Healthy eating tips for women to ensure healthy donation of blood

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blood donation it is a selfless gesture that can save lives but is nevertheless a frightening prospect, and despite decades of research and public awareness campaigns, the gift of life from healthy a person to a sick or disabled person remains a mystery. Contrary to the myth that women shouldn’t donate blood, the fact is that women are quite capable of donating blood, but only when they have low hemoglobin levels or anemia can they not do so, which is true for guys as well.

A blood donor must have 12.5 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter (125 grams per liter) to donate blood, and anything less than this is considered unacceptable. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Anam Golandaz, a clinical nutritionist at Masina Hospital, shared, “Women who are well-nourished are better able to provide for themselves, their children, and their families. Well-nourished mothers are more likely to give birth to babies with a healthy birth weight, and such babies are less likely to ever be malnourished. Blood is a specially formulated fluid that supplies our body parts with essential components such as oxygen, nutrients and hormones to keep them working. It also helps the body remove waste from cells by transporting carbon dioxide and other waste products to the lungs, kidneys, and digestive system for removal from the body. In addition, iron increases the production of hemoglobin, which helps form more red blood cells.”

She advised: “Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables will provide you with antioxidants that are good for your overall health, including blood health. So stick to a healthy, balanced diet. The reason for donating blood is simple because it helps save lives. In fact, every two seconds of the day, someone needs blood. Since blood cannot be produced on the street, we must raise awareness about blood donation. The American Red Cross recommends avoiding heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for at least the remainder of the day after donating blood, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), a person should avoid sports or strenuous activity for 48 hours.”

A growing number of people falling victim to depression at an early age, mental illness, lifestyle disorders such as anemia, obesity, sleep disorders have become a public health problem since the pandemic. On the one hand, anemia appears to be a serious cause for concern, which has led to a decline in the number of blood donors and an alarming rate of new diseases and infections, a shortage of blood donors, or an epidemic on the verge of an outbreak causing a shortage of blood units.

According to NFHS III, more than 55% of women are anemic in the 15 to 49 age group. According to NFHS 4, a quarter of women of reproductive age in India are undernourished with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 kg/m2. According to NFHS-V (2019-2021), the prevalence of anemia in children aged 6 to 59 months is about 67%, in adolescent girls – 59%, in adolescent boys in the age group of 15-19 years – 31%. . The incidence of anemia in non-pregnant women is 57%.

Speaking about ensuring healthy blood donation among women, Dr. Manjusha Agarwal, Senior Consultant Internal Medicine at Parel Global Hospital Mumbai, spoke about donating blood. The nutrition of women, especially mothers, must be accompanied by access to nutritious food. Micronutrient supplemented food awareness should be given to new mothers, especially those who work in workplaces. An integrated mother-child development scheme should be launched for blue-collar working women with a general awareness of blood donation. The inclusion of micronutrient supplements such as A, B, D, E in processed foods and awareness must be built around them.”

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