person in white long sleeve shirt sitting on chair

Here, we will discuss the eleven benefits of donating blood that may surprise you.

Donating blood can be used as a preventative measure for many health conditions and serves as a noble service to those in need.

Keep reading to find out more.

1. Donating can save many lives

The main and best reason for donating blood would be to save lives. In fact, each time you donate one pint, that blood has the potential to help three people.

2. Donating boosts energy

Having too much iron stored in the blood can cause fatigue. Therefore, you may feel an energy boost when you release those iron stores during donation.

3. Donating can give you some extra money

If plasma is what you plan to donate, many centers will pay individuals $20-$50 per donation, and you can donate twice each week. Additionally, some donation centers hold monthly sweepstakes drawings with cash prizes.

4. Donating reduces harmful iron stores

Certain foods and contaminants in the atmosphere may cause an individual to have excessive iron stored in their body.

Additionally, there is a hereditary condition called hemochromatosis, where iron levels build over time. Because the body’s ability to secrete iron is limited, donating blood is the most effective way to eliminate the toxic mineral.

5. Donating may reveal potential health problems

The screening process before blood donation consists of a mini-physical that checks blood pressure, temperature, pulse, and hemoglobin levels. If a person’s results show any abnormalities or health concerns, they will be alerted and unable to donate.

Although this screening is not the same as a doctor’s visit, it may reveal a health issue that needs to be looked into.

6. Donating may lower the risk of heart disease

According to research completed by the American Journal of Epidemiology, donating blood once per year can decrease the risk of heart disease by %88.

Blood donation lowers the risk of heart disease because of the fewer iron stores, and the new blood cells replacing the donated ones are not as sticky. Therefore clotting is not as quick, and the risk of heart attack and stroke decreases.

7. Donating may reduce the risk of cancer

When donating blood, you reduce the number of iron stores in your body, which results in a lower level of free radicals.

Given that free radicals can cause cancer because they have the potential to damage cells, DNA, and proteins, the risk of cancer is decreased after donation.

8. Donating can help prevent organ damage

Iron stores may cause organ damage due to the body’s inability to excrete excess iron.

When the body can not discharge extra iron, it is stored in the liver, pancreas, and heart, which can be dangerous to those organs.

9. Donating helps your mental state

Participating in a selfless act like donating blood can trigger a type of happiness that is referred to as “helper’s high.”

Additionally, blood donation’s positive impact on a person’s body can boost mood due to having better health.

10. Donating burns calories

According to researchers at the University of California, donating Blood burns 650 calories per pint as the body uses energy to synthesize new proteins and red blood cells.

Of course, donating should not be used as a form of weight loss, but it is an added perk.

11. Donating is a valuable way to spend free time

Donating blood takes an average of one hour and fifteen minutes, and during donation, the atmosphere is often calm and peaceful.

If you spend your free time reading, browsing the internet, or doing activities like crossword puzzles, you can use that free time wisely by donating at the same time.

Who can Donate?

Only %38 of the population is eligible to donate blood. This number may be lower than expected for many reasons, such as health conditions or recent tattoos.

Most donation centers will allow you to donate if you meet the following criteria:

  • The donor is at least 16 years old; minors must have a signed permission slip.
  • Donor weighs at least 110 pounds; weight may vary for those under 22 years old.
  • The donor is in good general health with no signs of concern.
  • The donor is hydrated and has eaten within two hours of donation.
  • The donor is not pregnant or given birth in the last six weeks.
  • The donor has not gotten a tattoo in at least three months.
  • Donors do not take illegal drugs; marijuana is generally ok.
  • The donor has not recently traveled overseas.

Donating blood is beneficial to those in need of a transfusion and yourself as well. Dedicating just one or two hours of your week to donation can lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, organ damage, and more.

About the author