The red cells in the body carry a protein called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is what makes the blood appear red. The hemoglobin in the blood picks up oxygen from the lungs and transports it to the peripheral tissues to keep the cells viable. The hemoglobin molecules in the red blood cells also contain iron that is essential for good health. If you have a low hemoglobin count, you might be suffering from an iron deficiency problem. Here are few ways you can improve your hemoglobin count.
Talk with your doctor before changing your diet in any way to improve your hemoglobin count.
Eat foods that contain heme iron. You can boost low hemoglobin levels by eating foods such as beef, tuna, pork, chicken, halibut, lamb or oysters. These foods can help improve low hemoglobin levels.
Eat foods that contain non heme iron. Foods that contain non heme iron include beans, nuts, potatoes, cooked spinach, cooked green beans, cooked asparagus, avocado, raisins, dried apricots, dates, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat cereal.
Take an iron supplement with food or juice that is high in vitamin C. When you look for an iron supplement, be sure it includes ferrous sulfate. Iron is absorbed more efficiently when combined with vitamin C. Foods rich in vitamin C include tomatoes, citrus fruits, kiwi, grapefruit juice, strawberries, papaya, broccoli and cantaloupe.
Avoid foods or substances that will deter iron absorption. Certain foods or other substances can hinder iron from being absorbed properly. These foods include dairy products, foods that are high in fiber, coffee, tea, beer, wine, sodas and calcium supplements.
Terrie Dominguez has been passionate about writing since the mid-1980s and has been freelance writing since 2008. Dominguez mostly writes about health, diet and fitness. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Dominguez majored in English at Mercer University.