What Should You Eat Before and After Donating Blood?
- Author :
- TATA AIG Team
- Published on :
While it is true that all the organs in our body are equally valuable, our blood is what keeps them healthy. Therefore, it is important that your blood circulation should be healthy and the haemoglobin levels in your blood should be at the recommended level. In fact, it is your blood that can actually help you understand how healthy you are. This is why if you need to get a medical check-up before purchasing health insurance online, a blood test will be carried out along with other tests.
Did you know that excessive loss of blood from your body can cause death? Known as exsanguination, a person can lose a lot of blood from their body due to sickness, severe injuries and even some comorbidities. But as long as you are healthy, you can help other people such as patients and victims of accidents by donating blood to them.
And if you are hospitalised due to an emergency and are in need of blood, your health insurance plan can cover this. Before choosing a suitable cashless health insurance policy, be sure to check if it covers blood transfusion during inpatient treatment.
What Happens When You Donate Blood?
It is necessary to maintain and replenish the lost blood and nutrients in your body when you donate about 300 millilitres of blood. Your blood contains three important components – the plasma, the blood cells and the platelets. For instance, you may be familiar with how dengue patients are given a platelet transfusion since their platelet count drops below normal.
Under usual circumstances, when you are aware that someone is sick you stay away from them to avoid catching an infection. But when you donate blood, there is no way of knowing much about it unless it is tested. Hence, before the blood is transfused or donated, it is first screened and tested for diseases such as Hepatitis or HIV or other diseases that may be passed on to another person.
The platelets, cells and plasma have their unique uses and can be used to treat blood disorders, cancer, blood loss or can also be used during cardiac surgical procedures. A lot of renowned cancer research institutions all over the world always strive to develop cures and treatments through the components of blood. Another concept, known as intravenous blood transfusion is one of the remedies used to treat people with diseases that have no permanent cure.
Foods to Eat before Blood Donation and What to Eat After Donating Blood
The human body needs a certain level of blood for a healthy life. When you are about to help someone less fortunate than you are, do remember that you can only provide support to others when you are healthy. That being said, you should know what to eat after donating blood and also follow some dietary discipline prior to the donation:
Drink Enough Water:
This is the right answer to what to drink after blood donation. However, even on a regular basis, water helps your blood and your vital organs stay healthy and function normally. A couple of hours before your blood donation, drink at least two-three glasses of water at room temperature. There is always a chance of being rejected for a blood donation if you are not well-hydrated and drinking water at the last minute won’t help!
Foods with high iron content:
Our blood needs iron for its good health. When you lose blood in any form, or even donate blood, the iron is also lost. Iron plays an important role in the functioning of the brain and other vital organs. And so, if you are aware of your blood donation date or even otherwise, be sure to incorporate enough foods such as wholegrain bread, fish, spinach, apricots, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin, green peas, chickpeas and almonds in your diet.
Food packed with Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and if you consume the right amount of it, the body will absorb it and help in the absorption of the iron in your body. To learn more about high vitamin C foods that you can consume, you can also read our blog. Be it a week before your blood donation or on a regular basis, ensure that you consume enough green vegetables such as broccoli and capsicum and eat fruits such as lime, lemons, oranges and kiwi.
Benefits Of Donating Blood:
Blood donation should be a voluntary and selfless act. If you have never donated blood in your life or are a first-time donor, here are some of the benefits you should know about.
●Reduces Risk of Cancer: As per numerous studies and scientific proof, free-radical damage in your body is responsible for cancer. Free-radical damage is also the reason for ageing. When you donate blood every 8 months or once a year, you can be at a lower risk of being affected by cancer be it liver, lung, throat or colon cancer. This is, however, dependent on your other lifestyle habits.
●Free-of-cost Blood Screening:
Before your blood is sent to the blood bank it will have to be screened or tested for diseases such as Syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B and others. Not only do these tests help medical professionals avoid transfusing infected blood to patients but will also let you know sooner if you are suffering from any disease. In such cases, if you have personal health insurance, you can check if any of these conditions are covered so that you can get suitable medical treatment.
●Helps Burn Excess Calories:
If you are a regular blood donor, over a period of time, it can help you maintain healthy body weight. A study by the University of California, San Diego, says that for a pint of blood donated, one can lose about 650 calories. While these findings may be in line with the purpose of the research, blood donation, in no way, is or should be a weight loss plan for anyone.
●Curbs Chances of Heart Diseases:
Heart patients are not allowed to donate blood. However, blood donation can help reduce your chances of developing heart diseases in the later stages of life. But there may be many other reasons why you may develop any cardiac conditions, and so, solely donating blood may not get you the result you want.
●Gives the Donor Satisfaction:
Each of the three components in your blood can help save a life, which means with every donation, you are helping three people. If you donate blood, it should be out of your free will and it should give you a sense of satisfaction. Knowing that you can help so many people by enduring just a prick of a needle can make you feel great about yourself!
Things to Remember Before a Blood Donation
Before you donate blood or even otherwise, on a regular basis, you will need to keep yourself healthy in all ways possible. While it may seem like a lot, a simple but healthy lifestyle will not just help during the blood donation but will also aid in improving the quality of life.
- It is recommended that you should not drink or smoke a few days before the donation. Ideally, avoid drinking or smoking at all since the traces remain in the blood for a long time.
- Avoid having fat-rich foods a few days before donating blood. Any street food should also be avoided in case you suffer a stomach infection.
- Be sure to get some fresh air, sunlight and exercise on a daily basis. Though this is beneficial for your blood, your overall mental and physical health will also be good.
- If you hurt yourself and suffer a minor injury, see the doctor immediately. The wound should be treated at the earliest so that there is no infection.
Once you have donated blood, the medical staff will advise you on what to do after blood donation. If you feel that your health may be suffering and you are unable to donate blood, get medical attention and treatment for the same.