How to increase haemoglobin and prevent anaemia without meat?
The question by a reader (questioner’s name hidden): Please hide my name. Hare Krishna.DandavatPranamPrabhuji. I have been practising devotion since the last 3 years. I am still practising it now. I am having low haemoglobin. So to increase the haemoglobin I had been advised to take meat. I stay in a hostel. There are other supplements too but it’s very difficult for me to get the complete diet chart. What am I supposed to do? I am really confused. There’s also a lot of pressure from the family to increase the haemoglobin concentration and they asking me to take meat. I know it’s an offence to consume meat. Right not I haven’t taken anything except the folic acid tablets. Prabhuji please advise me what I should really do? (Briefly, How to increase haemoglobin and prevent anaemia without meat)
This is not a right advice. Meat is not the only solution to increase haemoglobin. When there are many better alternatives, the doctor should have advised them instead of meat. Because, meat is a thamo and rajo guna food that gives so many adverse effects also in practicing a devotional way of life. And, meat can not be offered to Lord. Therefore, it is not the food for us also.
Lord has given so many delicious vegetarian foods that contain all the ingredients to nourish our body.
The ideal percentage of RBCs (Red Blood Cells or Haemoglobin) that should be present in a person’s body is: 35 – 45% in women; in men, healthy levels are from 39 – 50%.
If it goes below these levels, the person gets anaemia.
In medical analysis, There are hundreds of types of anaemia. Main causes are: (i) Because of blood loss. (ii) because of decreased or faulty red blood cell production. (iii) because of the destruction of red blood cells.
However, in general, there can be two broader reasons for the decrease of haemoglobin that causes anaemia:
(i) Less intake of foods that contain iron.
(ii) Though we consume sufficient iron-rich foods, most of the iron is not absorbed into the body cells and blood.
(iii) Stress and anxiety may also cause the deficiency of haemoglobine and hence anaemia.
Therefore, if you like to increase haemoglobin, you should take steps to maintain both the above processes.
Let me explain both:
(i) First, there are many vegetables and stuff that contain enormous iron. You should take them sufficiently in your food.
(a) Green leaves (Pot herbs) contain plenty of iron, particularly, the leaves of drumstic tree. All the iron in any plant is stored in its leaves only. You can use other leaves also that are sold in the market. Boil any one of those leaves (after removing the branches and preferably cutting the leaves into two) along with the green gram pulse, for 15 minutes. Grind the sliced coconut pieces (about 15 grams), green chilly (3-4 pieces) and cumin ( 2grams) as paste. You can also add a few groundnut for taste. Add this paste and a little asafetida with the boiled leaves and keep this mixture in low flames for just five minutes. Then, season and flavor the preparation with mustard (with boiled ghee or gingelly oil).
Now, a delicious iron rich curry paste is ready. (I too like it so much).
(b) You can use turmeric sufficiently in food that contain good amount of iron.
(c) Black gram also has good amount of iron.
(d) Instead of rice and wheat, you may also use ragi that has good amount of iron.
(e) We can use Brown coloured Jaggery instead of white sugar to get iron from it. Many sweets can be prepared using jaggery. Pepper also has iron.
(f) Green coloured vegetables such as ladies finger (Okra/ gumbo), drum stick (moringa/ horsh-radish), beans, cluster beans, bitter gourd, etc contain iron.
(g) Beat root has plenty of iron.
(h) Fruits such as Dates (Dates have more iron), apple, grapes, mango, etc has iron.
These are the general sundries that we use in day to day life. If you use them you will not get shortage of iron. Since we used to have more fast foods rich in grains and poor in nutrients, many people are now a days affected by anaemia.
(ii) It will not be sufficient to take just iron-rich foods. We should ensure that the iron supplied by these foods must be absorbed into the body and blood. To ensure this, one should have food/ fruits rich in Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin-C.
The following intakes can ensure that all the iron intake is effectively absorbed into the cells and blood stream:
(a) Milk two cups a day can supply B-Vitamins.
(b) Fruits such as Amla (emblic myrobalan), grapes, raisin (dried grapes), apple, orange, pine-apple, tomatos, banana, etc, has B-complex vitamins and Vitamin-C. Amla is the richest source of vitamin-C in this world. No other source can even come closer to it. Now a days amla juices are also available in the market.
(c) For a shorter period, say, 2-3 months, you may take the B-complex with Vitamin-C tablets twice daily as instructed by the doctor. These tablets have no side efffects since excess vitamins will be discharged with the urine. After that, no need for tablet supplements. The above food choices will help you to maintain the haemoglobin levels.
That’s all. If you use the recommended products above as per your convenience, you will never get the deficiency of haemoglobin that causes anaemia. When a person is lacking haemoglobin, he will always feel tired and sleepy, and he can not get sufficient strength to fulfil his tasks. The continued anaemia may lead to some serious consequences in future.
The foods that I have mentioned above are more than sufficient for a person to maintain his body strong and vibrant. MOST IMPORTANTLY, ALL THE ABOVE FOODS ARE SATVA GUNA FOODS THAT HELP TO GROW IN DEVOTION AS WELL AS STUDIES AND CAREER. THESE FOODS DO NOT CORRUPT OUR CONSCIOUSNESS and also help in maintaining the health of vital systems like heart, kidneys, etc. These foods can be boldly offered to lord and be taken as prasadam.
Now, tell me, can’t we increase haemoglobin and prevent anaemia without meat?
When this much of nice SATVIC vegetarian products are there, why should you consume the flesh of dead animals to maintain your body? Leave the flesh to be eaten by the wild animals.
Lord is very merciful and He has given this much of vegetarian souces to keep us healthy.
Use them and be thankful to the Lord.
Hope this helps you.