We all know perfectly well that the level of hemoglobin is one of the most important indicators of health. But what does it mean and how does it affect the work of all organs and systems? What is considered a normal level? How to identify the lack of hemoglobin in time and how to replenish it? What foods raise blood levels? We propose to sort out these issues together. And at the same time, find out what foods help increase hemoglobin.
What is hemoglobin?
Let’s remember what hemoglobin is and what role it plays in the body. Hemoglobin is a type of iron-containing protein that makes up red blood cells. It is also partially contained in plasma.
The key function of hemoglobin is to transport oxygen from the lungs to every cell in the body and carbon dioxide along the return route. Hemoglobin also has other responsibilities. It maintains a normal acid-base balance, namely, it slows down both acidification and alkalization. The hemoglobin derivative methemoglobin helps to bind and remove hydrocyanic acid and other toxic substances. Thus, there is a global cleansing at the cellular level.
It’s high or low?
Based on the functions of hemoglobin, the work of all organs and systems, and with it our well-being, directly depends on it. The normal hemoglobin level for women is 120–150 g / l. During pregnancy, this figure falls to 110-150 g / l, which is quite acceptable. In men, 130–160 g / l is considered the norm. A child’s hemoglobin level varies with age. From the moment of birth to the age of 16, it ranges from 100 to 150 g / l.
A strong lack of hemoglobin is expressed in rapid fatigue, lethargy, and drowsiness. The skin becomes flaky, pale and dry. The work of the intestines is disrupted, shortness of breath and weakness in the muscles occurs, pressure drops. Against this background, the immune defense decreases, so we get sick more often and recover more slowly.
However, high hemoglobin is also an alarming signal. This can be a sign of blood clotting, cardiopulmonary failure, heart disease, and even cancer. This is why it’s important to check your hemoglobin level from time to time. To do this, you need to take a blood test or have a manual hemoglobinometer. And to solve this problem will help a balanced diet, which increases hemoglobin indicators, that is, hemodiet. So, what foods contain hemoglobin?
To keep your hemoglobin levels normal, you need to consume enough iron. The champions in the content of this trace element are products of animal origin. This is because animal protein helps the gland to be absorbed better than plant protein. We are mainly talking about red meat – lean beef, pork and lamb. The liver, kidneys and tongue are on the same step with them.
Seafood is also a hemoglobin-raising food. Here we are primarily interested in shrimp, shellfish, mussels, scallops and oysters. It is especially important that they contain folic acid, which increases the bioavailability of iron. Simply put, it helps him to digest more efficiently. Seafood is also useful because it contains a large amount of omega fats and a rich list of micro and macro elements. This is exactly what the body needs with the onset of cold weather.
Eggs – chicken, quail and, if you’re lucky, ostrich eggs – should also be included in the menu more often, since they are also included in the list of products recommended for low hemoglobin, including for children. In addition to the cherished iron, they contain B vitamins in all their composition and potassium, sodium and magnesium, indispensable for the heart and nervous system.
You can also increase the level of hemoglobin with the help of plant foods. Here, the recognized leaders are legumes in all their variety. The main focus is better on white and red beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas.
Cereals are a valuable source of iron. Buckwheat is especially worth highlighting, since it contains active substances that help this microelement to be absorbed much more efficiently. Just in no case fill the prepared buckwheat porridge with milk, since calcium blocks iron.
Nuts will also help raise hemoglobin, especially walnuts. There is more iron in them than in any other species. In addition, they improve brain activity and metabolic processes. Almonds increase the production of serotonin and strengthen the immune system. Hazelnuts have a beneficial effect on the endocrine system and heart. Pistachios have a calming effect on the nervous system. Cashews have a tonic effect and support the functioning of the reproductive system. Cereals and nuts are also good because they contain a lot of copper, and it increases the bioavailability of iron.
Basket with vegetables and fruits
Vegetables and fruits will also benefit the body, as they contain enough nutrients that can increase hemoglobin levels. Just because fruits are rich in various organic acids that improve the absorption of iron.
If we talk about vegetables, the closest attention should be paid to beets. In addition to its high iron content, it contains many amino acids and almost all the vitamins we need. Most importantly, they are almost completely preserved even after heat treatment.
Despite the fact that there is little iron in carrots, it surpasses other vegetables in terms of vitamin A. It helps the iron to be processed correctly. It is best to consume raw carrots with sour cream or fresh carrot juice at least half an hour before meals.
Many of you will remember apples and will be absolutely right. These fruits actually contain a record amount of iron, which makes them a rich source of hemoglobin. And you can eat them fresh, bake them in the oven, make smoothies and juices. But it is important to observe one condition. If you drink tea within half an hour after you have eaten an apple, you will reduce all the beneficial effect to zero. Tea tannins will prevent the iron from being absorbed properly.
Another useful fruit for raising hemoglobin is pomegranate. And also the juice made from it. This fruit strengthens the immune system, reduces the risk of heart disease, normalizes blood pressure, helps to quickly restore strength and fight joint pain.
Desserts with an iron character
You might be surprised, but some sweets also increase hemoglobin and keep it normal. First of all, it is natural honey. The active substances in its composition help to establish a water-salt balance. Without this, it will be problematic to normalize the level of iron in the blood. Doctors recommend using buckwheat and honeydew honey – they contain the highest concentration of micro- and macroelements, including quite rare ones.
The list of useful delicacies can include prunes, dried apricots, raisins and sun-dried bananas, such food has a positive effect on hemoglobin levels and increases its content in the blood. They contain enough iron. And thanks to the abundance of dietary fiber, it is processed better and faster. The reserves of vitamins E and C in dried fruits are also large. And now the body needs them more than ever. Especially when you consider that vitamin C is the main ally of iron and helps it to be absorbed in full.
Now you know which foods support the required level of hemoglobin in the blood. Even if you have it in the norm, do not forget to include the products that we talked about in the family menu. Such prevention will benefit the body. And if you haven’t checked your hemoglobin level for a long time, then it’s time to do it.