Donating blood does not negatively affect your health and there are in essence no negative blood donation side effects, except some weakness just after donation. The biggest of the blood donation benefits has to be that you are giving random people a chance of life and that is something almost entirely selfless. Saving a life just by donating something you have plenty of has to be something all of us should do if we can. However, did you know there are also benefits to you as an individual if you donate blood?
Lower the Chance of Heart Disease
By donating your blood, you will increase your iron levels, which significantly reduces the chances of developing heart disease. Iron improves cholesterol oxidation, which means you will have less clogged up arteries and hence less chances of heart disease. This benefit is particularly prevalent in males, who lose iron regularly. Their chances of developing heart disease can be reduced by as much as a third.
More Red Blood Cells
By donating blood, your overall blood cells will decrease. Your body will immediately start replenishing this, producing new cells in your marrow. This, in essence, refreshes your blood.
Another one of the blood donation benefits is that it helps fight hemochromatosis. This is a genetic iron overload condition. Too much iron is accumulated in the body, potentially damaging the body. There are a number of countries where your donated blood cannot be used if you have hemochromatosis, but you would still be able to reap the benefits yourself. This disorder is said to be quite common in northern European countries. In the United States, people who suffer from hemochromatosis are considered safe donors as well. Because the condition is genetic, it is not contagious.
Calorie Burning Properties
Donating blood can actually burn quite a lot of calories, improving overall health. For just a single pint of blood, you will burn 650 calories. That is a lot of calories and you would have to do a significant workout to reach the same level.
Donating Blood Is Invigorating
Elderly people in particular may feel invigorated if they donate blood. Many have reported that they feel like they have been fully reenergised. However, you must make sure, if you are an elderly person, that you are in overall good health and physically fit.
Requirements for Blood Donation
If you want to be involved in blood donation, you do have to meet certain requirements. The blood donation requirements generally mean that you have to be fit and healthy and aged between 19 and 65. Each country tends to have their own rules, but there are generally two main categories of people who are unable to give blood. These are:
• Those people who will be harmed by donating blood, such as anemic people.
• Those people who could harm others by donating blood.
Determining which people could harm others by donating blood is a complicated issue. Unfortunately, not all donated blood can be checked due to cost implications, although some countries are getting better at this. As such, there are still many countries where homosexuals are not allowed to donate blood because their behavior is classed as “sexually risky”. People with contagious disease are also unable to donate blood, of course.
If you notice a blood donation campaign near you and you are between 19 and 65 and in overall good health, why not donate some blood? The main blood donation reward is not just the benefits to yourself as described above but, above all, that you may be saving someone’s life.