What is Hemoglobin?
Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues and returns carbon dioxide from the tissues back to the lungs. There are food items that increase hemoglobin.
The normal ranges for hemoglobin depend on the age and, beginning in adolescence, the gender of the person. The normal ranges are:
- Newborns: 17 to 22 gm/dL
- One (1) week of age: 15 to 20 gm/dL
- One (1) month of age: 11 to 15 gm/dL
- Children: 11 to 13 gm/dL
- Adult males: 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
One can increase their hemoglobin level by –
1. Increasing iron intake
Eating iron-rich food will help the individual to increase their reduced level of hemoglobin. Iron work to boost the production of hemoglobin, which also helps to form more red blood cells.
Iron-rich foods to increase hemoglobin include:
- meat and fish
- soy products, including tofu and edamame
- dried fruits, such as dates and figs
- green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach
- green beans
- nuts and seeds
- peanut butter
2. Intaking of more FOLATE
Folate is found in a wide range of foods including vegetables, legumes, eggs, and fruit. It is also known as vitamin B-9. Folate is a type of vitamin B that plays an essential part in hemoglobin production. The body uses folate to produce heme, a component of hemoglobin that helps to carry oxygen.
Good sources of folate include:
- black-eyed peas
- kidney beans
3. Intake of vitamin C
When you eat something high in iron or take an iron supplement, try consuming foods rich in vitamin C or take a supplement at the same time. Vitamin C may help to increase the amount of iron your body absorbs. Try squeezing some fresh lemon over iron rich foods to increase absorption.
Foods high in vitamin C include:
- Dark, leafy greens
4. Intake of vitamin A
Vitamin A and beta-carotene, which helps your body produce vitamin A, can also help your body absorb more iron. You can find vitamin A in animal food sources, such as fish and liver. Beta-carotene is usually found in red, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables, such as:
- winter squash
- sweet potatoes
You can also take vitamin A supplements, but make sure you work closely along with your doctor to figure out a safe dose. Too much vitamin A can lead to a potentially serious condition called hypervitaminosis A.
Symptoms of extremely low levels of hemoglobin include:
- a fast or irregular heartbeat
- pale skin and gums
- muscle weakness
- frequent or unexplained bruising
- recurring headaches
Apart from this, there are several things one can do to raise hemoglobin count through dietary changes and supplements, and make sure you stay in touch with your doctor while you try to raise your hemoglobin count.