with curries and soups.
3. Other foods to include in your diet are:
a. Cereals and Grains.
4. Increase Vitamin C Intake:
Hemoglobin reduction might be indirectly related to low calcium levels in the blood. For iron needed to be absorbed you require a lot of Vitamin C. Hence eat a lot of calcium-rich food like papaya, oranges, lemon, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, grapefruit, tomatoes, and spinach.
You can also take Vitamin C supplements after a recommendation from your doctor.
5. Include Folic Acid in your diet:
Folic acid is a B-complex vitamin which is required to make red blood cells. So when you are deficient in folic acid, automatically it will lead to a low haemoglobin level.
Some renowned food sources of folic acid are green leafy vegetables, liver, rice, sprouts, dried beans, wheat germ, fortified cereals, peanuts, bananas, broccoli, and liver.
You can also take 200 to 400 milligrams of a folic acid supplement daily after consulting your doctor.
6. Blackstrap Molasses:
Blackstrap molasses contains iron, folate and Vitamin B that can help increase red blood cell production efficiently.
Mix 2 teaspoons each of blackstrap molasses and apple cider vinegar in 1 glass of water.
Drink this once daily.
Nettle is a herb which plays a major role in raising the haemoglobin level. It is a good source of iron, vitamin B, vitamin C as well as other vitamins which can help increase haemoglobin.
Add 2 teaspoons of dried nettle leaves to a cup of hot water. Allow it to brew for 10 minutes. Strain it and then add a little honey.
Drink it twice daily.
Nettle is also regarded as a super food to cure Arthritis.
Exercise is a very useful method to combat various diseases. When you are exercising, the need for oxygen increases. This forces the body to produce more amounts of red blood cells.
Moderate to high intensities of aerobic exercises is highly recommended. Muscle training exercises are also good for you.
Legumes are also very important if you want to increase the level of haemoglobin in your body. All legumes are very rich in iron and the legumes that should consume are:
- Red kidney beans
- Black beans
- Black-eyed peas
These all legumes and all other legumes contain iron. So, consume these legumes regularly.
10. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are also very helpful for raising the level of haemoglobin in your blood. It also contains iron. So, you can eat them raw or you can also add to it in the salad. These are really helpful and very easy to consume.
Some additional tips for boosting your haemoglobin level are as follows-
- Avoid foods containing gluten.
- Eat whole-grain bread, cereals and pasta.
- Consume more iron-rich food after your menstrual period and during pregnancy.
- Avoid eating over-the-counter stimulants if your energy levels are low.
- Take cold baths twice daily to improve blood circulation.
- Avoid iron blocking foods which slow down iron absorption like tea, coffee, alcohol, etc..
- Avoid extra calcium rich foods.
- Avoid foods having excessive oxalic acid.
- Keep a regular check on your blood cell count.
- Have a healthy nutritious diet.
So be more cautious and let us help you to make your blood redder!