Haemoglobin is an iron-rich protein component in the red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Haemoglobin gives blood its red colour. It is made up of four chains that contain haem iron. This haem iron transports oxygen in the blood stream. As per Recommended Dietary Intake ( RDI ), adult man needs to consume about 8 milligrams of iron daily. On the other hand, adult woman requires 18 milligrams of iron daily. Let us see an Indian Diet to Increase Haemoglobin levels in blood.
Normal levels of Haemoglobin in blood for man and woman:
Man – 14 to 18 g/dl
Woman – 12 to 16 g/dl
Who requires excess (more than RDI) haemoglobin?
- Children during growth period
- Menstruating women
- Pregnant women
- Patients in recovering stage
Symptoms of low haemoglobin levels in blood:
- Shortness of breath
- Poor appetite
- Rapid heartbeat
Severe drop in haemoglobin levels causes anaemia. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia globally. A study in 2016 shows 48 % of women in India are anaemic. Major cause is malnutrition and also poor hygiene that prevents absorption of nutrition. Lack of awareness, illiteracy and the practice of putting the family before self often deter women from taking proper nutrition.
Such women are more prone to infections and may need blood transfusion during pregnancy. Not only the mother but the off springs born to anaemic mother are more susceptible to infections and have poor development. Hence , Indian Diet to Increase Haemoglobin levels in blood is necessary.
Causes of Anaemia:
- Poor eating habits and under nutrition
- Poor absorption of the nutrients required for the production of haemoglobin
- Heavy blood loss during menses, pregnancy, accidents, surgeries or any medical condition
- Consumption of certain medications that hinder iron absorption
- Breakdown of red blood cells in haemolytic anaemia
- Iron or B 12 deficiency
- Kidney disorder
Indian Diet to Increase Haemoglobin levels in blood
Here is a list of some Indian foods that helps in increasing haemoglobin levels in blood.
Iron rich Indian diet to increase haemoglobin levels in blood:
Organ meat and sea food:
Organ meats and sea foods have high levels of stored haemoglobin which is readily absorbed in the body.
Egg is a complete food. It has adequate amount of all the vitamins and minerals required for the body.
Dark green leafy vegetables:
DGLV are good source of iron. But they also contain phytates and oxalates that hinder iron absorption. Thus, plant sources need to be cooked to deactivate phytate and oxalate effects. In addition to cooking, an added medium of protein or acid boosts iron absorption from plant sources of iron. Include lots of spinach, methi, broccoli, lettuce, coriander, amaranth, shepu, dill leaves.
Soyabeans and legumes:
Pulses and legumes are a good source of iron. It is a perfect combo of iron with proteins. Thus, it has a very good absorption rate. Soya beans, kidney beans and chickpeas are good sources of iron.
Read – Different types of Millets
Whole grain cereals are also rich in iron. Include quinoa, oats, whole wheat, brown rice and broken wheat. Cereals lack in folate. Thus, the iron absorption is not up to the mark.
Fruits and vegetables:
All red, pink and orange coloured fruits and vegetables are rich in iron. Iron content in the food gives them the red colour. Also vitamin C rich fruits aid in iron absorption in the blood. Consume lemons, amla, tomatoes, oranges, sweet limes, berries, pomegranate, apples and guavas. Include vegetables like beetroot, carrot, brinjal, red cabbage in the diet.
Dried fruits, nuts and seeds:
There are dried fruits and other seeds that are rich in iron. Include garden cress seeds, raisins, dried apricots, dates, dried dates. Include it in appropriate amounts because they are high in calories and fats.
Now that we have see some Indian Diet to Increase Haemoglobin levels, Let us now see the factors that increase the Iron absorption in the body.
How to boost iron absorption in the body?
- The carrier of haeme iron is a protein compound. Thus, consume adequate protein for constant supply of the iron carrier.
- Iron absorption is best on empty stomach or in acidic environment. Try to consume iron rich foods on empty stomach.
- Acidic environment eases the absorption of iron in the body. Use lemon juice in recipes to increase acidity for better absorption of iron from the food.
- Folic acid vitamin is required to produce red blood cells. Thus, a folic acid deficiency leads to a low level of haemoglobin. Include folic acid rich foods like beans, wheat germ, peanuts, broccoli and bananas. If required you can start with folic acid supplements under supervision of a qualified professional.
- Avoid iron blockers like coffee, alcohol, tea, colas wines and beers. These hinder the iron absorption from the intestines. Thus, restrict these foodstuffs as much as possible.
- You must cook in Iron vessels .
- Dont forget to add lemon to your Iron rich foods , so that the Iron in the food gets absorbed better in blood.
Iron rich Recipes in Indian Diet to Increase Haemoglobin levels
Here are some Iron rich recipes that will help you increase your HB levels in blood.
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Garden cress seeds kheer
Garden cress seeds (soaked) 15 gms (1 tablespoon)
Milk 200 ml
Jaggery 20 gms
- Soak gardencress seeds for half an hour and remove the water
- Boil milk in pan and add soaked gardencress seeds in boiling milk
- Keep stirring the milk till it starts thickening
- Add jaggery to the kheer
- Switch off the flame once the kheer thickens till desired consistency
- Pour the kheer in serving bowl and serve it hot
Beet root 150 gms
Paneer 40 gms
Olive oil 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Black pepper a pinch
Lemon juice ½ teaspoon
Mixed herbs ½ teaspoon
- Chop all the veggies and paneer in ½ inch cubes
- Mix all the veggies, paneer, oil, lemon juice and spices
- Toss the salad and transfer it in serving plate
- Garnish the salad with few spinach leaves and serve
Tangy twist juice
Tomato 1 no.
Carrot ½ piece
Beetroot ½ piece
Mulberries ¼ cup
Pomegranate ¼ cup
Ginger ½ inch piece
Sugar 1 (teaspoon if required)
Black salt ¼ teaspoon
Lemon juice ½ teaspoon
- Blend all the ingredients in a blender
- Strain if necessary
- Put 2 – 3 ice cubes in the serving glass and pour the juice
- Serve it chilled
Include as much of iron rich foods as possible in your diet. Each and every food has different content of iron and rate of absorption in body. An appropriate method of eating iron rich food in desired amounts helps maintain haemoglobin levels in the body. Even after following correct practices, haemoglobin is less, then you can start with iron supplements under a professional’s guidance. Hope this article on Indian Diet to Increase Haemoglobin levels be of help to you . Please feel free to ask your queries in the comment section below.