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The reasons behind donating blood are sometimes personal. You may have a family member who is in need of blood, or perhaps you’ve even needed blood at one time or another. Donating blood can truly save lives, and there’s really nothing to it! If you’re in good physical health, you should strongly consider donating blood. There can even be health benefits for you like balancing out iron levels and improving blood flow!
- Maintain Healthy Iron Levels
When hoping to donate blood, it’s imperative to keep an iron rich diet. Red meat, fish, poultry, beans and spinach are fantastic sources of iron. Keep these foods in your diet leading up to your donation.
Before you come to donate, make sure you’ve eaten a healthy meal. Not only will this help you feel better while donating, but it will also mean your blood won’t go to waste! Eating too many fatty foods before you donate can mean your blood won’t be able to be used for transfusions. The fat in your blood can prevent testing for infectious diseases, which is necessary before using the blood.
- Stay Hydrated
The last thing you want when donating blood is to pass out from dehydration. Drink an extra 16 ounces of water before you donate to ensure you’ve got enough fluid in your system.
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep Beforehand
Donating blood can sometimes make a person feel slightly woozy. Come as rested as possible before your donation so that you’re feeling your best.
Bring a book or music to listen to while donating. Try talking to other donors while donating as well. It can help to keep your mind off of what’s going on.
- Have a Snack and Drink After You Donate
Snacks and drinks are offered for those who’ve just finished donating blood. Don’t pass this up! You’ll feel much better after you get some food and fluid in your system. Eating right a light snack right afterward can prevent donors from passing out.
- Remove the Wrap Bandage Within an Hour of Donating
You can keep the strip bandage on for several hours after you donate, but take the wrap bandage off within the hour. Get that blood flowing again!
- Avoid Exercise and Heavy Lifting for the Rest of the Day
Dizziness or lightheadedness isn’t uncommon after donating blood. Avoid lifting heavy objects or exerting too much energy for the remainder of the day. If you do start to feel lightheaded, sit or lie down immediately, let your eyes close and rest until you’re feeling better!