8 Things You Can Do To Increase Blood In Your Body
Ways To Increase Blood In Your Body
To boost hemoglobin levels and ensure that your body has enough nutrients to make blood, eat iron-rich foods like red meat, chicken, and fish; vitamin C-rich foods like broccoli, spinach, and citrus fruits; folate-rich leafy greens, beans, eggs, and liver; copper-rich oysters, potatoes, and beans. Pomegranates, black sesame seeds, black grapes as well as herbs like nettle and Dong quai also help.
Whether it’s the manifestation of guilt on Lady Macbeth’s hands or a binding force that’s thicker than water, blood has always occupied a vital place in our consciousness and imagination. But away from the romance of drama and poetry, it plays a critical role in the humdrum functioning of the human body too.
Blood transports nutrients and oxygen to various tissues and organs in the body. It contains red blood cells with hemoglobin which transports oxygen and white blood cells within the body. In doing this, it protects the body from germs and builds plasma and platelets that help with clotting and tissue repair. Blood loss or a lack of red blood cells can cause anemia which may result in weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, and headaches. Prolonged or severe anemia may even damage major organs like your heart or brain and even be fatal. 1 So if you’d like to avoid anemia and ensure that your blood is healthy, here are a few things that you can do.
1. Eat Iron-Rich Foods Like Red Meat, Chicken, And Fish
Ayurveda recommends consuming black sesame seeds which are rich in iron as well as pomegranates and black grape, both of which are high in vitamin C and have traces of iron, to build blood.2
About 70% of the body’s iron is found in hemoglobin, a complex protein found in red blood cells. It comes as no surprise then that in order to make hemoglobin, your body needs iron. And in order to do that you’d need to increase your intake of iron-rich foods. Besides keeping your blood healthy and well functioning, loading up on iron can also help you treat iron-deficiency anemia.3
The amount of iron you need varies according to gender and age. Adult men need 8 mg in a day while women between the ages of 19–50 need 18 mg, except during pregnancy, when they need 27 mg. Your body absorbs iron more easily from meats than from vegetables so have red meat, turkey, chicken, fish, shellfish, or pork to make sure you get enough iron. If you’re looking for a vegetarian source you can try tofu, spinach, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans, and prune juice.4
2. Have Vitamin C-Rich Foods Like Citrus Fruits, Broccoli, And Spinach
Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron and it is important to get enough of it to help your body make sufficient blood. Adult men need 90 mg of this vitamin per day while women need 75 mg. 5 Fruits, particularly citrus fruits, like grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, strawberries, and kiwi fruits are good sources of the vitamin. Vegetable sources include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, peppers, potato, cabbage, tomatoes, and leafy greens like spinach.6
3. Load Up On Folate-Rich Foods Like Leafy Greens, Beans, And Liver
Folate is a kind of vitamin B which helps in the formation of white and red blood cells. Deficiency in this vitamin can cause anemia. Adults need 400 mcg of folate per day, but pregnant women need more – 600 mcg – and it recommended that they take supplements to avoid the risk of a deficiency.7 Leafy greens like spinach, dried beans, black-eyed beans, beef liver, eggs, oranges, and bananas are rich in folate. Many foods like bread and rice may also be fortified with folic acid.
4. Supplement With Vitamin B12
You need 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day.8 A lack of vitamin B12 can hamper your body’s ability to make healthy red blood cells. A deficiency in this vitamin is usually seen in people who can’t absorb vitamin B12 properly from food. This could be because they lack sufficient stomach acid or they lack a protein known as intrinsic factor, both of which are required for the absorption of vitamin B12. Oral supplements will help you if your stomach acid production is low while shots might be the best option for you if you’re lacking in intrinsic factor.9 If your diet is lacking in vitamin B12, try having foods like beef, fish, poultry, dairy products, and eggs.
5. Have Copper-Rich Oysters, Beans, And Potatoes
Copper is an essential mineral that works with iron to make red blood cells and also helps in the absorption of iron. Having about 900 mcg/day of this important mineral per day should keep your blood flowing. Whole grains, nuts, beans, kidneys, liver, potatoes, and oysters are good sources of copper.10
6. Take Bhringaraja Churna
Bhringaraja is a valued herb used in Ayurveda that’s famous for being a hair tonic. But it is also thought to nourish rakta dhatu, which can be roughly equated with blood cells in modern parlance. This herb is used to build blood and tackle anemia. It is available as a powder and is typically taken with warm water. Speak to an ayurvedic doctor to determine the dosage that’s appropriate for you.11
7. Have Dong Quai
Dong quai, a popular herb in traditional Chinese medicine, has been used for over a thousand years as a tonic, medicine, and spice. It has a reputation for building and strengthening the blood. One case study even found that a patient suffering from anemia due to chronic renal failure experienced a marked improvement with regular consumption of the herb.12 That said, do not use this herb if you are pregnant and speak to a herbal practitioner for the appropriate dosage.13
8. Drink Nettle Leaf Tea
Nettle has an excellent reputation as a blood-building tonic.14 One animal study found that a nettle leaf extract increased hemoglobin levels and able improved oxygen supply to tissues in mice.15
This herb contains both iron and vitamin C which partly explains its blood building properties. Nettle is available as a capsule. Or you could also make a tea from its dried leaves. Nettle might not be suitable for use during pregnancy. 16
Have Tea, Coffee, Or Calcium 2 Hours After Eating Iron-Rich Foods
Some foods can interfere with the absorption of iron and, therefore, negatively impact your ability to make blood. One study found that a cup of coffee reduced the iron absorbed from a hamburger by 39%, while a cup of tea was found to decrease absorption by 64%. Interestingly, no reduction in absorption was observed when coffee was consumed an hour prior to the hamburger while having coffee an hour after the meal still hampered iron absorption. 17
Calcium too can interfere with the absorption of iron. Leaving a gap of a couple of hours between an iron rich meal and coffee, tea, or calcium-rich foods like milk can help make sure that your body properly absorbs the iron. 18
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||What Is Anemia? National Institutes of Health.|
|2.||↑||Khalsa, Karta Purkh Singh, and Michael Tierra. The way of ayurvedic herbs: The most complete guide to natural healing and health with traditional ayurvedic herbalism. Lotus press, 2008.|
|3.||↑||Hemoglobin and Functions of Iron. University Of California San Francisco.|
|4.||↑||Iron. National Institutes of Health.|
|5.||↑||Vitamin C. National Institutes of Health.|
|6.||↑||How Is Anemia Treated? National Institutes of Health.|
|7.||↑||Folate. National Institutes of Health.|
|8.||↑||Vitamin B12. National Institutes of Health.|
|9.||↑||Ask the doctor: B12 shots vs. pills. Harvard health Publishing.|
|10.||↑||Copper in diet. National Institutes of Health.|
|11.||↑||Pole, Sebastian. Ayurvedic medicine: the principles of traditional practice. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2006.|
|12.||↑||Bradley, Robert R., Paula J. Cunniff, Brian JG Pereira, and Bertrand L. Jaber. “Hematopoietic effect of Radix angelicae sinensis in a hemodialysis patient.” American journal of kidney diseases 34, no. 2 (1999): 349-354.|
|13.||↑||Dong quai. The University of Maryland.|
|14.||↑||Hobbs, Christopher, and Kathi Keville. Women’s Herbs, Women’s Health. Book Publishing Company, 2007.|
|15.||↑||Burkova, V. N., S. G. Boev, A. I. Vengerovskii, N. V. Yudina, and A. G. Arbuzov. “Antihypoxic and hemostimulating actions of a nettle extract prepared by a nanotechnological approach.” Pharmaceutical chemistry journal 44, no. 3 (2010): 141-143.|
|16.||↑||Stinging nettle. The University of Maryland.|
|17.||↑||Morck, Timothy A., S. R. Lynch, and J. D. Cook. “Inhibition of food iron absorption by coffee.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 37, no. 3 (1983): 416-420.|
|18.||↑||Taking iron supplements. National Institutes of Health.|
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.