Foods That Increase Red Blood Cells

Red blood cells play a very significant role in transporting blood that is rich in oxygen to the tissues in the body and removing the carbon dioxide out of the body.

They contain bright red colored hemoglobin and are produced in the bone marrow, but they die with time and new ones are continually produced. There are, however, certain foods that increase the production of these red blood cells.


When the body produces very few red blood cells or if these cells contain very little hemoglobin, increasing dietary iron consumption can rectify this. Citrus foods also contain more amounts of vitamin C and are beneficial, as they help increase the absorption of iron present in foods. Red blood cells circulate in your blood and they only live for about four months after which they die. In order to produce more of them, the body needs to be supplied with vitamin B12, iron and also folic acid. In the absence of these, the person becomes anemic.

Foods Containing Iron

The mineral iron is also used for making hemoglobin; so consuming foods that are rich in iron can increase the production of red blood cells and also keep them supplied with oxygen. Foods that are rich in dietary iron are red meat; kidney and liver meat; dark and green leafy vegetables like spinach or kale; egg yolks; prunes and raisins (dried); beans and lentils. Though red meat is one of the best sources of iron, vegetarians also have plenty of other alternatives to the above-mentioned foods as also very dark chocolate and figs. The body is, however, better able to absorb iron from meat and from fish when compared to vegetables, so vegetarians must make sure that they are getting enough iron in their diet.

A bowl of fortified cereal is a great way to start a day with such irons. Having a salad or a glass of orange juice with the meal is a good idea, as it contains vitamin C that enables better absorption of the iron.

Folic Acid

It is also known as vitamin B9 and assists the body in making red blood cells. There are many foods rich in folic acid, such as breads; cereals; green and leafy vegetables like spinach; peas; nuts and dried beans. Other excellent sources of folic acid are asparagus and mustard greens as well as broccoli and cauliflower, turnip greens, beets and lentils. In addition, you can get foliate from summer squash and from black beans and navy beans. Including papaya, tomatoes, green peas, bell peppers, cabbage and leeks in your diet can also add the necessary folic acid to the diet.

Vitamin B 12

This is a very complex vitamin that is very useful for synthesis of DNA and for producing red blood cells. If the amount of vitamin B12 is low in the body, it results in production of megaloblasts, which is due to abnormal process of cell division. This causes megaloblastic anemia, as these immature or abnormal blood cells are not able to store or even transport the oxygen to the tissues of the body. There are many animal foods that contain this vitamin, such as beef and liver as well as red meat, fish and eggs along with dairy products, breakfast cereals, yeasts and milk.

The red blood cell count can be low due to several reasons, such as anemia or bone marrow failure, leukemia, injuries, pregnancy or other nutritional deficiencies or drugs. However, there are many foods that when consumed can increase the red blood cells count in the body. Foods rich in iron, copper, folic acid and some complex vitamins can help the body produce the necessary amount of red blood cells.



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