How to Increase Red Blood Cells: Foods, Lifestyle, and More

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Your red blood cells circulate in your blood vessels to deliver oxygen to all of your body’s tissues and organs and carry carbon dioxide from the cells to your lungs. Oxygen is vital to the energy and survival of every cell in your body.

If you have a low red blood cell count or if your red blood cells aren’t working properly, this can cause low energy and can harm your body. Your healthcare provider will recommend lifestyle changes and possibly medical interventions if you have a low red blood cell count.

This article will discuss the symptoms and causes of low red blood cells (RBCs), nutritional and lifestyle measures to support healthy blood cells, and when to see a doctor. .

Red blood cells and anemia

Anemia is a condition in which red blood cells are low in number, too small, too large, or unhealthy.

Symptoms of anemia

The effects of anemia can develop quickly or slowly, depending on the cause. Symptoms of anemia can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of your anemia and your overall health.

Common symptoms of anemia include:

Severe anemia can cause fainting, shortness of breath, heart failure, organ damage, or organ failure.


There are many different causes of anemia. Generally, the condition is caused by decreased red blood cell production or by damage or loss of red blood cells.

Common causes include:

Anemia can be diagnosed based on red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and red blood cell indices, which are part of a complete blood count (CBC):

Read More:   How to Use a Glucometer for Blood Sugar Monitoring

Nutrients to increase your red blood cell count

Sometimes nutritional deficiencies are the cause of anemia. In this case, you can restore a normal red blood cell count by consuming enough of the missing nutrient.

Verywell / Zoe Hansen

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Folic acid helps your body make red blood cells. Food sources include green leafy vegetables (such as kale and spinach), beans, peanuts, liver, and seafood.


Iron is an important component of hemoglobin. Some food sources are red meat, seafood, green leafy vegetables, and beans.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is involved in the production of red blood cells. Some dietary sources are beef, chicken fish, diaries, and eggs.


Copper helps the body make hemoglobin. Food sources include green leafy vegetables, nuts, mushrooms. organ meats and oysters.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps in the production of red blood cells. Some food sources are carrots, potatoes, fish, liver and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps metabolize iron, which is important for the production of hemoglobin. Some food sources include tomatoes, citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps protect red blood cells. Some food sources are almonds, pine nuts, avocados, and bell peppers.

Excessive is not used

Normally, excess nutrient intake will not raise your red blood cell count above optimal because your body will get rid of the excess nutrients consumed.

Lifestyle changes to increase your red blood cell count

There are also some non-diet lifestyle strategies you can adopt to increase your red blood cell count if it is low. These strategies will only work if you also get the nutrients your body needs to make enough healthy red blood cells.

Do exercise

In general, exercise stimulates make red blood cells (production of red blood cells). Your body normally breaks down red blood cells after about three to four months, and it’s constantly making new cells to replace them.

Exercise can also cause your old red blood cells to break down so they can be recycled more quickly, but the new red blood cells will be better able to carry oxygen than the old ones, because So this natural process improves your overall health.

Reduce alcohol

Drinking alcohol contributes to anemia through a variety of mechanisms. Alcohol interferes with the body’s absorption or absorption of nutrients, and it also affects red blood cell production.

Furthermore, heavy and prolonged use of alcohol can damage the liver and kidneys, affecting their role in red blood cell production.

When to see a doctor?

You should see your doctor if you experience any symptoms of anemia. Sometimes anemia caused by medical problems can become more serious and less treatable if they progress without treatment (like kidney disease or cancer).

Often, anemia is related to problems such as diet or gastrointestinal problems (such as ulcerative colitis) that prevent proper absorption of nutrients. You can get your anemia treated, and you can also get effective treatment for the underlying problem.

And because anemia symptoms aren’t specific, it’s possible that your doctor diagnoses another health problem as the cause of your symptoms.


The medications used to treat low red blood cell counts depend on the cause. Sometimes people who are deficient in iron, vitamin B12, or another nutrient need to take a supplement, especially if the nutritional deficiency is due to problems with absorption.

Usually, the underlying disorder must be treated. For example, if cancer is the cause, it will need appropriate treatment.

In some situations, especially in the setting of kidney disease, erythropoietin specified. This is a natural hormone produced by the kidneys that stimulates the production of red blood cells.

For some people, a blood transfusion is necessary to provide enough blood for survival. And when bleeding is the cause of the anemia, treatment may include options like medication to heal the ulcer or surgically repair the damaged area.


Low red blood cells can be a problem in many different chronic diseases and acute medical conditions. It is important for everyone to have habits that help maintain a normal red blood cell count. These include getting the nutrients the body needs for healthy red blood cell production, exercising regularly, and avoiding excessive alcohol intake.

Also, if you have a condition that lowers your red blood cell count, you may need medical treatment to correct the problem.

A very good word

A low red blood cell count is one of the signs of an underlying health problem. There are many causes and solutions. If you have an illness that causes you to have a low red blood cell count, you will need treatment.

It is very important that you incorporate lifestyle habits that will help you maintain a healthy red blood cell count and that you maintain these habits long-term to avoid recurrence of anemia.

frequently asked Questions

  • What is the fastest way to increase your red blood cell count?

    If you stay healthy, the best way to increase low red blood cells is to avoid alcohol and eat foods that provide the nutrients your body needs to produce red blood cells. If your red blood cell count is very low, you may need medical intervention to increase your red blood cell count, such as treatment with erythropoietin or a blood transfusion.

  • Can vegans increase red blood cell count?

    Most of the nutrients needed for healthy red blood cells can be obtained in a vegetarian diet – especially if you eat raw or fortified foods. Whether you’re a meat-eater or a vegetarian or a vegan, you need to make deliberate efforts to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need to avoid anemia.

    Vitamin B12 doesn’t naturally come from vegetarian or vegan foods, so you’ll need to take a supplement to make sure you don’t develop vitamin B12 anemia.

  • How can athletes increase their red blood cell count?

    Exercise increases red blood cell count. However, sometimes a lot of exercise can lower the red blood cell count. If you’re an athlete, it’s important to pay attention to your nutrition so you can keep up with the high levels of demand you’re putting in your body.

    Sometimes athletes train in high altitude areas. This stimulates red blood cell production and can improve endurance and oxygen efficiency in the body. You can talk to your health care provider and athletic trainer to determine which strategy is best for your health and athletic performance.

  • How does altitude affect your red blood cell count?

    Sometimes altitude can lower your oxygen levels due to changes in barometric pressure. Your body can compensate by increasing hemoglobin and making more red blood cells, which can help improve your oxygen levels.

  • What foods should you avoid if your hemoglobin is low?

    You should avoid foods with little nutritional value because they can fill you up and keep you from eating nutrient-rich foods.

    In addition, dairy products can interfere with iron absorption. While it’s important to get the nutrients found in dairy products, if you have iron-deficiency anemia, your doctor may recommend that you eat milk at a different time than iron-rich foods. Maximize your iron absorption.

  • Which drinks are high in iron?

    Beverages that are high in iron include smoothies made with iron-rich foods, like kale or apples, or iron-fortified drinks.

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