Sign In
  • ENG

Low haemoglobin count? Try these natural ways to improve your levels

Popping an iron pill can help you up your heamoglobin count, but you can also incorporate a few dietary changes to maintain your haemoglobin levels naturally.

Written by Shraddha Rupavate |Updated : June 2, 2020 9:28 AM IST

Read this in Hindi.

What does it mean when your doctor says that your haemoglobin levels are below normal? Haemoglobin (Hb) is a protein found in the 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. It gives blood its red colour. Haemoglobin levels vary from person to person. The normal range for haemoglobin for men is 13.5 to 17.5 grams per decilitre. For women it is 12.0 to 15.5 grams per decilitre. A low haemoglobin count on a blood test may be due to a condition that needs medical attention.

If your haemoglobin levels are below normal, your doctor might prescribe you iron or vitamin supplements to get them back to normal. But these tablets may a temporaray fix. Once you stop taking the supplements, your haemoglobin levels might drop again unless you incorporate a few dietary changes to maintain your haemoglobin levels naturally. (Read: Diet tips to beat anemia and increase hemoglobin)

Also Read

More News

Tips to increase haemoglobin levels naturally:

Although there are many more reasons like blood loss, bone marrow defects, cancer, kidney problems and use of certain drugs that can cause low levels of haemoglobin, nutritional deficiency of iron, folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin B12 is the most common reason for low haemoglobin levels. Deficiency of each of these can be corrected by adding different foods to the diet. Let's have a look at them individually. Here are 11 healthy foods to improve your haemoglobin count.

Low haemoglobin levels due to iron deficiency:Iron deficiency anaemia can be easily corrected by including iron rich sources in the diet.

  • Leafy vegetables like spinach (palak) and fenugreek leaves (methi), beans and lentils like masoor daal, chole, moong daal, toor daal, urad daal, rajma are also good sources of iron to resort to. Here are some health benefits of methi, you need to know.
  • Asparagus (shatwar) and sesame seeds (til) are other good sources of iron.
  • Grains like barley (jav), rice (chawal), semolina (sooji), millet (bajra) and maize (makai) can also be included. You could use combination of any of these sources to cook delicious iron rich recipes.
  • If not, munch on dried fruits such as almonds (badaam), dried peaches or raisins (manuka). If you re a non-vegetarian, meat and fish are the best sources of iron for you.

In case your haemoglobin levels are low despite consumption of these iron-rich foods, your body might not be able to absorb the available iron properly. So, here are some diet tips to increase iron absorption:

  • Add dried herbs to your diet, especially, coriander (dhania), spearmint (pudina), basil (tulsi), chervil (chevil), dried parsley (sukhe ajamoda), bay leaf (tejpatta).
  • Another way to increase iron absorption is to minimise the intake of calcium rich foods like milk and cheese because they block the absorption of iron. Don t drink too much of coffee, tea and alcohol.
  • Avoid eating foods containing gluten like pastas and wheat products, which are also linked to anaemia. Read more about Beat anemia with beetroots.
  • Sometimes, foods such as parsley (ajwain) that are rich in oxalic acid may also interfere with absorption of iron. Have them in limited quantities.

Low hemoglobin levels due to vitamin C deficiency: Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron from foods. So without adequate vitamin C, iron from food sources will not get absorbed efficiently.

  • Low haemoglobin levels due to deficiency of Vitamin C can be corrected by eating fruits like guava (peru/amrud), kiwi, papaya, oranges, strawberries and grapefruit. Add all fruits together to make a delicious fruit salad or make your mixed fruit juice. Read more about 15 reasons to include vitamin C in your diet.
  • You can also obtain vitamin C from vegetables including capsicum (Simla mirch), broccoli (hara phool gobi), cabbage (Gobi), tomatoes and spinach (palak).

Low hemoglobin levels due to folic acid deficiency: If your haemoglobin count is low because your body is not producing sufficient red blood cells, then you could be deficient in folic acid, a B complex vitamin that is required to make red blood cells.

  • Sources of folic acid include lentils, dried beans, peas, Brussels sprouts (chota band gobi), banana, corn (makai), beets, pineapple and peanuts. (Note: If you are having more of Vitamin C sources then you'll have to increase the intake of folic acid as well because vitamin C causes excretion of folic acid from the body.
  • Breakfast cereals like rice are also fair sources of folic acid. Here's are 5 natural sources of folic acid you need in your diet.

To know the role of hemoglobin in the body, read why is hemoglobin important?

Read more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of anemia.

Did you know even homemade food can cause food poisoning? Click here to find out how!


Photo source: Getty images

For more articles on diseases & conditions, visit our diseases & conditions section. For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter.For health related Q&A, click here!

Total Wellness is now just a click away.

Follow us on