Most people think that you donate blood to help others — but did you know that when you donate blood, you actually do something good for yourself as well? Here are a few surprising health benefits that come from donating blood.
How Blood Donation Helps Your Health
- It reduces iron in your blood. Many people, especially men, have too much iron in their blood, which can oxidize and cause issues with your blood vessels that increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Blood donation is a good way to remove excess iron from your blood and protect your health.
- It can help you lose weight. Though certainly not a weight loss plan, blood donation is a good way to kill extra calories. The average person burns about 650 calories during blood donation. You’d have to walk six and a half miles to burn off that many calories on your own.
- Blood donation reduces your cancer risk. Excess iron in your blood has been tied to increased cancer risks. Blood donation helps get rid of the iron and reduces your chances of getting cancer.
- Blood donation can help you catch health problems early. One of the great benefits of donating blood is that you’ll get a free mini physical exam and free blood analysis, both of which can help to catch health problems you didn’t know about.
- It makes you feel good. Helping other people has a profoundly positive impact on you mood. A single blood donation can save as many as four lives, so when you roll up your sleeves, you know you’re doing something that makes a difference.
Learn more about blood donation and scheduling an appointment at a blood drive near you by visiting the Red Cross website.