World Blood Donor Day falls on June 14 every year, and All Kurma fully supports this noble initiative to encourage all able-bodied people to donate blood to those in need. So this is the month where you can Power up with Dates Fruit to save lives and we will share with you how and why.
Previously we have shared some basic guidelines for first-timer donors.
Blood transfusions are an important part of many medical and surgical treatments. From cardiac surgery and organ transplantation, and management of thalassemia, to smaller procedures and even anaemic individuals just to name a few, which all depend on blood transfusion.
A single donation of blood can save up to three lives, making it one of the simplest and most altruistic things a person can do to help their fellow man.
If you have ever wanted to donate blood but were unsure of its effects on your body, let us put your mind at ease, while also showing how dates can help you power through the process.
How blood donation also benefits the donor.
Aside from helping you save lives, donating blood also benefits the donor. Your body's cell count is decreased when blood is drawn, and this allows fresh new cells to regenerate. Your entire body essentially gets to ‘freshen up' and is left in a much healthier state afterwards.
In addition, many blood donation centres will usually run a brief health check on donors prior to drawing their blood. This includes diagnosing blood pressure, body weight, cholesterol levels, haemoglobin count and iron content, among others.
This provides invaluable insight into the current state of your health, and can even alert you to any risk factors or problems that may indicate an underlying medical condition.
Let's bring in the Dates
Dates are packed with plenty of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals which are particularly beneficial for those who are donating blood.
They contain about 0.9mg of iron per 100g, which is about 11% of the recommended daily intake (RDI). Iron is a component of haemoglobin inside red blood cells, and helps improve the oxygen carrying capacity of blood.
Dates are also a rich source of calcium and copper. While most people know calcium develops strong bones and teeth, not many realise that calcium also improves blood clotting. Copper also helps in the production of red blood cells, which ensures your body replenishes itself faster.
Dates also contain flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants known as tannins, which possess anti-inflammatory and anti-haemorrhagic properties to help you during your recovery.
A handful of dates should be more than enough to keep you fully charged both before and after you donate blood, and will help you maintain your overall health if you make them a part of your regular diet.
Powering up before Donating
Prior to donating blood, ensure that you have gotten a good night's sleep so that your body is in optimum condition, and make sure to eat a good breakfast or lunch. You can have dates as a post-breakfast snack, or with some yoghurt or cereal.
In addition, don't forget to drink plenty of water to replace the amount of fluid you will lose. However, do avoid drinking alcohol, caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea, or carbonated, sugary beverages.
Be sure to avoid fatty and fried foods for about 24 hours prior to making a donation, as a high fat content may influence any tests for infections done on your donated blood.
Powering up after Donating
Depending on a person's weight and age, up to half a litre of blood may be drawn at a time. You will usually be provided with some light refreshments, with some places even allowing you to bring your own food.
If they do, pack some dates to snack after. Their natural sweetness should also help give you some much-needed energy and get you moving faster.
It is common to experience some dizziness or nausea immediately after making a donation, but this should pass as your body begins to recover, and is usually done by the time you have eaten.
Remember to drink plenty of fluids throughout the rest of the day, and avoid taking part in strenuous sports or exercise for at least 24 hours.
Be sure to alert a nurse or doctor if you feel any pain or light-headedness even after you have eaten, and wait at least 60 days before donating blood again.
Now, are you ready to make a difference? All Kurma beliefs, every small donation counts!
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