There are several myths attached to blood donation. However, very few people are aware of the advantages of blood donation. The most interesting of these is not even the fact that it helps save lives, but the fact that it is beneficial for the donor as well! While blood donation is beneficial for the donor’s health, it can also be harmful if one is not prepared for it. Following are 4 key categories of food that a donor should consume before donating blood,
Citric fruits - Citric fruits are rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C, enhances the iron absorption ability of blood. This is extremely helpful for any blood donor. Hence eating citric fruits or consuming their juice is always recommended before going in for a donation. You will often see orange juice being offered to donors who are feeling weak before they donate blood. Some examples of citric fruits include orange, kiwi, lemons, pineapple, berries, and melons.
Food items rich in iron - One of the few risks of blood donation is the donor’s body becoming anaemic or deficient in iron. Hence, consuming food items that’ll raise your iron levels before you donate blood is a good idea. Non-heme and heme are the two kinds of iron present in food normally. The first is a plant-based iron and is thus present in vegetarian diets. The latter is present in meat and thus, a non-vegetarian diet. Absorption of heme iron is easier than non-heme. Hence, if you are a non-vegetarian, consume more iron-rich meats, while vegetarians are recommended to have more vegetables such as leafy spinach or broccoli is recommended to raise iron levels.
A balanced meal with low fat - high-fat content in blood hampers the tests for an infection that are run on donors before accepting their blood. Hence you mustn’t have a high fat, heavy meal before you go to donate blood. Consume a low-fat meal that is well balanced. You can have low-fat milk and cereals or toast. You can also include fruits and vegetables suggested earlier. Avoid fried dishes or carbohydrate-rich items.
Liquid diet - Becoming dehydrated is also a side effect of blood donation. Hence, donors are usually asked to have one or two cups of water before the blood is extracted. Drinking juice or other healthy liquids is always recommended. However, one should avoid coffee, tea, and other caffeinated products.