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Blood Deficiency; Signs, Symptoms and Foods to Build Blood + Recipe for "Blood Tonic Energy Balls"

by Heather Fairall, L.Ac.


Blood Deficiency is a common condition seen in patients today. Blood deficiency can mimic symptoms of anemia in Western Medical diagnosis. The most common symptoms of Blood Deficiency include: 

Pale complexion
Vision problems: poor night vision, dry eyes, “floaters”
Insomnia and sleep problems
Poor circulation
Cold hands and feet
Headaches and Migraines
Menstrual and Fertility problems
Dry skin, nails, and hair, hair loss
Areas of numbness
Tendon and ligament problems

What Causes Blood Deficiency?
Blood deficiency can be caused by poor diet, blood loss, including heavy menstrual or postpartum bleeding, digestive problems leading to malabsorption, stress, and constitutional predisposition.  

How to Build Blood?
Diet changes, Chinese Herbal Medicine, and acupuncture are at the core of treatment for patients with blood deficiency. Adding high quality proteins and "nutrient dense" foods is recommended.
The main foods to help build blood include:

High quality meat: beef, pork, bison, chicken, liver, marrow
Bone broths- especially beef and pork
Beans- especially black beans
Dark, leafy greens and veggies: kale, spinach, greens, beets, broccoli, seaweed, spirulina
Dark berries: blueberries, pomegranate, goji berries (gou qi zi), cherry, cranberry
Coconut meat, milk, and water
Nuts and seeds- chia seeds, black sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds
Gelatin (real, from grass fed beef)

Blood Tonic Energy Balls

Recipe for Blood Tonic Energy Balls
(adapted from

1/2 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup goji berries (if very dry, rehydrate with 1-2 T of hot water)
1 T chia seeds
2 T coconut oil
1 T almond or nut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut for rolling

Add nuts to food processor and blend until finely chopped (but not into paste). Add remaining ingredients except dried coconut and pulse until mix starts to come together, sticking into ball. Using a 1 T measuring spoon, scoop mixture and form into balls. If mix is too crumbly, add more nut butter. Roll balls in the dried coconut and place on cookie sheet or plate. Put plate in refrigerator to set. Store in fridge in air tight container for up to a week (they won't last that long :)

goji berries are a traditional remedy for blood deficiency

Rolling out the Balls

Blood Tonic Energy Balls!