There are benefits to everything, especially the act of donating blood. In fact, here are three benefits that one experiences by being a regular blood donor:
- Reduced risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular health issues. Iron has a hardening effect on the arteries that make up our blood streams. When you donate blood you are taking out 225-250 milligrams of iron and essentially are lowering your heart disease risk because of it.
- Burn up to 650 calories during one donation. When you donate blood, your body regenerates the fluid portion that was donated within about twenty-four hours. In order for the body to do this, however, it must burn around 650 calories to have the energy to do it! That is why you will hear a blood center typically say eat a good meal before and after donating so that your body has the ample energy in its reserves to do just that. Donors that don’t heed those steps typically report feeling tired, lethargic, and sleepy for the rest of the day.
- You are able to check up on your health between doctor’s visits. To donate blood, one must pass a set of physical requirements and generally be in somewhat decent shape to actually give. These “mini-physicals” take place before each donation, and the blood donor will have his or her vital signs checked for regularity. If something is off or not quite right, the donor will not be able to donate. There have been cases when I have talked with blood donors who have actually scheduled doctor’s visits after not being able to donate blood and have found out there was an underlying medical condition. They were able to find this out because of their attempt to donate blood.
While donating blood is an amazing act of kindness, it does have its own set of benefits for the blood donors themselves. We find it pretty cool that the act of donating blood can help a healthy donor continue to stay healthy.