Minerals like iron play a crucial role in creating hemoglobin, and a lack of it, due to an inadequate diet or absorption issues, can lead to decreased concentrations. If you're looking to increase your hemoglobin levels, continue reading to discover the symptoms of low levels and how to boost them through diet.

Maintaining a healthy hemoglobin level is important to keep our bodies functioning optimally, as it helps carry oxygen throughout the body. It’s an essential protein in red blood cells, and its absence can make us feel weak, fatigued, and short of breath. However, did you know that hemoglobin levels can be affected by something as simple as iron deficiency? Iron plays a major role in your body's ability to create hemoglobin; and low iron levels could cause a decrease in hemoglobin concentrations. So if you’ve ever wondered how to increase hemoglobin levels, read on to learn more about the ways you can boost levels through diet.

Causes of Low Hemoglobin Levels

Listed below are the main causes of low hemoglobin levels:

Nutrient deficiency due to diet:

There are various types of nutrient deficiencies characterized by low hemoglobin levels. For instance, iron deficiency anemia is caused due to less intake of iron through the diet which in turn causes lowered hemoglobin production. In this case, it’s important to consume iron-rich foods to increase hemoglobin levels.

Blood loss:

Low hemoglobin levels can result from blood loss caused by injury or illness. Every time blood is lost, iron is also lost. Women may experience low hemoglobin levels during their menstrual cycles. Additionally, internal bleeding, such as from a bleeding ulcer, can lead to blood loss.

Stomach disease:

Some diseases like celiac disease disrupt the body’s ability to absorb iron after consumption, which in turn may affect hemoglobin levels.

Kidney issues:

Kidneys play a crucial role in the production of red blood cells. Damaged kidneys produce less erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone responsible for signaling your bone marrow to generate red blood cells. This leads to a decrease in RBC production, thus lowering hemoglobin production.

Symptoms of Low Hemoglobin Levels

The signs and symptoms of low hemoglobin may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Tongue inflammation
  • Brittle nails
  • Strange cravings for substances like ice or dirt
  • Poor appetite

How to Increase Hemoglobin Levels?

Curious to learn how to increase hemoglobin levels? Listed below are a few ways you can do so through your diet:

Boost your iron intake

Since iron is required for hemoglobin production, it’s important to consume iron-rich foods to improve hemoglobin levels. These are the best iron-packed foods to increase hemoglobin count:

Food source Amount of iron present (mg) in 100g Simple Recipes
Amaranth seeds 8.02 Masala bajra roti
Bajra 6.42 Rajgira porridge
Soyabean 8.29 Soyabean curry
Dal 7.06 Dal khichdi
Chicken liver 9.92 Palak chicken curry
Sheep liver 6.15 Mutton masala curry
Amaranth leaves (green) 6.37 Amaranth thoran,
Methi (Fenugreek leaves ) 5.69 Methi saag,
Methi paratha,
Methi bhaji
Dates (dark brown) 4.79 Dry fruit bar,
Garden cress 6.19 Halim kheer,
Garden cress ladoo
Cashews 5.95 Cashew pistachio milkshake

Boost your intake of folate

Folate, a crucial type of vitamin B, is also necessary for the production of hemoglobin in our bodies. Hemoglobin relies on folate to create heme, a vital component responsible for transporting oxygen. Insufficient intake of folate can result in folate-deficiency anemia and reduced levels of hemoglobin. These are the best folate-rich foods to increase hemoglobin levels:

Food source Amount of folate (mcg) per 100 g Recipe
White rice (enriched) 58 Jeera rice,
Mixed vegetable paneer rice
Yellow dal 181 Moong dal tadka,
Moong dal soup
Chickpeas 172 Chickpea khichdi,
Chickpea tikki
Red kidney beans 130 Rajma chawal,
Kidney beans soup
Chicken liver 578 Hyderabadi chicken,
Chicken curry (Goan)
Spinach 146 Palak soup
Okra 46 Bhindi stir fry,
Stuffed bhindi recipe
Papaya 37 Papaya smoothie
Peanuts 240 Peanut chaat,
Oats peanut poha

Consume foods that boost iron absorption

Vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin C can help boost the absorption of iron by the body, which can help raise your hemoglobin levels. These are listed below:

Food source Amount of vitamin C (mg) in 100g Recipe
Green Capsicum 123 mg Tomato capsicum salad
Oranges 42.72 Orange mosambi juice
Lemon 48.16 Basil honey lemon juice
Tomato 27.47 Tomato soup

Try a delicious salad with capsicums and tomatoes, or enjoy refreshing fruits like oranges and lemons with your meal.

It’s always best to first consult with your doctor or dietician before you make any major changes in your diet and start consuming the foods that improve hemoglobin levels.


Understanding the main sources of iron and folate-rich foods that improve hemoglobin levels is an important step for maintaining healthy blood. However, it is highly recommended to first seek medical guidance and adhere to the advice given by a healthcare professional in order to boost hemoglobin levels before you start consuming these foods. With the right guidance, you should be able to raise your hemoglobin levels, which is essential to keeping all parts of your body functioning at their full potential.