Many people are familiar with body building, but not many people have heard about blood building. For those who suffer from blood deficiency, there are a number of signs and symptoms that deserve your attention. Read on to learn more about blood deficiency and to learn about natural blood boosters.
What is Blood Deficiency and What are the Causes?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), blood deficiency is often described as “an excessive blood loss or inadequacy of the blood factors and components required in blood formation due to Spleen and Stomach dysfunction". Practitioners of TCM believe the causes can be attributed to such things as unregulated eating and drinking, lack of nutrients in the diet, or internal damage caused by another underlying disease.
Blood Deficiency in Western Medicine
In Western medicine, blood deficiency compares closely to iron deficiency anemia. Anemia is diagnosed based on the body’s hemoglobin levels. The most common cause of anemia in most patients is due to iron deficiency.
Signs and Symptoms of Blood Deficiency
Blood deficiency is often accompanied by feelings of fatigue and shortness of breath. Since hemoglobin is what give blood its red color, sufferers of blood deficiency will also experience paleness as a symptom. In children, symptoms may include developmental delays.
There are many possible causes for blood deficiency. These causes can vary by age as well as gender. The most common causes include inadequate iron intake, poor iron absorption, and blood loss.
Blood Builder Foods
If you have been diagnosed with blood deficiency, there are plenty of foods to choose from that will help work as a blood booster. The below list names a few blood booster foods:
- Dark, leafy greens such as spinach: dark greens are a good source of plant-based iron.
- Beans and lentils: Legumes, such as beans and lentils, not only contain iron but are a good source of protein.
- Eggs: Not only are eggs a good source of iron, but they also contain all essential amino acids as well as essential B complex vitamins.
- Beef liver: Liver is an excellent source of iron and also contains many essential micronutrients such as Vitamin B-6 and Vitamin C.
Eating these blood booster foods alone will not be sufficient enough to improve blood deficiency and its related symptoms. For the body to absorb iron, it requires Vitamin C. When increasing the intake of the above foods, it is important to also include foods that are rich in Vitamin C, such as:
- Citrus fruits: Lemons, oranges, and limes are great sources of Vitamin C.
- Berries: Add fruits such as strawberries and blueberries for a Vitamin C boost.
- Cruciferous vegetables: Using Brussels sprouts and broccoli as a side dish is an easy way to add Vitamin C to your meals.
In addition to these items that work as blood builder foods, there are also some foods to avoid as they may inhibit the absorption of iron. Foods to avoid include:
- Excessive coffee intake
- Excessive tea intake
- High-fiber foods
Blood Deficiency and Blood Stagnation
When discussing blood deficiency TCM, it is also worth mentioning blood stagnation. Also known as blood stasis, this can be a cause for concern. To improve blood movement, it is important to eat a light and balanced diet. This includes foods such as seasonal fruits and vegetables alongside some pungent spices such as peppermint, coriander, turmeric, and pepper.
Blood Building Herbs
When treating blood deficiency TCM, there are a number of blood building herbs available that can provide a needed blood booster. These include:
- Dong Quai: Also known as angelica sinensis, dong quai has been used in TCM for the treatment of menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome. It works to purify the blood.
- Hawthorn Berry: Native to Europe, North America, and Asia, these tart berries may also aid in reducing blood pressure.
- Wild yam: Thanks to its inclusion of both iron and Vitamin C, wild yams are recommended for treating blood deficiency TCM.
- Astragalus: Used for centuries in TCM, astragalus – also known as Huang qi– can widen the blood vessels in order to increase the amount of blood that is pumped throughout the body.
- Ginseng: A study out of Zhejiang College Of TCM determined that the addition of ginseng increased the creation of certain blood cells in anemic patients.
How to Incorporate Blood Builder Foods and Herbs
For those who suffer from blood deficiency, consult with a medical provider or a TCM practitioner to discuss a path forward. Incorporating blood builder foods is very simple to do each day. Add plenty of dark, leafy greens to your meals. Include additional iron sources such as eggs and liver. You will also need to add foods that are high in Vitamin C to aid in the absorption of iron. Add citrus fruits and vegetables such as Brussels sprouts to your meals as they are great sources of Vitamin C.
If you are considering adding blood building herbs, many of them can be found in capsule form online or at any herbal shop. Discuss the appropriate dosage with your practitioner.
If you believe you may be suffering from blood deficiency or anemia, it is important to speak with a professional about a treatment plan. Incorporating blood builder foods is an easy and affordable way to help blood deficiency TCM. Blood building herbs are also widely available and usually sold in pill form. If you suffer from pale skin and fatigue, consider seeking help as these are common signs of blood deficiency.
For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you with blood deficiency, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.