List of Foods That Build up Your Blood for Over 50

Clams cooked in steamer
Clams in a steamer. (Image: JeepFoto/iStock/Getty Images)

Aging adults risk vitamin and mineral deficiency as the body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients diminishes. Individuals over 50 should pay close attention to the nutritional levels in their diets, particularly of iron and vitamin B12 intakes. You need these nutrients for healthy red blood cells to deliver oxygen to the rest of the body cells. Metabolism can be stabilized and anemia, a nutritional disorder, can be avoided or reversed by eating more foods whose nutrients build up your blood count.

Clams

Clams deliver high levels of both iron and vitamin B12, for a comprehensive approach to nutritional deficiencies. Three oz. of canned, raw or breaded and fried clams have as much as 700 percent of B12 and 130 percent of iron daily values, or DVs, as recommended by the FDA.

Other seafood sources for high iron and B12 include oysters, trout, salmon and haddock. For people over 50 who must limit saturated fat and cholesterol, seafood sources make superior choices to meats for building up your blood.

Fortified Cereal

Meet 100 percent of your daily needs for iron and B12 with some fortified cereals. Manufacturers add to the natural iron content of most whole oat, corn, wheat and rice cereals, and they enrich many of these with a variety of B vitamins.

Check the nutrition facts on the package to make sure that B12 is one of them. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the crystalline vitamin form added to cereals is most accessible to people over 50 with impaired nutrient absorption.

Yogurt

Among dairy products, yogurt has greater vitamin and mineral concentrations to aid in increasing your blood count due to its condensed form. The National Institutes of Health, or NIH, report that 1 cup of plain nonfat yogurt adds 25 percent DV of vitamin B12 to your menus. Milk and cheese contain this nutrient to lesser but still significant extents.

Beef

While liver has the highest iron and B12 contents among meats, its high cholesterol makes it less desirable in an over-50 diet than other beef cuts. Leaner top sirloin or beef round still contribute 25 percent DV of vitamin B12, notes the NIH.

These cuts also offer moderate amounts of iron that total less than 20 percent DV of your nutrient totals. Chicken, eggs, pork and lamb all have factors such as excessive cholesterol and fat, which, combined with their lower vitamin and mineral levels, don’t justify their selection in improving your blood count.

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