What to eat after blood loss?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question: “what to eat after blood loss?” and other related queries.

What to eat after blood loss? 

Eating foods that are rich in high iron and vitamin B is essential after blood loss. So, red meat, fish, poultry, tofu, green leafy vegetables, legumes and beans, and iron-fortified foods should be included as part of a healthy diet that contains macronutrients especially proteins, adequate amount of fluids, and electrolytes.

Also, increase your intake of vitamin C-rich food such as oranges, kiwi, bell pepper, and others. Because vitamin C increases the absorption of iron in the blood. In some cases, iron and vitamin supplements might be required but consult your physician before taking any medication.

What foods should be consumed after severe blood loss?

Several foods should be consumed in order to get your health back and the majority of them are rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for building new red blood cells. 

  • Meat: is the best source of iron because generally, the human body can not absorb iron from plants like from meat and animal sources. Also, meat and poultry are high in many vitamins such as vitamins B1, B6, and B12. Vitamin K is dominant in beef and the liver.
  • Fish: should be included in the diet after blood loss because they are rich in omega-3, minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, zinc, iron, iodine, magnesium, and potassium, and vitamins like vitamins D and B2 known as riboflavin.
  • Eggs: are rich in high biological value proteins which means that the body can digest and absorb these proteins as well as the iron in the eggs.
  • Green leafy vegetables: like spinach and kale are rich in non-heme iron which is not very well absorbed by the body compared to heme iron present in meat and animal products. Moreover, green leafy vegetables are rich in folate or vitamin B9.
  • Fruits: include a variety of fruits in your diet because each type is rich in some specific nutrients and positively your blood in several ways. For example, citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C which helps in the absorption of iron.
  • Legumes, nuts, and seeds: legumes like beans and lentils, nuts like cashews and pistachios, and seeds such as sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are rich in non heme protein as well as many other vitamins and minerals.
  • Fortified food: cereals, fruit juices, flour, pasta, and others are generally fortified with iron. Thus making them a good addition to your diet in case you have lost blood especially if you are vegan.

What are the symptoms of blood loss?

Many factors define the symptoms you might feel after losing blood because it depends on the amount of blood loss and the time or the speed at which blood has been lost. So, accordingly, we can define blood loss as acute or chronic. 

Regarding acute blood loss, it occurs within a few hours thus it is more severe than chronic blood loss which takes several days to weeks to develop. For acute blood loss, dizziness is the main symptom that the patient will feel; however, acute blood loss is life-threatening.

For chronic blood loss, no symptoms might appear on the patient but he can feel himself a little bit weak or fatigued. Generally, chronic blood loss leads to anemia which causes some symptoms like cold feeling, tiredness, and shortness of breath.

Also, the symptoms of blood loss depend on the location. For example, if bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract occurs, the patient will see dark-colored stools known as melena. However, if the bleeding is in the lower part, he will notice red blood in his stools.

What foods interfere with iron absorption?

Several foods should be avoided in order to increase iron absorption to increase the recovery rate. So, tea and coffee are major sources of caffeine that interfere with iron absorption. Also, they contain oxalate which reduces iron absorption. 

Regarding milk and dairy products, calcium in those foods is the main reason why their intake should be limited in case of anemia or severe blood loss. In case you want to consume them make sure to not take them directly after taking the supplement or the iron-rich food. 

Moreover, some foods like whole grain products are rich in phytic acid which also reduces the absorption of iron unless they are fortified the problem will be mild. Finally, avoid alcohol because it interferes with iron and folate absorption thus worsening the anemia.

What supplements increase red blood cell counts?

In case you can not get all your needs from vitamins and minerals from the diet you should consult your doctor before taking any supplements. But generally, here is a list of vitamins and minerals that increase your red blood cell counts but the dosage depends on your case.

  • Iron
  • Copper
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B9 or folate
  • Vitamin B6


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question: “what to eat after blood loss?” and other related queries.




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