Haemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells, which is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. It also helps in carrying carbon dioxide from cells to lungs. This CO2 is released while exhaling. Low haemoglobin levels causes improper functioning of body. Here is a list of methods on how to increase haemoglobin naturally.
Symptoms of Low Haemoglobin Levels (Anemia)
Anemia is a medical condition in which the red blood cell count or hemoglobin is less than normal. Some of the symptoms are muscle weakness, pale skin and gums, recurring headaches, hair loss, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, fatigue and feeling of unwellness.
If you experience any one of these symptoms, it is advised to take a haemoglobin test and check whether it is bound within normal levels. The normal ranges for hemoglobin depend on the age and, beginning in adolescence, the gender of the person. These are measured by gram of haemoglobin per decilitre of blood:
- Newborns: 17 to 22 gm/dL
- One week of age: 15 to 20 gm/dL
- One month of age: 11 to 15 gm/dL
- Children: 11 to 13 gm/dL
- Adult men: 14 to 18 gm/dL
- Adult women: 12 to 16 gm/dL
- Men after middle age: 12.4 to 14.9 gm/dL
- Women after middle age: 11.7 to 13.8 gm/dL
A word of caution: Pregnant woman can have low haemoglobin levels, so always consult a doctor before you take supplements for haemoglobin.
Causes of Low Haemoglobin
Some common causes of anemia are:
- being deficient in iron, vitamin B-12, or folate
- cancers that affect the bone marrow
- substantial blood loss
- liver disease
- kidney disease
- sickle cell anemia, a genetic disorder that causes a reduction in red blood cells and hemoglobin
- thalassemia, a hereditary disease that prevents hemoglobin from functioning properly
- excessive smoking
- extreme physical exercise
How To Increase Haemoglobin Naturally
Low hemoglobin levels are commonly caused by three circumstances: decreased red blood cell production (for example, nutrient deficiency), increased red blood cell destruction (for example, liver disease), and by blood loss (for example, surgery). Lets look into methods we can naturally increase haemoglobin levels.
1. Increasing Iron Intake
As mentioned above, haemoglobin is a red protein cell. Iron is a nutrient that helps in boosting the production of haemoglobin levels in blood.
Eating more iron rich foods like meat, fish, eggs, nuts, dried fruits, green leafy vegetables, green beans, nuts and protein rich foods.
2. Increase Vitamin C Intake
Vitamin C helps in better absorption of iron in foods, hence it is very essential to include iron as well as vitamin C in your diet. Try to include vitamin C rich foods in your everyday diet.
Some of the vitamin C rich foods are lemons, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, grapefruit and tomatoes.
3. Increasing Folate Intake
Folate is a type of vitamin B that helps produce heme, a component of haemoglobin that carries oxygen. It is a very essential part of haemoglobin production.
If a person doesn’t have enough folate, it might affect their red blood cells and cause low haemoglobin levels and folate-deficiency anaemia.
Some good sources of folate are brown ice, peanuts, avocados, lettuce, meat and kidney beans.
4. Avoid Iron Blockers
Some foods might actually be inhibiting your ability to absorb iron. This might cause low haemoglobin levels.
Some of the iron blockers to avoid are coffee, cola, tea, wine and beer.
5. Maximizing iron absorption
It is important to include iron rich foods but it is also essential in helping body absorb iron better. Vitamin A, vitaminC and beta-carotene needs to included to promote better absorption of iron in body.
Some of the vitamin A rich foods are fish, liver, sweet potatoes, kale, squash and collards.
Some of the beta-carotene rich foods are carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, mangoes and cantaloupes.
6. Taking iron supplements
If you have extremely low haemoglobin levels or have severe medical conditions, it is best to consult a doctor and take iron supplements.
Make sure to take your iron in moderate or recommended dosage, since too much iron can cause liver diseases and other health complications.
Depending on the iron supplement recommended, your haemoglobin levels will increase gradually over weeks or months.
Moderate to high intensity workouts helps in demanding more oxygen from body, hence in turn helps in production of more haemoglobin.
Eating a well balanced diet with all essential nutrients and moderate exercises at least three to four times a week helps in maintaining healthy haemoglobin levels.