The Best Foods To Eat Before Donating Blood

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Blood donation is a life-saving act that helps patients with serious medical conditions maintain healthy blood levels.

Blood donors may experience certain side effects like:

Fatigue or weakness
Light-headedness or dizziness
Iron-deficiency anaemia

However, these side effects mostly seen in regular blood donors can be set right if the right type of foods and drinks are consumed before and after donating blood.

Before you donate blood, consider increasing your intake of iron-rich foods. This can help increase the iron stores in your body and reduce your risk for iron deficiency anaemia.

Foods rich in nonheme iron include:

Vegetables, such as spinach, sweet potatoes, peas, broccoli, string beans, beet greens, dandelion greens, collards, kale, and chard.

Bread and cereals, including enriched white bread, enriched cereal, whole-wheat bread, enriched pasta, wheat, bran cereals, cornmeal, oats, rye bread, and enriched rice.

Fruits, such as strawberries, watermelon, raisins, dates, figs, prunes, prune juice, dried apricots, and dried peaches.

Beans, including tofu, kidney, garbanzo, white, dried peas, dried beans, and lentils.

Vitamin C

Although heme iron will raise your iron levels more effectively, vitamin C can help your body better absorb plant-based iron or nonheme iron.

Many fruits are a good source of vitamin C. Fruits high in this vitamin include:

cantaloupe
citrus fruits and juices
kiwi fruit
mango
papaya
pineapple
strawberries
raspberries
blueberries
cranberries
watermelon
tomatoes

Water

Around half of the blood, you donate is made of water. This means you’ll want to be fully hydrated. When you lose fluids during the blood donation process, your blood pressure can drop, leading to dizziness. The American Red Cross recommends drinking an extra 16 ounces, or 2 cups, of water before donating blood. Other nonalcoholic beverages are fine, too.

This extra fluid is in addition to the recommended 72 to 104 ounces (9 to 13 cups) you should drink each day.

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