Haemoglobin is the protein found in the blood that transports oxygen from the lungs to every cell within the body. Having too much or too little haemoglobin in the blood could cause adverse health effects. Only a physician can diagnose problems with haemoglobin levels. Since haemoglobin is composed of the mineral iron, one way to build up your haemoglobin level is to eat a healthy diet containing foods rich in iron.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Iron-rich food
- Iron-fortified food
- Iron supplements
Consult a physician regarding your haemoglobin level. Tell your physician all of your physical symptoms, especially if you feel tired, look pale, or have headaches and shortness of breath, because this may indicate that your haemoglobin level is low. Get a regular blood checkup, because haemoglobin levels decrease as you age.
Go to a laboratory recommended by your physician and take a blood test to determine if your haemoglobin level is too low. The laboratory will take a sample of your blood and break down the red blood cells to determine your haemoglobin levels.
Eat a diet of foods rich in iron or iron-fortified foods such as cereal if your physician has determined that your haemoglobin is below a normal level. Red meats, fish, poultry, dessicated liver, and shellfish such as clams, oysters, mussels, and shrimp are food rich in iron.
Increase your iron intake by eating vegetable and dairy food sources that are rich in iron. Egg yolks, kelp, dry beans, baked potato with the skin on, pasta, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, leafy green vegetables like broccoli and brussel sprouts, green and red peppers, citrus fruit, strawberries, molasses, and sun-dried raisins provide high amounts of iron.
Refrain from consuming foods that interfere with the absorption of iron such as coffee, tea, red wine, whole-grain cereals, spinach, chard, sweet potato, and soy products.
Take iron supplements as prescribed by your physician. Physicians measure the level of iron stored in the body and can prescribe the necessary amount of iron supplements. Vitamins A and C help in the absorption of iron supplements.
Tips and warnings
- If your haemoglobin levels are normal or too high, do not add foods rich in iron that increase the level of haemoglobin. The normal level for an adult male is 14 to 18g per dl of blood. Adult females need 12 to 16g/dl. Do not take iron supplements unless prescribed by a physician.
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