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. Hemoglobin is made up of four protein molecules (globulin chains) that are connected together. The deficiency of Hemoglobin or Low Blood cell count is commonly known as “Anemia” and must be cured immediately.
What happens if you have a low hemoglobin or Low Blood Cell Count?
Hemoglobin (Hb or Hgb) is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. In many cases, a low hemoglobin or low blood cell count is only slightly lower than normal and doesn’t affect how you feel. If it gets more severe and causes symptoms, your low hemoglobin count may indicate you have anemia.
What are the causes of anemia?
Blood loss is the most common cause of anemia, especially iron-deficiency anemia. Blood loss can be short term or persist over time. Heavy menstrual periods or bleeding in the digestive or urinary tract can cause blood loss. Surgery, trauma, or cancer also can cause blood loss.
Person with Low Hemoglobin or Low Blood Cell Count may have the following symptoms
When the hemoglobin count is low, the body is not able to get as much oxygen to go throughout the body and have symptoms like
- Shortness of breath
- Fast heart rate
- Pale skin and/or pale gums
As the role of hemoglobin is very important for leading a healthy life, it is necessary to maintain it in normal levels in your blood, which is:
- 14 to 18 g/dl for adult men, and
- 12 to 16 g/dl for adult women.
To maintain this level, I preferred to follow this:
1. Eat Iron-Rich Foods
Iron deficiency is the most common cause of low hemoglobin levels, according to the National Anemia Action Council. It is recommended to increase the intake or include mentioned food in your regular diet. “The top iron-rich foods include green leafy vegetables like spinach, beetroot, tofu, asparagus, chicken liver, whole egg, oysters, apple, pomegranate, apricot, watermelon, prunes, pumpkin seeds, dates, almonds, raisins, Amla, and jaggery”,
“The top iron-rich foods include green leafy vegetables like spinach, beetroot, tofu, asparagus, chicken liver, whole egg, oysters, apple, pomegranate, apricot, watermelon, prunes, pumpkin seeds, dates, almonds, raisins, Amla, and jaggery”.
2. Increase Vitamin C Intake
“It is important to have a combination of both iron and vitamin C as the latter is a carrier rich molecule that can be used for better absorption of iron”, Eat foods rich in Vitamin C such as oranges, lemon, strawberries, papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, grapefruit, and tomatoes.
3. Increase Folic Acid Intake
“Folic acid, a B-complex vitamin, is required to make red blood cells and a folic acid deficiency automatically leads to a low level of hemoglobin”. Some good food sources of folic acid are green leafy vegetables, sprouts, dried beans, wheat germ, peanuts, bananas, broccoli and chicken liver. “Beetroot is also highly recommended to increase the body’s red blood cell count as it is high in folic acid as well as iron, potassium, and fiber”.
4. An Apple or Pomegranate
An apple a day can help maintain a normal level of hemoglobin since apples are rich in iron plus other health-friendly components that are required for a healthy hemoglobin count. You can either eat 1 apple a day or drink juice made with ½ cup each of apple and beetroot juice twice a day. Add a dash of ginger or lemon juice for extra flavor. “Pomegranate is also rich in iron, calcium, fiber, and protein. Its nutritional value can help increase hemoglobin and promote healthy blood flow”.
5. Drink Nettle Tea
“Nettle is a herb that is a good source of B vitamins, iron, vitamin C and can play a key role in raising your hemoglobin level”. For this, all you need to do is add 2 teaspoons of dried nettle leaves to a cup of hot water and allow it to steep for 10 minutes. Then strain, and add a little honey. Drink this twice daily.
6. Avoid Iron Blockers
Avoid eating foods that can block your body’s ability to absorb iron, especially if you have a low hemoglobin count i.e. coffee, tea, cola drinks, wine, beer, etc.