Hallowe’en is a time when Dracula and vampires ‘vant’ your blood - so when we are caught we want to make sure that our blood is top quality! Your diet can affect many aspects of good blood health - here are a few tips to ensure you have healthy blood this Hallowe’en.
Iron: Haemoglobin carries oxygen around your blood, giving it its nice red colour. Not having enough iron in your blood will lower your haemoglobin levels. The best dietary source of iron is red meat, so it is good to have some meat three to four times per week. Green leafy vegetables and fortified breakfast cereal are a good source of iron. However it is more difficult for your body to absorb this iron - having some vitamin C (fruit juice ) with your meals does help you absorb more.
Blood glucose levels: Your brain needs a constant supply of glucose. Your blood levels usually stay at constant levels supplied by the breakdown of carbohydrates you eat in your diet. Having starchy, high fibre varieties of carbohydrate like porridge, granary breads, wholemeal varieties are best as they are slowly released to give a steady supply of glucose into your blood.
Oily fish: It is recommended to have oily fish at least once a week; they contain omega 3 fatty acids which will make your blood flow nicely and prevent clotting. This is why eating a diet rich in oily fish is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
Bad Cholesterol (LDL ): This is a loosely packed sticky fat that floats around in your blood. Having too much in your blood can lead it to be stuck to the inside of your vessels, causing them to narrow. It is best to keep LDL levels down; you can do this by cutting back on fats, especially saturated fats, and eating more fruits and vegetables.
With all these steps you will be in high demand this Hallowe’en so it might be handy to always keep some garlic to hand to ward off any vampire attacks! Have a great Hallowe’en!
By Cara Cunningham, community dietitian. For more information on diet and nutrition, please contact Maria at the Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE Dublin-Mid Leinster on (044 ) 9395518 or email [email protected].