14th June has been declared as the ‘World Blood Donation Day’. This annual event, which began in 2004, predominantly focuses on raising awareness about the dire need to donate a safe and substantial amount of blood. Every year voluntary blood donors, acknowledge and support blood donation and new donors by representing how blood donation has changed lives of people and in some cases, given them too. Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another- a gift of life.
But have you ever wondered the need for blood donation? Well, blood is an irreplaceable gift and therefore, blood donation saves millions of lives annually and helps with the recovery of patients suffering from life-threatening conditions to live a longer and higher quality of life. It also plays an essential role during prenatal care and after childbirth. Blood is also to help accident & war victims. To fulfill the growing need for blood, blood donation camps have been set up all over the world.
Many people back-off when they learn about losing a pint of blood but it has been scientifically proven that donating blood not only benefits the patient but the donor as well! Blood donation reduces the risk of heart attacks and liver ailments. Donating blood can help lose up to 650 calories which is advantageous for overweight people. Due to the loss in blood, our bodies try to regenerate the lost amount of blood and therefore, producing new blood cells which accelerate wound- healing process.
Tips and suggestions a blood donor must consider prior to donating blood:
- Before donating blood, consume a high amount of iron from green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and other food items like pomegranates, beetroots, watermelons and obviously, water.
- Avoid fatty and processed foods like burger, pizzas, processed food and ice creams.
- It is recommended to drink five hundred milliliters of water immediately before donating blood.
- Avoid vigorous exercise before and after donating.
- People with blood transmissible diseases like HIV and hepatitis are not fit for donating blood.
- People who are embarked with tattoos or have undergone any surgery which requires needles have also been restricted for a specific period of time before they are eligible to donate blood.
Food tips to follow after blood donation:
- Consume iron-rich foods like spinach fish, beans raisins, nuts and cereals as iron facilities blood to carry oxygen to your tissues.
- Add foods that have rich content of folate or folic acids such as dried beans, orange, green leafy vegetables and asparagus because it helps in manufacturing new red blood cells.
- Your body needs the vitamin B6 to build healthy blood cells which also helps your body to break down proteins. So, add on these foods enriched with vitamin B6: bananas, seeds, nuts, eggs and potatoes.
- Riboflavin or vitamin B2 is another crucial vitamin to produce red blood cells which includes foods quite similar to folate and iron such as peas, eggs, nuts, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, and vitamin-fortified cereals. Also, a dairy product like yogurt is also a good source of riboflavin.
- Don’t forget the liquid at last! Do drink water for next 24 to 48 after donating blood that helps your body to readjust. Avoid the consumption of alcohol and increase the water consumption by 4 cups for next 2 days.
Over to you
Celebrate this World Blood Donation Day by saving lives of people who are in need of blood somewhere. There’s an extensive need for blood donors in various regions. All blood groups are equally important but exceptionally rare blood groups are more needed. So, come forth as you can make these little yet meaningful differences in the world. But before embarking on the journey, note the pointers mentioned above and be mindful while choosing food before and after donating your blood.
Nobody needs to be a doctor to save lives as heroes come in all shapes and sizes. So mark this date on the calendar and be someone’s hero.