You need to always have healthy levels of blood in your body. Your blood levels can fall because of certain health challenges. The blood levels can also fall as a result of your lifestyle or profession. Take for instance people who work in very hot environments. They are at the risk of suffering from low haemoglobin levels. One way of ensuring your haemoglobin levels remain optimum is a proper diet. There are certain foods that can help enhance the levels of blood in your body.
In this article, we are going to explore the various factors that affect the level and quality of blood in your body. We will also outline the top five nutrients that can help enhance the level and quality of blood in your body.
Factors that Affect Blood Levels
You might be wondering what factors can cause low blood/haemoglobin levels?
Haemoglobin levels are mainly affected by two types of factors. They can be affected by lifestyle factors or particular illnesses.
Living at High Altitude
If you’ve ever climbed a mountain or gone to any high altitude place where your body is not accustomed to, then you know what we are talking about. As you climb higher and higher, it becomes difficult for you to breath and your heart rate increases. That’s because there is less oxygen as you climb up. Your body struggles to pump enough oxygen into your blood.
This is going to increase your blood pressure and the quality of your blood in general. This condition can become dangerous if your body is unable to adapt to the low oxygen levels fast enough.
Smoking cigarettes is going to mess up your lungs and make them less effective in providing oxygen to the heart. That means less and lower-quality of oxygen in your blood. When your blood cells do not get enough oxygen, they will wear out quickly. They will also not be replaced as fast as they wearing out. Haemoglobin levels are directly proportional to the number of blood cells you have. When the number of blood cells falls, your haemoglobin levels fall as well. That can lead to a wide range of health challenges.
Anabolic Steroids and Other Performance-enhancing Drugs
It is easy to get tricked into taking performance-enhancing drugs, but the effects are often awful. Anabolic steroids are going to mess up your hormonal balance. They will make it difficult for your body to produce blood cells. As mentioned above, fewer blood cells mean less haemoglobin. That means lower blood levels and quality.
What illnesses can cause low blood levels?
Here is a list of some of the illnesses that could lead to low haemoglobin.
- Lung diseases
- Kidney diseases
- Heart diseases
- Polycythemia vera
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
Unfortunately, you can develop some of these health complications out of no fault of your own. Some people are born with lung, kidney, or heart diseases. Such diseases force you to be keen on the blood levels in your body. A proper diet can go a long way in ensuring you have enough and high-quality blood.
So, what nutrients can you eat to ensure you have enough blood?
Here are the top five nutrients that should feature in your diet plan if you are trying to manage your haemoglobin levels and quality.
Iron is a primary building block of blood cells. You are going to need foods that supply iron in plenty to ensure you have enough high-quality blood. Such foods include;
- Green vegetables, and others.
Up to 70% of the iron in your body is found in the red blood cells. You must have enough iron in your body to make sure you have enough haemoglobin. High-quality haemoglobin is able to effectively transfer oxygen from your lungs to all tissues and cells in your body.
That being said, you should be aware of a condition known as hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis is a condition where you have an abnormal absorption of iron into the blood. Your blood ends up with excess iron. The condition can cause a number of health complications.
Folate is also known as folic acid. It is one of the B-complex vitamins. Folate is essential in the production of haemoglobin. Your body uses the folate to produce the liquid part of haemoglobin known as heme. You need to take in a lot of it if you are hoping to boost your blood levels. If you do not have enough folate, you are going to develop a condition known as anaemia.
You can eat the following foods to boost your folate levels.
Kidney beans, and others.
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron. We have already established that more iron in your body means better blood levels and quality. That is as long as the iron absorption is not in excess. Foods rich in vitamin C include;
- Citrus fruits
- Green leafy vegetables
- Potatoes, and others
- Food Rich in Vitamin A
Vitamin A plays a similar role to that played by Vitamin C when it comes to the production of blood cells. It promotes the absorption of iron into the body. Vitamin A plays many other important roles in the body, including the prevention of infections. Food rich in vitamin A include;
- Sweet potatoes
- Squash, and others
Water is not a food, but we must mention it because you need proper hydration to be able to generate enough blood. If you are not taking enough water, it is going to be difficult for your body to produce blood even if it has all the other mineral and nutrients.
Water also helps to clean your blood and improve its quality. Water flushes out the toxins in your blood, and they are excreted as urine. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink water. You should make a point of drinking at least 7 glasses of water every day.
In conclusion, low haemoglobin levels can be a dangerous condition is not properly mitigated. You should avoid the detrimental habits that we have outlined above. If you are dealing with low blood levels because of any of the conditions we have mentioned above, your doctor in a better position to recommend remedies. The foods we have outlined above are all great as far as boosting your blood levels is concerned, but they are not enough to treat any underlying conditions that you have. All the same, you can take any of these foods as long as the doctor has not barred you from taking them.