Anaemia: Lifestyle changes to boost haemoglobin levels naturally
Eating iron-rich foods is one of the ways to improve haemoglobin levels naturally. Here are other ways, explained by a nutritionist.
If you have been diagnosed with anaemia, it means you lack enough red blood cells to perform some of the important functions of your body, that could also be visible in the form of symptoms like fatigue, weakness, pale skin, cold hands and feet, headaches to name a few. One of the reasons behind your anaemia could be if your blood doesn't have enough red blood cells. (See pics: Superfoods to boost haemoglobin levels)
One of the common types of anaemia is caused by iron deficiency. Red blood cells contain haemoglobin — an iron-rich protein which helps red blood cells to carry oxygen from lungs to other parts of the body and to carry carbon dioxide from other parts of the body to your lungs. Eating iron-rich foods is one of the ways to improve haemoglobin levels naturally. Anaemia can worsen over time if adequate steps are not taken to improve iron levels.
"Iron is needed for our cells of body to grow and overall development. Iron is used to produce haemoglobin which carries oxygen to different part of body. Haemoglobin also gives red colour to blood so if it's low then our body looks pale, weak and tired and we get anaemia," says Nutritionist Preeti Gupta, Founder of Perfect Health.
How much iron does a person need daily?
It varies upon age, weight and gender. Generally adult males need up to 8mg of iron per day and women of age 18 to 50 need 19 mg/day.
Here are ways to boost haemoglobin levels in blood naturally.
1. Have iron rich foods like spinach, egg, tofu, green leafy vegetables, beans, meat, fish, seeds, kale, strawberries, soyabeans, edamame, dates, figs, beetroot, pomegranate in daily diet.
2. Have Vitamin C-rich foods along with iron-rich foods to make it absorb. Vitamin C is very important when we talk about absorption of iron in blood which converts to haemoglobin. So best way is to take dates with lemon or amla water and tofu in salad with beetroot and green leafy vegetables. Other sources of Vitamin C which can be included are citrus fruits, strawberries, green leafy veggies, amla and guava.
3. Take vegetable juice 3-4 times a week in which you can add amla, kale, ginger, beetroot, tomato, carrot and apple. It will help boost your haemoglobin levels quickly and your skin will also detox and glow.
4. Don't take iron supplements along with calcium supplements as it will hinder the absorption of iron. If you are taking iron supplements, take calcium supplements only after 3-4 hours.
5. Increase folate intake in your diet. It is a B-complex vitamin which is needed to make red blood cells so folic acid deficiency leads to deficiency of haemoglobin. Good sources of folic acid are green leafy vegetables, dried beans, peanuts, banana, wheat germ, broccoli and beetroot.
6. Avoid coffee, tea, cold drink, sodas along with your meal as it hinders the absorption of iron in blood. Always have them after a gap of twi hours from main meals of the day.
7. Exercise is very important as it aids the body to produce more haemoglobin to meet increased demand of oxygen. You can choose anything from Yoga, dance, walk, HIIT or aerobics. Keep changing your exercise routine every week to get best results.