Donate Blood – Save a Life. A lot of you might even be regular blood donors. In the mind of all the blood donors, they always have one question when they see foods they like “to eat or not to eat”. Leaving the jokes aside, how many of you know what you should eat after donating blood?
We know that after we donate the blood in any blood donation campaign they give us a pack of juice and some cookies but is that what we really need to eat after donating blood? The short answer is yes. The only issue is what they give is not enough for you and you will have to eat carefully for a while.
There are some foods that you should eat and some foods that you should avoid or lessen for the next 48hours after you donate blood. That is 2 full days of needing to be careful of what you eat so this can be a hassle for the foodies but hey, you can’t be a good human and then eat things that will make you weak right after that. Regardless of that let’s begin with foods that you should eat in the next 48 hours before we go into the foods we should avoid.
What you should eat after blood donations
As mentioned before there are foods that you should eat after blood donations and in general, these include the ones with vitamins and minerals as well as tons of energy. What you want to do is enhance the speed at which the blood circulation flows and enhance the production of the RBC (Red blood cells) along with replacing the nutrients that you lost after donating blood. As for why we should donate blood if this makes us weak it’s a topic for another day. So what foods and drinks should eat?
Rich sources of Iron
First things first, you should know that 67% of the total iron in our body is inside Red blood cells in the form of hemoglobin. This is the chemical that makes the blood red. So if you participate in blood donations you will lose blood from your body. We all know that the lack of iron can cause some serious weakness so it is necessary to replenish that iron that you lost while donating blood. What are the sources of Iron you may ask? The sources of iron are all around you if you look a bit closer.
One of the primary sources is meat. So for those who love to eat meat, you get an excuse to do so without any shame. Any meat is good meat to gain iron be it red meat like buffalo, ham, chicken, or fish.
As for our eggetarian and vegetarian friends, you can eat eggs as well but just not too much. The plants which have tons of iron are abundant as well. For starters, the potato is one of the best sources of iron and starch. Along with that spinach is a good source as well and some hated veggies such as broccoli and kale are good sources as well. Now if you want some bakery instead, then go for it. Oats, cereals, and whole wheat bread are some other good sources as well.
With the iron out of the way, the other ingredient that you must replenish after a blood donation is Vitamin C. We all know what the lack of vitamin C can do with the cold being the most common in our mind. Since we already know what happens then we automatically know a few foods as well which are great sources of Iron such as lemons and limes. These two are just the two most common ones but oranges are good sources of Vitamin C as well.
Apart from these obvious ones, some other fruits and veggies with loads of vitamin C are :
You see there is a variety of tastes in the Vitamin C group unlike what a lot of us think
Starchy foods but not fatty ones
There is a difference between starchy foods and fatty ones. The obvious one being that one type of food has starch as their main component and the other type has fat so be sure to know which one is before you make this decision. Why do we need to eat starchy foods? The answer is somewhat of common sense and a lot of you know this.
For those who are still confused it is because after donating blood our body loses energy and starch is easier to digest than fat when it comes to gaining energy. What foods have starch? We already have mentioned some before but let’s make it clearer. Remember when we said that after blood donations they usually give you cookies and juice? That is for a reason as cookies contain a lot of starch and are good for a quick energy boost. Apart from cookies, some other foods are
- Whole wheat bread
- Instant noodles
These are just some of the examples which you can find easily. We bet that you didn’t know that noodles will be here, did you?
Now with the final but the most important thing that you should consume after a blood donation. Although water is not technically a food and is a drink still it is one of the most important things that you should have after donating blood. Blood is liquid and losing liquid makes you dehydrated and dehydration leads to headaches and other uncomfortable and painful things.
This is something that all of us know so it is a no-brainer that we should consume water or liquid. The juice that they give you is for this reason as well. But with that being said not all liquid is good for you after donating blood which leads us to our next part.
Things that you should avoid after blood donation
As we said just now, not all liquids are good for you after blood donations. Which liquids are harmful? We will get to that in a while but in general, you should not consume things which are hard to digest for 48 hours or things which block nutrients from being absorbed. There are not a lot of things as most of the things that you consume do not affect much but there are some crucial things.
A lot of you might know what Iron Blocker food is and it is not common knowledge as well. In short, they are foods or drinks which have high amounts of other nutrients relative to iron which can prevent your body from absorbing iron if you eat it alongside foods that do actually contain iron. It is not like you should totally avoid these but the less you take the better.
One of the main reasons why you can’t totally avoid these iron blockers after blood donation is because they contain other nutrients that you need to take after donating blood. Things like Milk and cereals which have high starch are things that you should eat and drink after donating blood but if you eat/drink them too much they will block your iron absorption and you may feel dizzy the next day.
We have mentioned in brief earlier why you should not eat fatty foods. The main reason is that fat takes a lot more effort and time to digest than starch and when you have given a significant amount of your blood to others your body will be in a weak state and will need some quick energy.
The process of digesting fat takes a lot more out of you than giving you so this is a natural no go. On top of that, the fat which is not digested immediately will be stored and increase the total fat ratio of your body as well if you choose fatty food in the 48hours of blood donation.
This is a heavy word but as per the definition, a narcotic is any food or chemical that brings somewhat of a drastic change in one’s mood and is addictive. So by this anything can be a narcotic including tea, coffee, and alcohol. It is needless to say that cigarettes are also a narcotic.
As to why taking these is not a good idea for 48hours of blood donation, the answer is rather simple. Since you have relatively less blood it will be easier for things like coffee and tea to affect you more and heavily and you can easily get addicted to them in the span of 2 days. That is not considering the fact that the chemicals that they contain are harder to digest as well. Alcohol is a no-brainer but you may be wondering why coffee and tea?
Both of them contain caffeine and a bit of nicotine as well. Nicotine is too low to affect you but caffeine is not. In Fact, the whole reason we take coffee is due to the effect caused by caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and it leaves some residue on your blood. That is the reason why if a person drinks more coffee then he/she can drink more as time passes. The same is for tea as well but on a lesser scale.
If you are someone who is a regular blood donor and have ad hard time controlling your smoking check out our “5 tips on controlling your smoking” here.
You can also check out our “10 simple tips on losing weight fast at home” as well if you are someone who is worried about your health.