Human body contains a substance called haemoglobin, which is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout our bodies – from our lungs to our muscles and other organs. Haemoglobin is a complex protein produced by cells known as erythrocytes (red blood cells). In plants, haemoglobin has similar functions but is usually referred to as ‘haem’.
The amount of haemoglobin present in plants depends on the species of plant and the type of environment they are exposed to. The concentration of haemoglobin in Cannabis sativa L. varies considerably depending on its age and stage of maturity. In general, young leaves have low concentrations of haemoglobin while older leaves contain much higher levels. This variation can be explained by the fact that younger leaves have not yet reached their maximum size and are therefore smaller than mature leaves. As such, they do not require as much oxygen for respiration and photosynthesis. Thus, haemoglobin levels remain relatively low in this phase of growth.
Haemoglobin is involved in various processes related to the ability of plants to absorb and use atmospheric carbon dioxide. When these processes occur inside chloroplasts, they result in the formation of sugars, fatty acids, amino acids, and pigments. These reactions are carried out through enzymes located in chloroplast membranes. A specific enzyme system located in the thylakoid membrane catalyzes the reduction of carbon dioxide into sugar molecules, then transports them into the stroma where they undergo further chemical reactions.
Iron is an important element that plays a role in many metabolic processes in our body. Iron is required for the production of hemoglobin (which transports oxygen throughout your blood), myelin sheaths (which allow nerves in your central nervous system to function properly) and enzymes needed to maintain muscle tone and energy levels. In fact, iron deficiency is the leading cause of impaired fetal brain development.
Spinach is loaded with iron that helps your body absorb hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries oxygen throughout the body and is responsible for giving blood its red color. Eat spinach regularly to keep your iron levels high.
Spinach has long been known to have high levels of iron, which is beneficial for building healthy red blood cells. In particular, spinach contains two types of iron — heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is better absorbed than non-heme iron and helps build strong bones. You may want to consider adding spinach to your diet plan if you wish to increase your haemoglobin count.
Broccoli contains lots of vitamins A, C, E and K. These antioxidants help protect cells from damage by free radicals. Free radicals can cause cancer and other serious health problems. Antioxidants are believed to play a role in preventing disease and extending life span. These vitamin works wonders in fighting against infections, and boosts the immune system. While broccoli doesn’t help boost your haemoglobin directly, it does promote overall health.
Beans, Lentils, Chickpeas, Black Eyed Peas
These foods contain a substance called phytates, which bind to minerals like calcium, magnesium and zinc, making them inactive and unavailable for absorption. In order to obtain the full benefits of these micronutrients, make sure you include legumes in your diet. They contain significant amounts of protein, fiber, B-complex vitamins and minerals. Each serving provides about 10% of daily value for manganese, 30% for copper, 40% for folate and 15% for thiamine.
Black beans are loaded with fiber, protein, iron, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and zinc. These nutrients work together to boost the level of hemoglobin in your body. One cup of black beans provides almost 1/4th of your daily requirement of fiber. A good rule of thumb is to eat at least three cups of beans a week to achieve their full health benefits.
Beef contains iron, zinc, B-complex vitamins (B12, folic acid) and is high in protein. In addition, beef has over twice the amount of haemoglobin compared to other red meats like chicken or pork. Haemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. Thus, increasing the intake of haemoglobin can help to improve endurance levels and increase stamina.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are rich in healthy fats and contain over 20% protein. They are also packed with minerals like magnesium, manganese, copper, calcium, phosphorous and selenium. These micronutrients play an important role in developing muscle mass, bone health and immune system function.
Red meat contains iron and zinc, both of which are necessary minerals. Iron works with haemoglobin to carry oxygen throughout our body while zinc helps regulate blood cholesterol levels.
Oysters contain zinc and vitamin B12, which helps boost red blood cells and maintain healthy skin and hair.
Lentils have a high-quality protein called bioavailable iron. Iron is necessary for the formation of haemoglobin, a substance inside red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body.
Almonds are full of selenium, a trace mineral that is essential to maintaining healthy immune system function. Selenium plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormones and supports collagen synthesis, the structural protein of connective tissue that keeps us looking youthful.
Who Needs More Iron?
Iron is needed for the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin, two types of iron-containing molecules that transport oxygen throughout your body. These are found only in animals. Plants can store iron as ferritin, a protein shell, but they lack the ability to use it like animals do. They cannot make hemoglobin, and their ability to transport oxygen is extremely poor, making them unable to survive without access to iron. Because of this, humans need to take in iron through food, whereas other animals obtain their iron from blood.
How much iron does a person need daily?
We get this information from the US National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements. A study published in 2011 showed that people who ate less than 15 mg of iron per day were at higher risk of death compared to those who consumed greater amounts.
So how much iron do we really need? According to the American Cancer Society, men should consume 18 mg of iron while women require only 14 mg.