Nazeer Hospital

Blood Donation - What Food to Eat and How to Recover?

Updated on Nov 21, 2023
Blood Donation
You’ve made the decision to donate blood – that’s fantastic! But before you proceed, there are a few things that you must keep in mind prior to blood donation.
When you Donate blood, your body loses some of its iron stores. Iron is essential for your blood cells to carry oxygen around your body and keep you healthy, Therefore it’s important to replace those stores as quickly as possible.
It is recommended that you eat iron-rich food like lean meats, whole grains or green leafy vegetables within six hours after donating blood.

Benefits of Blood Donation

Blood donation is one of the most noble acts that a person can do. It is a way to help others and give back to society. The blood that is donated is used to help people with diseases and injuries. There are many reasons why blood donation is so important. Aside from saving a person’s life it also has obvious benefits for the person donating blood as well.
Perhaps you are thinking about donating blood but are unsure of how it will affect your body. Or perhaps you’ve donated in the past and are wondering about the effects frequent donation might have on you. In any case, some of the effects might surprise you. We sought the advice of medical experts to determine some of the most significant benefits of blood donation which are as follows:

Tips For Blood Donation

Donating blood is a simple way of helping people with serious medical conditions or life threatening injuries. However before you donate, ensure you have eaten and drunk enough; this helps reduce your risk of feeling tired or anemic afterward.
Here are some tips:

Blood Donation Chart

Everyone’s blood compatibility depends on a variety of factors, including their blood group type and Rhesus factor presence. However, some people with certain blood types may find that they have a wider range of blood type compatibility.
Here is a blood group donation chart:

Blood Donation Age Limit

It’s critical to be conscious of your age when considering donating blood. You should always seek advice from a doctor before deciding whether or not to donate.
A donor’s age can affect the amount of blood their body contains and how it copes with loss of blood after, therefore it is essential to know your Hemoglobin levels before deciding to donate blood. However, there is no set age restriction for blood donation as long as you are healthy and have no disease or disability. People younger than 18 but not more than 60 may be able to donate blood, but younger people need parental consent to donate.
If you have decided to donate, you must ensure you do not have any diseases that may be transmitted through a transfusion and are not intaking alcohol, drugs or certain medications for a certain period prior to donation.
You cannot donate blood if you have any of the following health conditions.

Food to Eat and Drink Before Donating Blood

If you want to donate blood, make sure to stay hydrated before and after your appointment. It’s important to stay hydrated because about half of your blood is made of water and you’ll also want to increase your iron intake before and after donating, as already discussed above.
You lose iron when you donate, so this can cause symptoms of fatigue if it’s not replaced. So, let us have a look at the Essential Vitamins and minerals a person must consume before donating blood.

1. Iron

Iron is an essential element to produce Hemoglobin, the substance that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. If you don’t have enough iron in your diet or stored away in case of emergencies (like donating blood), a lack of Hemoglobin can cause serious problems.
If you have a low level of iron stored in your body, you have a higher likelihood of suffering from iron deficiency anemia. This means you are at risk for fatigue, shortness of breath, and decreased endurance.
You can prevent this disease by eating iron-rich foods and taking iron supplements, but it’s important to know about the types of iron. Following are two different types of iron found in foods:

A. Heme Iron

Heme iron is the form of iron your body needs to build red blood cells. Foods rich in heme iron include:

B. Non-Heme Iron

Non-Heme iron is found in plant-based foods. The body does not as easily absorb non-heme iron as heme iron, which is found in animal products.
Excess Iron intake can also be lethal thus requiring a balanced consumption of both food types.

2. Water

Blood donation is one of the best deeds to assist anyone in a time of need, as nothing is more important than health. But hold on! Before you head out the door, you should know how much water to drink.
When you donate blood, it’s important to stay hydrated because your body loses fluids when you donate. This can lead to dizziness and low blood pressure, so it’s important to stay properly hydrated before and after donating blood.
It is recommended by the American Red Cross to drink 16 ounces of water before donating blood, which is about two cups. You can also drink other non-alcoholic beverages such as juice or sports drinks. These fluids will help keep your body healthy during the donation process and make sure your donation goes smoothly and safely!

3. Vitamin C

One of the most significant vitamins for your body is Vitamin C. It helps you absorb iron from plant-based sources, and it can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
A healthy diet is key for receiving all the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. The best way to intake Vitamin C is in tropical fruits, such as oranges and tangerines. Watercress, green pepper, and wild berries are also excellent sources of vitamin C.
Now after knowing this, there is also a list of things you should avoid while donating blood. Let us have a look.

Things to Avoid Before Donating Blood

The essential thing to know is that you can’t donate blood if you have certain medical conditions.
But there are also some things you may be able to eat or drink before donating that can worsen your donation experience. Here’s what to avoid:

Best Food to Eat After Blood Donation?

Blood donation has a variety of health benefits, however it also has some adverse effects on your body. It’s important to know what you can eat after donating blood to make sure you stay active and healthy.

Food After Blood Donation:

First, remember that it’s important to intake lots of water after donating blood. Your body will be losing water through the process of donating, so it’s important that you replace what you’ve lost with lots of fluid. Make sure to have at least 2 cups of water before going in for your donation as well, since dehydration can lead to dizziness or fainting.
Second, try not to eat too much fat before donating blood because this could cause an increase in fat levels in your body, making it more difficult to screen for infection and disease. You must opt for foods high in carbohydrates, like whole grains or fruits and vegetables; these will help replenish your energy stores without raising fat levels too much.
Thirdly, try not eating anything too spicy or acidic right after giving blood because these foods can irritate the stomach lining and cause nausea or indigestion, making it harder for you to get back into it!
Moreover, get some rest! You will surely feel tired and drained after blood donation, but this is normal! Take a nap or go to bed early, and make sure to get enough rest throughout the next few days as well so that your body can recover quickly.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Blood Donation In A Variety of Medical Conditions

Thousands of individuals daily depend on donated blood for their health and survival. A person’s critical organs won’t be able to maintain themselves if their blood levels drop too low due to an accident, a disease, or poor blood circulation. Apheresis is a procedure that is similar to whole blood donation. This supplies additional blood components like platelets which are necessary for People with coagulation problems. It might also deliver antibodies to aid in the battle against a disease.
Giving blood can save lives, and has low hazards and numerous health advantages. People in need of lifesaving blood donations can do so. But some medical experts assert that the donor might also profit from that pertaining to their medical conditions.

Advantages of Blood Transfusion For The Recipient:

Receiving blood can benefit people with a variety of medical conditions, including those who:

Disadvantages of Blood Transfusions:

There are some disadvantages to transfusion of blood, even in the absence of any medical conditions, such as:
Therefore, The prescribing medical professional must weigh the benefits and risks before proceeding with blood transfusions.
It’s safe to donate blood as long as you stick to the blood donation rules. There must be safety precautions to be taken, including the following:
After giving blood, a donor may occasionally have adverse effects. Even though such adverse effects are uncommon, minor side-effects can still happen, including:
Usually, these symptoms go away after a day by staying hydrated and eating well-balanced meals.

Blood Donation in Islam

Islam is based on the principle of giving back, and so blood donation is seen as an important act of charity and is rewarded by Allah. A single blood donation can save up to three lives.
In the Islamic faith, there is a tradition that dictates that believers must give blood in order to atone for their sins. This tradition has been observed by us Muslims for centuries and is still practiced today. There are a number of reasons why donating blood is considered a religious duty in Islam. These reasons include the belief that the body is a vehicle for the soul and that the body is an organ of the soul. There is also the belief that blood is a gift from God, and it is our duty to give back what was given to us. For Muslims who donate blood, this is a voluntary act that has nothing to do with financial gain. The reward for donating blood is not in any monetary form, but in the fact that you have made a small donation to humanity.
According to Dr. Marwan Al-Dawoud, founder of the Islamic Unity Society’s blood donation campaign, a verse in the Qur’an states, “Whoever saves one life, it is as if he has rescued the whole of mankind”.
There are some potential side effects that may occur after donating blood. These side effects are usually mild and resolve within a few days. However, some side effects may be more serious and require medical attention. The most common side effects of donating blood are as follows:
Other side effects may include:
If you are a frequent blood donor, you may find that it takes months for your iron levels to return to normal after giving blood. According to a 2015 study by Trusted Source, taking iron supplements can significantly reduce this recovery time.
Blood donation can be a very rewarding experience. It can also be a little nerve-wracking if it’s your first-time donating blood. Let us have a look at some tips to make sure you have the best experience possible.
Make sure you eat healthy and drink plenty of water before donating. You should also avoid exercising or doing anything strenuous in the hours leading up to your donation because this could lower your blood pressure and cause complications during the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • You can’t donate blood if any of the following apply to you:
  • Suffer from communicable disease.
  • Have ongoing cardiac disease recently.
  • Have received any blood products, such as platelets, plasma, or blood.
  • Are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have recently given birth.
  • Are taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications that could affect blood clotting.
  • Have had a blood transfusion in the past 12 months.
  • Have had a severe blood disease in the past.
Processing blood can take as long as three hours, depending on the processing time. When test results are acquired, transfusion-ready units are tagged and kept in storage. For up to 42 days, red blood cells can be kept in refrigerators at 6oC. Platelets are kept in agitators at room temperature for up to five days. Cryo and plasma are frozen and kept in freezers for up to a year.
There are a few things that you can’t do on the day of donating blood. For your body to have a chance to replace the fluids it lost during donation, you must. Refrain from performing any strenuous activities like heavy lifting. Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol, This will prevent you from experiencing lightheadedness or dizziness. If bleeding occurs at the needle site, apply pressure and elevate your arm for five to ten minutes or until the bleeding stops.

This question lacks a conclusive response, as the rarest blood type can vary depending on the studied population. However, some blood types that may be considered to be rare are O, A, and AB. However, AB-negative blood is considered to be the rarest; only 1% of our donors have AB-negative, the rarest of the eight major blood types. Despite being rare, there is little demand for AB-negative blood, and we have no trouble finding donors with this type of blood. Rarity and demand of O-ve (Negative) Blood type.

Regular blood donation is linked to a lower risk of blood pressure and heart attacks. The benefits of blood donation depend on a person’s health and medical history, as well as a variety of other criteria, such as age, health, and weight.
If you feel lightheaded or weak, don’t drive for 15 minutes after giving blood; sit down and get as much rest as possible. Donating blood is not risky, but driving is, and if you pass out while driving, you could sustain significant injuries. After giving blood, wear the pressure dressing on your arm for at least 30 minutes and the plaster for at least 6 hours.
Avoid donating blood on an empty stomach or without eating: Your blood pressure will temporarily change due to drawing blood from your body. Low blood pressure can cause symptoms like lightheadedness, wooziness, shivering, etc. These conditions will worsen if you give blood on an empty stomach; you may experience stomach cramps as well.

DR. KAMRAN ULLAH

M.B.B.S, R.M.P, ICH-GCP CERTIFIED
Being an enthusiastic and well-trained entry-level physician who seeks to provide high-quality health care to help maximize patients’ well-being and facility profitability. Very resourceful and compassionate familiar with diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases and health concerns.

DR. KAMRAN graduated from Khyber Medical University Peshawar. He has working experience at Rehman Medical Institute Peshawar, Agha Khan Hospital Karachi, PIMS Hospital Islamabad, and Mega Medical Complex Rawalpindi.

He has vast knowledge and experience and skills in the medical field. He is a highly dedicated and devoted doctor. He has worked on different medical research and published different research articles.

He is also a social activist and runs different social welfare organisations for the last 7 years, serving humanity and the needy. His main expertise are in the management of critically ill patients, patient care, health care quality, and safety.