When we think about donating blood, the obvious benefit that comes to mind is that it helps those who need it and can save lives. While this reason is extremely important, you may not have realized there are also several health benefits that donors experience as a result of giving blood.
Here are five reasons why you should donate blood:
1. Donating blood saves lives
The most obvious reason for donating blood is that it is priceless. No amount of money donated to a hospital can replace the vital blood available to a patient in their hour of need. Donating blood can allow you to save hundreds of lives over the course of your life. According to the Red Cross, one blood donation can save up to 3 lives.
Donating blood is necessary and life-saving for people in many situations, including serious injuries such as car accidents, sickle cell diseases, cancer treatment, surgery, blood disorders, organ transplants, and blood treatments. There are so many ways your blood can help someone.
2. You get a free health screening
Lucky for you, there are also many benefits to the donor that come along with donating blood. Donating blood provides you with a free, bonus health screening as your blood is checked for any signs of health issues, including disease or blood pressure variances. The lab will let you know if they find any concerns in your blood, and then you’ll be able to get checked out properly.
3. You can maintain a healthy heart
People who regularly donate blood are reported to have lower blood pressure and a lower risk for heart attacks. Blood donation reduces hemoglobin, which lowers the risk of heart attacks and blood clots. For people who have too much iron in their blood, donating blood reduces iron levels, decreasing risk for the donor while also helping the people who need the blood.
4. It may improve your mental health
The positive feeling that comes with giving back and helping others is also proven to have many of its own health benefits. Research shows that altruism and volunteering are associated with lower rates of depression, which has a number of physical and mental health benefits. By helping someone else out and giving yourself a sense of purpose, you’re also improving your mental health.
5. Donating blood has many overall health benefits
According to studies conducted in 2007 and 2015 studying the data of over 1 million blood donors, donating blood reduces your risk of dying from any cause falls by an average 7.5% per annual donation, and donating blood in general can lower your chance of developing cancer by 4%.
As you can see, there are many reasons to donate blood. Make this the year you start donating blood and enjoy the physical and mental health benefits, while also helping save lives.
When you donate blood, make sure you take care of yourself. Do not donate blood if you’ve experienced COVID-19 symptoms in the last 2 weeks, and eat well and drink lots of water before your donation. If you plan on going to the gym, do so before donating, and talk to your doctor about taking iron supplements if you donate blood frequently.
Want to learn more? Contact our lab to learn more about the benefits from donating blood.