Updated at: 04-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Blood donation necessitates an increase in iron levels. Your hemoglobin production can then be boosted by selecting the appropriate foods.

Blood transfusion is an option, but you must first determine if your iron levels are sufficient. If they aren’t, you run the risk of experiencing life-threatening complications.

Hemoglobin is the most important component in blood donation. Because hemoglobin makes up the majority of blood, taking foods that help produce it before to a transfusion is strongly recommended.

What is iron?

Hemoglobin contains iron, which is an essential mineral that can be found in the foods we consume. Red blood cells are made by the body, and iron can be used to replenish those that are lost by blood donation.

Iron Intake, Supplements & Ways to Increase/Decrease - SelfDecode Labs

Simple Ways To Raise Iron Levels For Blood Donation

When asked how to raise iron levels for blood donation, most hospitals would suggest this. If your body has more than enough of the part, you are eligible for a donation. As a result, your hemoglobin levels must be carefully monitored to ensure that they do not endanger you or the recipient. In addition, this will speed up the transfusion process.

#1. Eat the right food

All medical treatments necessitate special preparation depending on the part of the body that is being treated. Food consumption is one of the simplest ways to get started. Surgery can be less dangerous if certain meals increase body secretions. Nothing about giving blood is particularly unique. They provide you with a list of recommended foods to help with blood secretion in order to achieve this goal.

  • Iron

Over 70% of the iron in your body is found in your blood. There must be a sufficient amount of iron in the blood for it to be suitable for transfusion. Listed below is a list of foods that are rich in iron or have the ability to increase iron levels in the body. Know the roles of hemoglobin and iron.

  • Meat

The iron content of red meat is particularly high. Beef, lamb, hog, ham and many more meats fall under this category. Unless you are a vegan or a vegetarian, you won’t find eating meat a burden because it’s trendy for its juicy and tender taste. Not to mention, most meats are readily available at most supermarkets. If you’d like, you can choose from the following:

  • Poultry

Anything classified as poultry is derived from a domesticated animal. Butter, poultry, and eggs are all examples of them. In addition to providing you with a daily dosage of iron, they are commonly utilized in everyday cookery. They’re easy to find in supermarkets and public places, and they’re inexpensive. It’s possible to raise them at home! The iron-blocking properties of various poultry products, including milk, cheese and yogurt, should be taken into consideration. Make sure you know what to consume before and after donating blood.

  • Fish

Additionally, the iron in this type of shellfish is high. When you think about it, iron can be found in practically any food. There are people who prefer fish to red meat, therefore this is a fantastic alternative without jeopardizing your hemoglobin levels.

  • Organ

Organs are both delicious and beneficial. Of course, animal organs are used. Additionally, organs such as livers and intestines deliver nutrients throughout the body. Street food often includes an organ dish. These are widely available and reasonably priced, so you may treat yourself every now and then.

  • Bread

Carbohydrates from bread not only maintain your blood healthy, but they also give you with energy for the remainder of the day. Grab a loaf of bread from the grocery store if you want to take advantage of this convenience.

  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant.

Vitamin C has the ability to improve the health of your blood by enhancing its antioxidant capacity. You and the recipient will both benefit from ingesting foods rich in the vitamin.

  • Fruits

If you’re looking for a wholesome and delicious dessert, fruit is the way to go. Fruits including mangoes, papayas, cantaloupes, and tomatoes are among the best choices.

  • Vegetables

Veggies never go out of style as a healthy food option. Vegetables are tasty, despite the fact that some may put you off eating them. Eggplants, squashes, and lettuces are all delicious options.

  • Water

Blood is a biological fluid that needs to be hydrated in order for secretion to be as easy as possible. Make sure to remain hydrated, whether you’re donating blood or not!

#2. Avoid dehydrating food

Consuming dehydrating meals might impact the creation of blood, which is a fluid. As a side note, dehydration can induce a host of health issues that will disqualify you from being a donor in the first place.

  • Alcohol

Of course, alcohol is made up of alcohol. However, due to the dehydrating nature of its contents, it is unable to fulfill its intended function of making you intoxicated. Aside from that, consuming alcohol may impair your ability to donate blood because it could contaminate it.

  • Eating too much fatty food

Blood tests might be affected by the presence of fat. If the screening equipment is unable to run your results and ensure that you are disease-free, you will not be allowed to proceed.

  • Iron stumbling blocks

In addition to foods that accelerate the absorption of iron, there are also foods that prevent it from being excreted. It is pointless to consume iron-rich meals if you are taking iron blockers. Popular blockers include coffee, chocolate, and alcohol.

  • Aspirin

Blood tests can potentially be affected by aspirin. This is a common pain reliever and fever reducer. Aspirin should be avoided before to blood donation, even if it is not a common practice.

Why Do Blood Donors Need Iron After Blood Donation?

You can remove iron from your body by donating a unit of whole blood or two units of double red cells. The iron levels in the blood of frequent apheresis donors (i.e., research donors, plateletpheresis donors) can decline with time. Red blood cell production necessitates the presence of iron. Anemia, or a low hemoglobin count, can be caused by low iron levels.

What Foods Contain Iron?

Iron and vitamin C should be included in the diets of all blood donors. Iron-fortified foods including cereals, beans, lentils, and tofu as well as fresh spinach are examples of this type of diet-friendly fare.

Fertility is enhanced by eating animal products like red meat and chicken because the iron included in these meals is better absorbed than that found in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables and nuts. Meat and meals high in vitamin C, such as orange juice, citrus fruits, and tomatoes, help your body better absorb iron from plant sources.

6 Foods that can boost your iron level | The Times of India

Learn more about the importance of dietary iron.

Who Should Take Iron Supplements After Donating Blood?

A multivitamin with iron or an iron supplement should be taken by frequent blood donors to replace the iron lost during blood donation. If you regularly donate blood to the following causes:

  • A woman between the ages of 18 and 50 who gives at least two units annually
  • Women over 50 who donate three or more units each year qualify as “high-volume donors.”
  • Every year, he contributes at least three units.
  • Regular donors of apheresis or plateletpheresis donations for the benefit of medical research (e.g., every month)

How Much Iron Is Needed To Replace the Iron Lost In One Whole Blood Donation?

Over-the-counter iron supplements and multivitamins have lower quantities of iron (18 mg to 27 mg iron) than prescription iron (38 to 65 mg elemental iron) and are associated with fewer negative effects when taken for 60 days to replace the iron lost after blood donation, according to new studies.

Taking an over-the-counter iron multivitamin or an iron supplement of 18 mg or 27 mg of iron (1 tablet a day for 60 days) before to their next blood donation is highly advised for donors. It’s a good idea to bring up the subject of blood donation and any supplements you take with your doctor.

What kinds of iron dietary supplements are available?

  • Many multivitamin-mineral supplements, as well as iron-only supplements, are available. Some multivitamins for males and some multivitamins for women both contain iron. 18-27 mg iron or 38 mg iron can be found on the food label.
  • A typical serving of “325 mg ferrous gluconate” contains 38 mg of iron, also known as “elemental iron,” in the form of a tablet. Check the labeling, as shown in the following section.
  • A lower dose may help alleviate side effects like nausea, constipation, and other gastrointestinal issues.
  • There may be fewer negative effects with ferrous gluconate than ferrous sulfate.
  • Always read the instructions on the packaging before using it.
  • Keep all medications, including iron, out of the reach of minors. The most common cause of lethal poisoning in children under the age of 6 is an accidental overdose of iron-containing items.
  • Check out the NIH website for more information about iron supplements.


Does the Red Cross check my iron level before donating?

No. Before giving blood, you will have your hemoglobin level checked, not your iron level, by the Red Cross. Prior to donating blood, your hemoglobin level is measured by a fingerstick. Your donation will be postponed if your hemoglobin levels drop below a safe level.

How can I increase my iron level?

In addition to your age, gender, body type, and genetics, your body’s need for iron is also influenced by how often you donate blood. Iron- and vitamin C-rich foods are among the Red Cross’ list of suggested menu items for blood donors. Donors should also avoid meals that inhibit iron absorption.

After donating whole blood or a power red, some donors may benefit from taking a supplement with 18-38 mg of iron or a multivitamin containing 18 mg of iron for at least 60 days to help maintain their iron levels.

Which foods have the most iron?

Heme iron and non-heme iron are two forms of iron found in food. The body prefers heme iron because it is more easily absorbed. Beef, turkey (particularly dark meat), chicken, lamb, pork, and liver are also good sources of this compound.

In order to get the amount of iron your body needs, you must consume non-heme iron, which has a lower absorption rate but is still an excellent source of iron. Breakfast cereals supplemented with iron, breads and pasta (whole grain and enhanced), tofu, beans, lentils, peanuts, dried fruits like raisins, and eggs are examples of foods high in non-heme iron.

Find out more about iron-rich foods by reading this article.

Do other foods increase your body’s ability to absorb iron?

Because it aids in the absorption of iron, vitamin C-rich foods are highly recommended. Vitamin C-rich foods include tomatoes, oranges, and other citrus fruits, as well as bell peppers. Additionally, red foods aid in the absorption of non-heme iron by providing heme iron.

Do other foods decrease the absorption of iron?

Yes, some meals and drinks can reduce your body’s ability to absorb iron. As an illustration, consider the following:

  • Tea or coffee?
  • Wine made from red grapes
  • Chocolate
  • Fiber-rich foods
  • Some drugs, such as antacids, might cause gastric problems.
  • Foods high in calcium (like milk or cheese)

This does not mean that you must eliminate these items from your diet, but rather that you should avoid consuming them along with meals high in iron or supplements containing iron. For example, instead of having your coffee or tea with your dinner, have it before or after your meal.

how to increase iron level quickly | Iron rich foods, Foods with iron, Increase iron

Can I get too much iron in my diet?

A well-balanced diet is essential because most individuals can’t obtain enough iron from the food they eat. Hemochromatosis, which is an iron overload that can cause major health issues when left unchecked, may already be present in certain people. Those who suffer from hemochromatosis should consult with their doctor to determine how much iron they can eat.


Don’t forget everything you’ve learned about raising iron levels for blood donation. Donating blood is completely optional, but it can have a significant impact on many people’s health or even save their lives. Knowing why blood donation is important may be useful. It’s a great day!