A nutritional deficiency in your diet can cause anemia, a shortage of red blood cells. Aside from water, human blood is composed mainly of these cells, which your body needs for oxygen transport to cells. Increasing foods in your diet with the nutrients that facilitate red blood cell synthesis will gradually raise your blood count and energy level. To encourage blood cell production, target the foods in every food group that offer iron, protein and vitamins B and C.
Fortified cereal is the best source of blood-making nutrition in the grain food group. Grains naturally contain protein and some iron and B vitamins, but some cereal manufacturers pump up the vitamin and mineral content their products to act as dietary supplements. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that you can get a full day’s supply of iron and certain B vitamins such as folate and B-12 in a single suggested serving of cereal such as wheat bran flakes. Some cereal varieties increase vitamin C content as well.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Spinach provides energy-giving properties due to its positive effect on red blood cell count. One cup of cooked spinach has more protein and iron than all other non-starchy vegetables, as well as high content of several B vitamins including folate, and vitamin C. Low calories make this a superfood for blood health, with other green vegetables such as collards, broccoli and asparagus similar in nutrition.
Oranges are best known for their effect on immune system health, but they contain several dietary properties that bolster blood cell formation. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute notes that small amounts of the essential vitamin C in oranges is used for that task. Oranges and orange juice also provide 1 or 2 grams of protein per suggested serving and moderate amounts of B vitamins.
Get big boosts of nutrients for your blood from yogurt, another food with dense nutrition that becomes concentrated during preparation. With more protein, B vitamins and calcium than milk or cheese, yogurt supports healthy blood as well as the bones in which blood cells are made.
All of the foods in the protein group also contain significant B vitamins, but cooked dry beans have the broadest nutritional contributions to your blood. Pinto, black, kidney and other beans are high in protein, iron, several B vitamins and vitamin C as well. Fish, meats and poultry have greater protein but, in general, smaller amounts of the other blood-making nutrients.