8 Health Benefits of Donating Blood

8 Health Benefits of Donating Blood

I donate blood every eight weeks like clockwork. I was unaware of the health benefits when I started. In fact, I thought the opposite. How healthy can something be if they tell you to eat cookies afterward to avoid passing out?

I felt great for what I was doing to save lives. But as I delved further into the practice of donating blood, I found another perk: It is extremely healthy to do!

Related: How to Live Healthy in an Unhealthy World

Before we get into the health benefits of donating blood, here are some reasons why you should donate.

Donating Blood Saves Lives

Give BloodBlood is needed daily in nearly all hospitals during surgeries and other procedures. Most areas are usually at risk for a blood shortage. And since blood doesn't last forever only about 42 days, the supply is always finite.

Donate when NOT in a state of emergency, blood is always needed.

Tons of blood was thrown away after 9/11. People see tragedy and donate. We were in such a surplus that it was discarded at a record pace!

When is blood needed? Every day! Give every 8 weeks to make sure you do your part to keep the supply plentiful!

Different blood types help different people.

O+ is universal. While it is the most common, it can also donate to type A, type B, and type O. I am O+ and they call me every 8 weeks on the dot to get my sweet nectar. O- is unique and NEEDED. Since O- needs O-, they need this badly!

YOUR Health Benefits for Donating Blood

Enough about helping others, we all know blood donations are awesome for the world. But for those who need just a tiny push to go donate, here are some selfish and AWESOME reasons to donate!

#1 - Free Health Screening

They test blood pressure pre-donation and test for infectious diseases post-donation.

Thus, it's like a free health screening every 8 weeks that will help you identify any major issues. But as you will read soon, this is an added bonus to living longer!

#2 - Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Reduces risk of heart diseases by lowering iron in the body, specifically in males.

Iron is an essential element for the proper functioning of the body. However, excessive iron build up can cause oxidative damage. Oxidative damage has been implicated in accelerated aging, heart attacks, strokes and more life-threatening issues.

#3 - Donating Blood Burns Calories!

Donating blood burns about 650 calories. Since most people can donate once every 8 weeks, this is either helping with a deficit or allowing you to eat a donut or two!
Marc Lobliner

#4 - Reduce Risks of Certain Cancers by Lowering Iron Levels

Excessive iron has been correlated with some forms of cancer. Donating blood can reduce these risks!

#5 - Lower Risk of Heart Attack

The American Journal of Epidemiology found that blood donors are 88% less likely to suffer a heart attack. [1]

This could be due to blood donations making the blood less viscous, thus allowing better blood flow. That is a HUGE percentage!

#6 - Better Insulin Sensitivity

Donating Blood can lead to better insulin sensitivity. [2]

This can help with weight management and performance. Who would have thought?!

#7 - Psychological Benefits

You feel GOOD for giving blood. You know you're helping people. This puts you in a good mindset.

#8 - Live Longer

Studies have shown donating for altruistic reasons outweigh donating for personal reasons.

Charity is GOOD! This is the mindset once again. Donating to help people put you in a good place mentally, which will lower bad stress and decrease mortality risks.

Donate Blood Today!

If this isn't enough, then we will never convince you. Save others and save yourself, donate today. I go here to see if they have a location in your area. Because helping others and helping yourself, that's not a game!
1) Oxford Journals | Medicine & Health | American Jnl of Epidemiology. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.
2) "Effects of Phlebotomy-induced Reduction of Body Iron Stores on Metabolic Syndrome: Results from a Randomized Clinical Trial." PubMed Central (PMC). N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.
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Ezequiel - May 19, 2020

These arguments are so stupid! Less risk of heart attacks for lowering iron levels?!?! Damn, the iron levels are lowered to LESS than what you need after donating! It’s actually a bad thing, and the effect on cancer growth is absolutely insignificant. Burning calories? Insuline sensitivity? Everything we do burns calories, plus a little workout a day can do both things. I am not against donating blood, just for the record

jcgadfly - January 11, 2019

I need to get back to this. Took me long enough to get cleared to do it post-cancer

jeff gray - January 11, 2019

keep meaning to start donating, good reminder.

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