Nourish your body pre, post blood donation

New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) Before you step out of your house to donate blood on World Blood Donor Day Friday, have a nourishing diet. Once you are done with the good deed, consume food items rich in vitamins and more, says Annapurna Agrawal, nutritionist at Snap Fitness India.

Before donating blood, here are some must-eat food items:

- Iron rich foods: Whole grains, spinach, rice flakes, watermelon are some of the foods that are rich in iron.

- Vitamin C rich foods: Eat citrus fruits and juices to increase levels of vitamin C. This will help to increase iron absorption.

- Fluids: Drink plenty of water and fruit juices in the night and morning before you donate blood. Avoid carbonated drinks.

- No fatty foods: Don't consume fatty foods 24 hours before you go for blood donation as these can affect blood tests. Due to excess fat in blood, it can't be tested for infectious diseases and so the blood will not be used for transfusion.

After donating blood continue to have liquids to prevent low blood pressure.

Also, include the following in your diet:

- Foods rich in folic acid: Your body uses B-9 also known as folate, folic acid, to manufacture new red blood cells. This helps to replace the ones that you lost during donation. Food rich in this acid include liver, dried beans, spinach and many more.

- Foods rich in Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin): Riboflavin or vitamin B-2 is another vitamin required to produce red blood cells. It helps your body turn carbohydrates into energy for the body, which will help to strengthen you. Again, consume green leafy vegetables, eggs, peas, nuts and dairy products.

- Foods rich in Vitamin B-6: Your body needs it to build healthy blood cells and it helps the body break down proteins. Because proteins contain several nutrients, eating vitamin B-6 foods can be helpful. Potatoes, bananas, seeds, nuts, red meat, fish, eggs and spinach are rich in this vitamin.

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