Low Hemoglobin? Tips to help improve the Condition
Updated: Jun 21, 2020
Haemoglobin- a common term that everyone knows that it is in present in our blood. But what is it made up of heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron, gets absorbed easily and the sources are red meat, poultry, organ meat, etc.
Non-heme iron is present in plant sources and it requires vitamin C for better absorption.
There are several studies that shows that a person with good Hb levels will have a good immune system. We may think that we are eating and providing good fruits and vegetables to meet his or her iron needs.
But, how do we ensure the iron requirement despite consuming a well-balanced diet, particularly when it’s a cause of concern for Vegetarian mothers.
Iron rich food sources include-
Cereals: Fortified and enriched cereals, bajra, jowar, millet, rice bran, rice flakes, whole wheat
Pulses and legumes: Roasted bengal gram, cow pea, horse gram, lentil, dry peas, rajmah, soyabean.
Green leafy vegetables: Amaranth leaves, manathakkali keerai, mint leaves, Palak, drumstick leaves. No wonder that they are abundant source of iron. Consume 3-4 times any of the varieties of GLV to derive maximum health benefits.
Vegetables: Plantain (green), sundakai (dry), onion stalk
Nuts and dry fruits: Dates, figs, apricots, watermelon seeds, raisins, apricot (dried), dates (dried)
Fruits: watermelon, seethaphal
Fish and meat: Herring fish, mackeral, seer fish, beef, liver (sheep)
The below tips that help to boost Iron absorption are:
1. Vitamin C: For better absorption of iron, vitamin C is essential. Sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits like orange, sweet lime, amla, lemon; bell pepper, strawberry, tomato, cabbage, drumstick leaves, parsley, bitter gourd, etc..
So you can prepare sprouts salad with a dash of lime, mixed fruit juice (with iron and citrus sources without sugar), organ meats, baked fish with a dash of lime, dry fruits ladoo with orange juice, etc.
2. Short sun bath: Research has shown that a short sun bath is an aid in the production of red blood cells. This is the reason why the infant should be exposed to early morning hours of sunlight for 10-20 minutes to help improve their RBC s production.
3. Exercise: Performing light exercises will improve circulation. Breath deeply for at least 10 minutes per day and perform yoga like shavasana to create a relaxed state of equilibrium and improve blood circulation.
4. Cast Iron Prepare dishes using cast iron pan. Avoid excess consumption of tea or caffeine as it contain phytates that hinder iron absorption.
5. Dates, raisins and figs (3-4 per day) if taken regularly can boost haemoglobin.
Foods that Interfere with Iron absorption are:
Tea contains phytates that hinder iron absorption and coffee to some extent.
Calcium found in food sources such as milk, yogurt, cheese, sardines, canned salmon, tofu, broccoli, almonds, figs, turnip greens may inhibit absorption of both non-heme and heme iron.
Oxalates found in spinach, beets, nuts, chocolate, tea to some extent interfere with non-heme iron absorption.
Inadequate Vitamin b12 cannot absorb the iron efficiently.
Certain medical condition may also be a culprit in absorbing iron, so if you see any signs or symptoms like brittle nails, hair loss, energy loss and fatigue, explain them clearly to your pediatrician or family physician to rule out the underlying cause of anaemia.