Red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, are the most common blood cells in the body. In fact, about a quarter of all cells in the body are red blood cells.
Their primary function is to carry oxygen to all tissues of the body, picking up the oxygen from the lungs and releasing it as they enter the capillaries.
Over 2.4 million new red blood cells are produced every second, and they survive in the body for up to 120 days.
Eating the right foods can help increase the number of red blood cells in your body.
Here are a few of the ways you can eat your way to better blood cell health:
- Food rich in iron can help your body rebuild what it has lost. Lentils and legumes are a great way to get the iron you need.
- This vital mineral can be found in many foods, including shellfish, poultry, liver, whole grains, and beans.
- Folic Acid. Foods that contain folic acid include lentils, dark green leafy vegetables, blackeyed peas and cereals fortified with folic acid.
- Vitamin A. This important vitamin can be found in grapefruit, mango, watermelon, plums, cantaloupe and apricots.
- Vitamin B12. Meat, eggs and fortified cereals are a great way to get plenty of B12 in your diet.
- Vitamin B6. This vitamin is found in meats, whole grains and bran, nuts and seeds, fish, vegetables and legumes.