This week is National Blood Week here in the UK.
NHS Blood and Transplant needs 400 new people to register as new donors every day in order to keep up with demand.
To support this effort, here are five foods you can eat to support red blood cell count:
Red Meat, such as beef, is high in iron, and can increase your body’s production of red blood cells. Normal RBC counts range from 4.7 to 6.1 million cells per microliter for men, and 4.2 to 5.4 million cells per microliter for women.
Red meats are also high in Vitamin B-12, which supports blood health.
Dark, Leafy Green Vegetables.
Vegetables such as spinach and kale are also iron-rich, and are also high in Folic Acid and Vitamin A, which support healthy red blood cell production. The average person needs about 100 to 250 mcg per day, though this number jumps for pregnant women.
Dried fruits, such as prunes and raisins are high in iron also, and provide other nutrients to support the body’s overall health.
Iron deficiency causes low RBC production, and women need about 18 milligrams per day, where men tend to only need about 10 milligrams per day.
Beans, while high in iron and Folic Acid, are also high in Copper, which doesn’t directly result in RBC production, but does help your RBC’s access the iron they need to replicate. Women need about 18mg per day, and men need about 8mg per day. This number can vary based on other factors such as age and body weight.
Egg yolks are surprisingly high in iron, though this doesn’t help vegans at all. Eggs are high in a number of other nutrients, so if supplements are needed due to a special diet, it is best to talk to your physician about what your body needs for healthy operation.
If you are anything like me, while you pay attention to your overall health, you don’t consider the individual processes that occur in your body that contribute to that health. One of these aspects is the importance of blood health.
Blood supports various functions in the body, including supplying oxygen to cells and tissues, providing vital nutrients to cells, and protecting the body from infection through the white blood cells.
For more information about supporting National Blood Week and/or becoming a blood donor, please visit https://www.blood.co.uk
Photography by Full Steam Pictures.
Written by Kate Davies, Media Manager Full Steam Pictures.