How to Increase Hemoglobin Level | Food and Diet to Improve Low Hemoglobin

Question: My hemoglobin level is 6.2. How can I increase level of hemoglobin as I cannot eat spicy food and faint many times? I am afraid of doctors.  A low level of haemoglobin means you are anemic. Haemoglobin is composed of “Heme” (a compound of organic iron) and “Globin” (a protein bearing sulphur).  Hemoglobin deficiency results when there is decreased level of hemoglobin noted in the blood. Hemoglobin is made up of the iron containing part heme and the protein part globin. The heme consists of iron and porphyrin. The main function of hemoglobin is transportation of oxygen to every organ of the body.

Normal Value of Hemoglobin

  • Male: 14.5 to 16.5 g/dL
  • Female: 12.0 to 14.5 g/dL

When there is low level of hemoglobin in the blood, it is referred to as anemia, most of the time the reason is iron deficiency.

Low Hemoglobin Food and Diet

  • A liberal intake of iron rich foods will immediately check iron deficiency anemia. Initially, to make up for the deficit, iron supplements are advised. But gradually, taper the dependence. Good sources of iron are- whole wheat, brown rice, green leafy vegetable (spinach, broccoli. Cabbage, fenugreek, lettuce), beet, cherries, tomatoes, dates, figs.
  • Consumption of iron alone will not help.
    The low hemoglobin diet must also comprise of adequate protein. Milk and its products, egg, organ meat and soy are the best sources.
  • When taking iron foods/ a supplement, always take vitamin C alongside. This facilitates the absorption of iron.
  • Vitamin B should also be taken liberally for increasing hemoglobin level. Sources – whole cereals, fruits and vegetables and milk.
  • Beet is the ideal food, which stimulates haemoglobin production. It regenerates RBC production and speedily fights the symptoms of anemia.
  • Anulom-vilom, a breathing technique (PRANAYAMA), should be done, religiously everyday. It purifies the body; throwing out toxins, improve body’s resistance and helps in normal vesicular breathing.
  • Eat food containing iron.
  • Eat green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, collards, etc.
  • Green peas and other varieties of peas.
  • Liver, chicken, turkey.
  • Egg, organ meat beef and lamb.
  • Iron fortified cereals and brown rice.
  • Iron supplements in tablets and capsules.
  • If you are taking supplementary iron, orange juice helps it to absorb effectively.
  • A healthy diet is one of the best ways to boost the levels of hemoglobin in the blood. Alternatively use of iron and folic acid supplements would also prove beneficial. However, the  use of supplements is often associated with side effects like constipation. Here are some of the dietary measures to boost your hemoglobin levels.
  • Include green leafy vegetables in your daily diet. Spinach, Broccoli, Mustard greens, Arugula,Dandelion Greens, Collard Greens,Romaine Lettuce,Swiss Chard, etc are great sources of vitamin A, C, K, folate, calcium and iron. They are also rich in fiber which is essential to alleviate symptoms like constipation in elderly. These foods are packed with antioxidants that prevent the occurrence of conditions like cancers and cardiovascular disorders
  • Apricots, dates, raisins, Cashew nuts, figs, soy, sesame seeds, etc are also rich sources of iron.
  • Wheat germ, Wheat flakes, oat bran should form an integral part of your diet. Malt bread, Whole grain bread and cereals are packed with iron and folic acid which is essential to boost the levels of hemoglobin in your blood.

Symptoms of Anemic Person

An anemic person, is usually pale, has dull-tired eyes, feels dizzy and faints, lacks energy and is breathless, when he slightly exerts himself.

  • Fatigue.
  • Dizziness.
  • Breathing difficulty.
  • Skin looks pale.
  • Chest pain.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Feet and hands feel cold.
  • Depression.

Causes of Anemia

  • Iron deficiency in children, adult, pregnant women and lactating women.
  • Lack of dietary iron
  • Lack of absorption of iron in the intestine due to intestinal parasite.
  • Depletion of iron due to hemorrhage.
  • Heavy menstruation.
  • Defect and destruction of red blood cells such as sickle cell anemia, blood cancer etc.
  • Fibroid
  • Prostate cancer.
  • Bleeding piles.
  • Gastric ulcer.
  • Polyps in the colon.
  • Chronic kidney disease.
  • Worms are also known to cause anemia.
  • How is your bowel movement? Are there any irregularities?

 

37 comments


  1. MP

    My hemoglobin level is 6.4, can you please suggest the best medicine which can help me to increase the level quickly.

    • PUP

      Your hemoglobin level is definitely low. Before recommending any supplements, I would advise you to consult your family physician as early as you can. This is because it is very important to know the cause behind such drastic reduction of hemoglobin level. Once the cause is found, it becomes easy for the medicine to raise hemoglobin level. Your doctor will prescribe iron supplements. Simultaneously you can also eat iron and vitamin rich food. This includes fruits, green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, lean meat, poultry, fish, iron fortified cereals etc.

  2. AK

    My wife is suffering from anemia and her hemoglobin is 7. What would you suggest to increase her hemoglobin?

    • PUP

      Before telling you the ways to increase hemoglobin, I would advise her to find out the cause for such drastic reduction of hemoglobin. Is she having heavy bleeding during menstruation? Is she having bleeding from any other organs such as bleeding hemorrhoids? How is her food intake, how is her appetite? She also needs to do some more tests such a stool routine, serum B12 etc. The best way is to consult your doctor. Treating the cause will be beneficial in increasing her hemoglobin. Let her take iron supplement as prescribed by her doctor. Simultaneously she should eat iron and vitamin rich food. Animal source of iron include liver, shrimp, calm, etc. Vegetarian source include legumes, dried fruits, green leafy vegetables, iron fortified cereals, spinach etc. She should also eat vitamin C rich food as vitamin C enhances iron absorption in the intestine. Fruits, oranges, lemon, berries, mango, grapefruit, broccoli, cabbage are good source. Also folic acid containing foods such as spinach and other leafy vegetables, peas, eggs, bananas, peanut butter should be consumed.

  3. PR

    My hemoglobin level is 10.03. Can you please suggest the best medicine and some remedy which can help me to increase the level quickly?

    • PUP

      There are several iron supplements available, but you should always consult your doctor before taking these supplements. Secondly, you can also raise your hemoglobin by eating foods that are rich source of iron. Chicken, beef, pork liver, clamps, oysters, fish, fortified grains, beans and lentils, pumpkin seeds, green vegetables, are good source of iron. Also eat fruits and foods that contain vitamin C. Vitamin C enhance absorption of iron from the gut.

  4. RG

    I am of 29 years old and my weight is 56 kg. My hemoglobin is approx 6 and this maybe due to my unhealthy diet as I eat outside food. I take drinks once a month. Please tell me a diet chart which I can follow as I am not at home due to my job.

    • PUP

      Your hemoglobin level is too low and you should not neglect it. Apart from unhealthy diet, you have to find if there is any other reason for low hemoglobin. Do you have bleeding piles? Or is there bleeding anywhere in your body, just talk to your doctor. Also do a stool routine test in a laboratory. You should take supplement iron tabs as well as diet rich in iron and vitamin to raise your hemoglobin level. Eat green leafy vegetables, spinach, fish, meat, eggs, cereals and grains enriched with iron, baked potato, wheat germ, stalk of broccoli, dried fruits, raisins, mollusks etc. together with it, eat fruits that contain plenty of vitamin C such as orange, lemon, etc. Vitamin C facilitates easy absorption of iron.

  5. RK

    I am really happy because I m a yoga teacher and always use to take support from net for improving my knowledge in yoga therapy.

  6. locomo

    My Hb is 2.5d/gl according to my doctor. What must I eat to improve my hemoglobin level?

    • PUP

      Your hemoglobin level is too low. You have to increase your hemoglobin level fast. You should consult your doctor immediately and follow the treatment suggested by him. Having such low hemoglobin count may require hospitalization to find the cause and for further management.

  7. JB

    The hemoglobin level of my mom was 8.60. So she started eating iron and vitamin rich food
    (Fruits, vegetables, meat, etc), but after 3 days another test for her hemoglobin level has shows the result as 8.30.
    Why did it decrease? Can you give me a suggestion? How long will it take for hemoglobin to rise to its normal level?

    • PUP

      Hemoglobin level will not rise within few days; you have to keep patience for it. What made her to repeat the test just after 3 days? Minor difference between two results are not significant as it can occur as a result of change in the reagent used for the test, it can also occur if the blood test is done at two different places. The most important thing is to know the reason for her low hemoglobin count. For this you should consult a good doctor. Meanwhile let her continue whatever food she is eating to increase hemoglobin. After consulting, the doctor may also prescribe some iron supplement.

  8. KT

    My father’s Hemoglobin is 7 . What should we do? He is also a diabetic patient.

    • PUP

      I would like to know few facts. Since how many years your father is suffering from diabetes? Has he done any blood reports recently? There are many reasons for low hemoglobin; you should first find the reason as this will help in selecting the right treatment. He requires a detailed check up so consult a good physician in your locality.

  9. FI

    My age is 20 years (female) & my HB is 6.9 (not normal). Wbc is 11400 (not normal). Rbc 4.41. Hct 27.3. mcv 61.9. mch 15.6 (not normal). mchc 23.3. Platelets are 27300 (not normal). What will you recommend me?

    • PUP

      Considering your hemoglobin and platelet count, both are very low, I would advise you to consult a good doctor as soon as possible.

  10. RN

    My hemoglobin level is 9.2. I am suffering from diabetes. How can I increase my hemoglobin level to 13?

    • PUP

      If you are suffering from diabetes since long, you should also check your kidney status. This you can do with simple blood tests. Talk to your doctor about the tests. This is because in diabetics of long standing the kidney may not be functioning well, and it can also give rise to low hemoglobin. However, if the kidney test results are normal, than eat iron rich food and take iron supplement as prescribed by your doctor.

  11. SA

    My hemoglobin is 6 and I am 18 years old, I was suffering from heavy blood flow. Right now I am also suffering from malaria. What should be my diet besides medicines?

    • PUP

      You should take your anti malaria medicines as prescribed by your doctor. If necessary get hospitalized as your hemoglobin is too low and you are also having heavy flow. As for your diet, eat nutritious food in your meals. Once your anti malaria medicines are over, you may need iron supplements to increase your hemoglobin. Your doctor will prescribe the same. It is necessary for you to keep constant follow up with your doctor.

  12. PM

    My hemoglobin is 7 and I am 32 years old. My both hands and legs are shivering and I am feeling extremely tired. Can you tell me how to improve my hemoglobin?

    • PUP

      For improving your hemoglobin, it may be necessary for you to take supplemental iron tablets. But before that it is important to find the reason for low hemoglobin count. Consult your doctor to find out the cause among several causes that are known, he will also prescribe which iron tablet is suitable for you. Meanwhile, eat iron rich food, eat nutritious diet, and avoid strenuous work.

  13. SA

    My Hb is 7.5. I always become sick due to low hemoglobin. Even my period flow is high. I am feeling too weak. How can I improve my Hemoglobin? I am a vegetarian so even I do not eat meat.

    • PUP

      Most probably your low Hb is due to excessive flow during menses. It is necessary to find why there is excessive flow. Few tests such as sonography of pelvis will help to know if there is any abnormality in pelvic organs. You can use home remedies to stop the excessive flow. The bark of Ashoka is considered to be a useful remedy for reducing excessive menses flow. It has to be boiled and the water should be consumed as per the naturopath advice. Another home remedy is banana flower. Cook banana flower and eat it with a cup of curd. To increase your hemoglobin, eat iron containing food. You may also require iron supplements.

  14. AS

    My mother has Hb level 8.6. She had suffered from typhoid fever 15 days ago. She is recovered from typhoid but her Hb is going down continuously. What should be her diet to increase hemoglobin?

    • PUP

      In her recuperating stage, your mother should eat all nutritious food, including diet rich in iron. Green leafy vegetables, spinach, are best in this recovery stage. Later on she can add fish, meat, eggs etc. Dried fruits such as dates, almonds also contain enough iron.

  15. SH

    I am 7 weeks pregnant and my hemoglobin is 7.5%. What should I eat to increase my hemoglobin? Why is my hemoglobin low?

    • PUP

      You have asked the right question, why your hemoglobin is low. There can be several reasons. First, it can be due to low intake of food and nutrition. Secondly, leakage of blood from organ as in piles, excess of menses, etc. Problem in manufacturing of red blood cells can also result in low hemoglobin. Consult your doctor to find the exact reason. Since your hemoglobin is too low, you may need iron and vitamin supplements. Follow your physician’s prescription. Eat food rich in iron. Green leafy vegetables, spinach, meat, fish, eggs, etc are good source of iron.

  16. NT

    My wife is three month pregnant now, and last week we came to know in blood report, that her hemoglobin count is 8.6. The doctor has asked us to go for one more test, can you please tell me, and is it really necessary to undergo that test, as the test is too expensive here in abroad. I am sending my wife to India in one month; however rest all reports are normal, and baby looks fine too. Is she at any risk if the test is not done here; also please advice what are the foods or supplement my wife can take to increase hemoglobin count?

    • PUP

      This question you should ask to your doctor if the test is essential or can be delayed. However, we can assume when your doctor recommends any test, it may be essential. Follow your doctor’s recommendation. Here are some foods that help to increase hemoglobin level. Spinach, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, broccoli, beans, poultry, eggs, fish, red meat, dry fruits, nuts, soy milk, Jaggery, wheat bran, oats, peanut butter, etc. Vitamin C increases absorption of iron in the intestine. So she should eat fruits such as oranges, sweet lime, strawberry, etc.

  17. NT

    Thanks PUP, can you tell me if 8.6 hemoglobin is too low in pregnancy or it is a normal finding.

    • PUP

      8.6 is low hemoglobin in pregnancy as well as even without pregnancy. Patient has to take effective measures to improve his or her hemoglobin count when it is low.

  18. SN

    My hemoglobin is 10.7. Is it too low? I got my test done during my menses. How can I increase my hemoglobin?

    • PUP

      Your hemoglobin is moderately low. There are several natural foods that can increase your hemoglobin level. Eat food those are rich in iron.
      • Egg yolk.
      • Dark green vegetables.
      • Dried fruits.
      • Liver.
      • Red meat
      • Lentils and beans.
      Eat fruits containing vitamin C for better absorption of iron in the gut. Oranges, lemon, lime, guava etc are rich source of iron.

  19. PT

    My age is 21, I am 60kg. I have chronic kidney disease and am on dialysis. My hemoglobin dropped to 4 in about 3 weeks. I was symptomless. Had a blood transfusion, doctors don’t know cause. It’s now at 7. What can help to increase my hemoglobin?

    • PUP

      In chronic kidney disease anemia occurs due to deficiency of a hormone called erythropoietin. Doctors usually prescribe erythropoietin injections for CKD patients to raise hemoglobin.

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