Building Up the Blood
Blood Building SaladDiet makes a significant difference in the quality of blood, and iron is essential for strong blood. Some good sources of iron include lentils, kidney beans, prunes and green vegetables. Cayenne pepper increases blood circulation, helps break up plaque from the artery walls and detoxifies the blood, which helps build a strong cardiovascular system.
2 cups spinach 1 cup dandelion greens ½ cup grated beet root ¼ cup chopped green onion ½ cup chopped broccoli ½ cup cucumber ¼ cup chopped basil leaves ½ cup grated carrot ½ cup chopped red bell pepper ¼ cup pumpkin seeds ½ sliced avocado 1 cup broccoli sprouts
Chlorophyll, the plant nutrient that gives vegetables their green color, is very similar to the hemoglobin molecule. In fact, wheatgrass juice, which is pure chlorophyll, is identical to human blood except for one component. The nucleus of wheatgrass juice is magnesium, while the nucleus of human blood is iron. Drinking wheatgrass helps boost our blood.
One of the best blood builders is dandelion root, as it has been shown to improve liver conditions by purifying the blood. Dandelion greens can be chopped and added to salads or the root can be cooked and eaten in soups and stews. It can also be boiled in water, strained and drunk as a tea.
An alkaline diet can be extremely helpful in building good strong blood. The blood’s pH is naturally 7.365, but an acid-forming diet of a lot of cooked foods can cause the balance to shift to acidity that can negatively affect the blood. Reduce or even eliminate sugar, soda, meat and processed foods in favor of alkaline fruits and vegetables like avocados, apples, lemons and grapefruit to help build the blood.
Pomegranate is a natural source of vitamins A, C, E, folic acid and iron. It contains three times the antioxidants of green tea. This delicious fruit will increase the supply of iron in blood. Beetroot is a good source of iron, and drinking beetroot juice can tremendously improve the hemoglobin level. Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale and collards are great sources of iron and calcium. When included in the daily diet, they help to balance the level of calcium, as well as hemoglobin.
Vitamin C-rich foods help the body to absorb iron from the food. Low-level hemoglobin due to deficiency of vitamin C can be corrected by eating Vitamin C-rich fruits like strawberries, guava, kiwi and papaya. Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber and nutrients that help build the blood.
Herbs like spearmint leaves, basil leaves, coriander and bay leaf will help increase the absorption of iron. Pumpkin seeds are not only rich in iron, but also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.
A quick, easy way to get many blood-building foods is to make a large, fresh salad and include herbs, carrots, cucumber and onion, along with grated beetroot and dark leafy greens. Rather than using a bottled dressing, make a fresh one using lemon juice and garlic and not only enjoy a delicious meal, but also build the blood.
Combine all of the fresh vegetables and the pumpkin seeds, except the avocado and the sprouts. Mix the lemon juice, oil, garlic, pepper and dulse flakes in a small jar and shake until well blended. Pour the dressing over the salad and combine until well coated. Top with avocado slices and fresh broccoli sprouts.
Lemon Garlic Dressing
½ cup fresh lemon juice 2 Tbsp flax seed oil 1 Tbsp chopped garlic 1 Tbsp dulse flakes Pinch cayenne pepper
Brenda Cobb is author of The Living Foods Lifestyle and founder of the Living Foods Institute, an educational center and therapy spa in Atlanta offering Healthy Lifestyle courses on nutrition, cleansing, healing, anti-aging, detoxification, relaxation and cleansing therapies. For more information, call 404-524- 4488 or 1-800-844-9876 and visit LivingFoodsInstitute.com. See ad, inside front cover.