How Donating Blood Can Improve Your Health

Editor’s Note: This article is for informational purposes only. You should not use it to replace any professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment of any health issues. Any questions about your blood health should be directed toward a physician, hematologist, or other licensed healthcare professional.

That’s right. Donating blood gives you a lot more than some good karma. Read on to find out. 

Donating blood is one of the most selfless acts anyone can do, and depending on the type of blood donation you do it can be done up to 24 times a year. Each donation can help save the lives of up to three people who need blood, plasma, or platelets during a number of medical procedures—including blood transfusions. 

But did you also know that the free juice and cookies aren’t the only things you get out of donating blood? Being a regular blood donor can also have some great health benefits for you. 

Before running to the donation line, refresh yourself on what to know before becoming a blood donor (but come back here). Ready? Let’s give you even more reasons why you should become a blood donor. 

Health Benefits of Blood Donations

Before the donation process begins, all of your vital signs get checked and you’re screened for any potential health issues. So, in essence, you’re getting a mini physical at no cost. 

This exam can help reveal any health issues you may have been unaware of, such as an irregular heartbeat or high blood pressure. If such issues turn up, you may not be allowed to donate blood and may be referred to a physician for further treatment. 

Regular donations can also decrease the likelihood of such conditions, as they’ve been linked to lower blood pressure. This can also reduce your risk of heart attacks or strokes. 

Finally, there’s also a benefit to your mental health. Researchers have found that doing good deeds for others, such as donating blood, can reduce stress, increase good emotions and decrease negative ones, and even provide a sense of belonging. 

Oh, and about that free snack at the end: Consider it a “calorie-free” treat. When we donate blood, our body has to use up to 500 calories to replace it. So you can even opt for a slice of cake if you want! 

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