Hemoglobin is the protein which is present in the red blood cells (RBC) and is accountable for carrying oxygen throughout the body. Besides carrying oxygen, hemoglobin is also responsible for carrying out carbon dioxide from the cells and places them in the lungs. After this, the carbon dioxide is released from the body as a person breathes out. Thus, having a low hemoglobin count can have adverse effects on the body.
Studies reveal that men above 19 years must consume 8 mg of iron daily, whereas women require consuming 18 mg of(1) iron. Being one of the vital nutrients, deficiency of iron can lead to headaches, fatigue, hair loss, and low hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin – An Overview
Hemoglobin production is imperative for the human body, and in this process, Vitamin B12, B9 (folate), Vitamin C, iron and copper play a vital role. Maintaining optimum hemoglobin level is necessary to have an iron-enriched diet which can aid in the synthesis of hemoglobin.
It also helps in the transfer of oxygen from the lungs and carries it throughout the body for the appropriate functioning of the organs.
One of the most vital nutrients in the human body is iron which aids in the daily functioning of all the organs. It is responsible for several cell functions and constitutes a more significant part of hemoglobin.
It also helps in carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the human body and is also accountable for oxygen stored and used by the muscles. A deficiency of iron count can lead to anemia which is most common in young adults.
Some factors which indicate low hemoglobin level are as follows:
- Irregularity in heartbeat
- Paleness of gums and skin
- Muscle weakness
- Frequent or unexplained bruising
- Reoccurring headaches
On average, a healthy(2) male human body should have more than 13.5 g/dL of hemoglobin while a woman requires 12 g/dL. Anything less than this normal range can severely affect overall health. There are several factors which can lead to hemoglobin deficiency such as pregnancy, problems with kidney or liver, anemia, or any chronic disease.
However, some people have low hemoglobin count without any underlying cause. Thus, to boost the hemoglobin count, one must consume iron-rich food or have iron supplements.
27 Best Hemoglobin Enriched Food
One of the vital sources of increasing the iron count in the body is the consumption of meat, especially red meat.
[Read: Benefits of Arginine Foods]
A high concentration of folate, iron and Vitamin B12 is found in the liver, especially in the lamb’s liver where the content of Vitamin B12 is 85.7 mcg. The lamb’s liver also contains a high amount of folate, vitamin C, and iron, the amount of which is 400 mcg, 13 mg, and 10.2 mg respectively. Other livers which are enriched with iron is turkey, chicken, and beef.
Another rich source of iron is ground beef, especially the one without fat. Every 85gm of ground beef contains 2.1mg of iron.
To ensure a high amount of iron content in the diet, one must have chicken breast as every 100gm of chicken breast contains 0.7mg of iron.
Enriched with Vitamin B12 and iron, seafood such as caviar, clam, and oyster can help in maintaining a higher hemoglobin level.
Every 100 g of clams contain 22.1 mg of Vitamin C, 28 mg of iron, and 38.9 mcg of Vitamin B12
Often vegetarians are in jeopardy while deciding about the food which can offer them a high quantity of iron. Thus, they must include a high number of legumes, as these derivative products contain an adequate amount of iron. Besides, there are chickpeas, kidney beans, and soybeans which are also a rich source of iron.
Vegetarians must have at least 100 g of soybeans in their diet as it provides 375 mcg of folate, 15.7 mg of iron, and 6 mg of Vitamin C.
4. Starches and Grains
One of the rich sources of iron is found in carbohydrates such as wheat bran, oat bran, and rice bran. But these are not a good source of Vitamin B12 and folate, and those who have celiac disease must avoid gluten-enriched food.
Having 100 g of brown rice daily can provide 0.4 mg of iron.
In the regular healthy diet, one must incorporate whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, and barley as these are enriched with iron. Consuming 100g of any entire grain offers 2.5 mg of iron.
For boosting the hemoglobin level in the body, it is necessary to incorporate Vitamin C enriched food, as these aid in the absorption of iron. For this, fruits like guava, lemons, litchis, and organs are beneficial.
In the evening snack, one can satiate a hungry stomach with a bowl of dried fruits such as dates, dried apricots, and raisins which is also a good source of iron. Having 100 g of dried food every day offers 8.0 mg of iron and contains vitamins and fiber.
Strawberries are not just delicious, they also aid in increasing iron absorption and provide iron to the body, thereby boosting the hemoglobin level.
The juicy prunes in the diet can escalate the production of red blood cells as they are rich in Vitamin C, fiber, and iron.
An apple a day not only keeps the doctor away but also boosts the hemoglobin level. Thus, having it daily is a must.
Another important source of iron, protein, fiber, calcium, carbohydrate, minerals, and vitamins is pomegranate. It is recommended to those having a low hemoglobin level.
People who are suffering from low hemoglobin level can have 100 g of sun-dried tomatoes as it contains 9.1 mg of iron.
Persimmons are a type of oranges which is enriched with antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, and various nutrients.
Mulberries are a good alternative for those who have diabetes. Besides, it is also beneficial for those having low hemoglobin level as 100 g of mulberries provide 1.8 mg of iron.
One way to improve the RBC count is by having 100g of blackcurrants daily as it allows for 1-3 mg of iron, depending upon its type.
The fresh and refreshing fruit of the summer, the juicy red watermelon is one of the vital fruit which offers plenty of iron. It is also enriched with vitamin C and aids in the absorption of iron in the body faster
[Read: Benefits of Watermelon]
There are also certain vegetables, the consumption of which aids in improving the hemoglobin level as it is a rich source of iron, Vitamin B12, and folate.
For boost, the hemoglobin level one must consume 100 g of the plant as it offers 93 mcg of folate and 28.5 mg of iron.
Beetroot is an excellent vegetable which aids in improving the hemoglobin level due to its high content of iron, folate and Vitamin C.
A rich source of carbohydrate potatoes also helps in boosting the hemoglobin level as it contains an adequate amount of Vitamin C and iron.
The green cauliflower commonly called broccoli is an excellent source of iron, magnesium, Vitamin A and C. About 100gmof broccoli offers 2.7 mg of iron, thereby improving the hemoglobin level.
By far one of the best vegetables which can quickly boost the RBC count is spinach as 100 of this leafy vegetable contain 4 mg of iron.
Another essential way of elevating hemoglobin level in the body is by consuming herbs such as parsley, thyme, cumin seeds, and spearmint. This is because they contain a high amount of iron which when consumed regularly can create a significant difference.
Nettle leaf is a herb which contains Vitamin B, C, and iron, an adequate amount to raise the hemoglobin level.
8. Other Options
All age group loves eggs, and this delicious food(3) item is not only a rich source of protein but it also contains a high amount of iron, folate, and Vitamin B12. Having it in breakfast daily can pave the way for an improved RBC count.
Pumpkin seeds are one of the best sources of iron. Every 100g of pumpkin seeds contains 15 mg of iron. Besides, these seeds also contain fatty acids which can make the skin glow brighter.
Consumption of dark chocolates at certain intervals can boost the hemoglobin level. A 100 g of dark chocolate contains 17 mg of iron, thereby providing 90% of iron content alone in the diet chart.
As tasty as consuming nuts are, they are a rich source of iron. This is because every 30 g of almonds, peanuts, cashew, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and walnuts offer 3 mg of iron.
Hemoglobin is thus aids in the proper functioning of the body. Apart from iron, the nutrients which constitute for hemoglobin formation are Vitamin C, B 12, B 9, which synthesize together to improve the RBC count. Thus, having iron-rich food is imperative for those suffering from low hemoglobin count.
But nowadays doctors recommend consumption of iron supplements to boost the iron count in both. However, it must be remembered that a high amount of iron can cause hemochromatosis, which can hurt the liver and cause side effects such as vomiting, constipation, and nausea.