The most effective way to build blood is to include iron, vitamin B-12 and folic acid-rich foods in your diet, according to "Acupuncture Today." Iron makes the main compound found in red blood cells, a protein called hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood. Vitamin B-12 and folic acid help produce red blood cells. If your red blood cell or hemoglobin count is low, you may experience appetite loss, headaches, constipation, mood swings or poor concentration. These deficiences may be caused by an underlying illness such as anemia, cancer or cirrhosis. Consult a physician to determine blood insufficiencies and appropriate treatment.
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Chicken is an iron-rich food, containing 10 mg of the nutrient per cup. Try adding it to your diet for blood and hemoglobin production. Animal sources of iron are particularly helpful for increasing iron stores, because vegetable sources are not absorbed as effectively, according to nutritionist Phyllis A. Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Try making chicken terriyaki with a side of vitamin C-containing grated papaya salad. Consuming iron concurrently with vitamin C helps improves the mineral's absorption.
Turkey contains high levels of vitamin B-12, which is essential for building blood. A 1-cup serving of cooked turkey contains 48 mcg of this vitamin. You may consider turkey a holiday season food, but roasting a whole bird during other times of the year is healthy and economical. Turkey cold cuts and sausage can be served with iron-rich spinach on a sandwich or in a pasta dish. The nutrients tend to work synergistically, according to Balch, so eating them together helps facilitate their healthy effects.
Long-grain white rice is a concentrated source of folic acid. A 1-cup serving of the grain contains 797 mcg of folic acid. Serve white rice as a side dish with a variety of meals, combining it with sauces and spices to enhance its flavor. Rice can be stir fried with iron-rich beef and vitamin C-rich vegetables, such as broccoli, so you consume nutrients that build blood effectively in one meal.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.