5 Nutrients That Increase Red Blood Cell (RBC) Count In The Body

Blood, a body fluid, is the main component of the circulatory system in humans. Blood is responsible for transporting nutrients and oxygen to tissues and cells in the body. The main component of blood responsible for carrying oxygen is Red blood cells (RBCs). If a body is low on RBC count, then the circulatory system would fail to supply sufficient amounts of oxygen and nutrients to the body.

What Is Normal RBC Count?

The normal RBC count is different for both men and women, and it is gender-based.

  • For men, the average RBC count in blood lies between 4.7-6.1 million cells per microliter (mcl.)
  • For women, the average RBC count in blood lies between 4.2-5.4 million cells per microliter (mcl.)

There are few exceptions, the RBC count may vary for pregnant women, and it is also different for children.

Symptoms Of Low RBCs In Blood

There are several symptoms and signs that could indicate a possible low RBC count. A body may show the following symptoms if it is running low on RBC count.

  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Skin appearing pale
  • Certainly high heart rate
  • Headaches

Your physician may test the RBC count with a most common measure CBC test. It generally indicates the counting factor of all blood components, including RBC count.

Bad Dietary Habits

Eating and taking in healthy food is as important as giving up unhealthy foods. Bad habits mostly encompass drinking and smoking; such habits are hazardous for health and well-being, impacting the overall count of Red blood cells. It causes poisoning of the bone marrow, which is the site of red blood cell production. The reduced number of erythrocytes can lead to anemia. Thus those struggling with this problem should look for an addiction guide to overcome it.

Nutrients That Increase RBC Count

On average, a healthy adult body produces between 400-2000 milliliters of blood per day. So, it is essential to know what nutrients are directly linked with RBCs’ synthesis in the blood. Making sure to use those nutrients through dietary sources may help the body make sufficient Red Blood Cells.

  • Iron-Rich Diet

Iron is the most important mineral; it is used to synthesize hemoglobin, a protein found in RBCs that carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Iron is also used to synthesize myoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to muscles. It is very important to take sufficient amounts of iron through diet to meet body requirements to produce enough RBCs.

Iron-rich diet assists in increasing RBC count. Food richer in iron content includes

  • Red meat
  • Eggs
  • Organ meat, kidneys, and liver
  • Seafood, such as shrimps, tuna, and mackerel
  • Vegetable sources including spinach, broccoli, and kale
  • Iron enriched bread and cereals
  • Fruits including apples, figs, dried apricot, and peaches
  • Beans and legumes
  • Folate

The body itself does not produce folate or Vitamin B9. It is crucial for some key functions. One of them is to produce red blood cells. It is even more important for women of reproductive age to avoid one of the main pregnancy issues, neural tube defects. Deficiency of folate can lead to anemia, a condition of low RBC count; in order to avoid such conditions, it is important to take enough folate through diet.

There are a number of food sources that are rich in folate. Other than that, a variety of folate fortified cereals and supplements are also available to cover folate deficiency rapidly. Natural food sources of folate are

  • Beef liver
  • Folate fortified cereals
  • Lentils and beans
  • Peanuts
  • Fruits such as Avocado
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Egg
  • Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is also an essential mineral for the body to synthesize red blood cells. Its deficiency can lead to anemia. Vitamin B12 and folate both are essential for blood production. Having a deficiency of any one indicates that a body is also running low on the other one. Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in people who use a vegan diet. Its deficiency can easily be treated with the help of supplements.

There are a number of natural food sources of Vitamin B12. There are other food sources as well in which Vitamin B12 is artificially incorporated to meet the needs. Some main food sources are

  • Fortified cereals
  • Dairy products 
  • Fish
  • Red meat
  • Copper

Copper is an essential mineral for the body. It is not directly involved in the production of red blood cells. However, the body needs copper to absorb iron from the intestines. It is also an important role in bone cell and connective tissue synthesis. Though deficiency of copper is very rare, yet it is important to make sure of its intake. There are natural food sources that are richer in copper.

Other than that, supplements can also be used if the body is not getting enough copper. The foods that naturally contain copper are

  • Seafood such as Shellfish and salmon
  • Mushrooms
  • Tofu
  • Vegetables such as turnip, sweet potatoes, and spinach
  • Sesame seeds
  • Cashews and walnuts
  • Beans 
  • Fruits such as guava, avocado, and kiwi
  • Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency can also lead a body to run low on RBC count. It does so in a number of complex biological processes. One of the main factors is that Vitamin A is responsible for the mobilization of iron stored in tissues. A diet rich in Vitamin A helps in boosting RBC count; likewise, deficiency of Vitamin A can lead to anemia

  • Beef and lamb liver
  • Fish oil
  • Dairy products 
  • Vegetables such as tomatoes, cantaloupe, carrots, and summer squash
  • Fruits such as mango, apricot, and guava

Take Away

Red blood cells are the carriers of oxygen in the body, reduced numbers of RBCs can lead to anemia. There are certain foods that can increase the count of RBC. A number of symptoms can indicate a low RBC count. Also, giving up on bad eating habits is equally important.

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