World Blood Donor Day 2023: Foods To Eat Avoid Before Donating
Image Credit: Pixabay

Every year on June 14, World Blood Donor day is observed globally to raise awareness about the importance of blood donation and to acknowledge the contributions of voluntary blood donors worldwide. World Blood Donor Day was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in 2004.  

The date, June 14th, was chosen to commemorate the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian physician and biologist who discovered the ABO blood group system, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1930. Today, World Blood Donor Day serves as an opportunity to promote the need for safe blood and blood products, as well as to express gratitude to individuals who donate their blood to save lives. 

But what many people who are interested in donating blood on World Blood Donor Day or any other day of the year don’t know is that donating blood is not just about going to a camp and offering your services as a donor. Donor nutrition plays a significant role in blood donation as it affects the donor's overall health, well-being, and the quality of the donated blood. What’s more, blood is a huge vital component of the body, and donating it can create a deficit in the donor.  

Adequate nutrition before and after blood donation helps ensure that the donor's body has the necessary nutrients to maintain optimal blood volume and composition. It is important for potential blood donors to follow the specific guidelines provided by blood donation centers or healthcare professionals regarding nutrition and any dietary restrictions before donating blood. These guidelines may vary depending on factors such as the donor's age, weight, medical history, and local blood donation regulations. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Banglar Rannaghor

Foods To Eat Before Donating Blood

It is never advisable to donate blood on an empty stomach. Before donating blood, it is best to consume a well-balanced meal that includes foods rich in certain nutrients. Here are some foods you should include in your meal before donating blood. 

Green Vegetables  

Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells. Consuming iron-rich foods can help maintain adequate iron levels in the body. Good sources of iron include green vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, Indian gourds, beans, lentils, tofu and nuts. 

Citrus Fruits

Vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron from plant-based sources. Including foods high in vitamin C in your pre-donation meal can enhance iron absorption. Some vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits), strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, tomatoes, and leafy green vegetables. 

Whole Grains

Whole grains provide complex carbohydrates that can provide sustained energy and help prevent a sudden drop in blood sugar levels during and after blood donation. Opt for whole grain bread, pasta, rice, oats, quinoa, or other whole grain products. 

Lean Proteins  

Including protein in your pre-donation meal helps support muscle function and repair. Good sources of protein include lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese, legumes, tofu, and nuts. 

Hydrating Fluids

Adequate hydration is crucial before blood donation. In addition to drinking plenty of water, consuming hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables can contribute to your overall fluid intake. Watermelon, cucumbers, oranges, grapes, and soups with a high water content are good options. 

Foods To Avoid Before Donating Blood 

While there are some foods that strengthen you before blood donation, there are others that can weaken or harm you and the quality of the blood you are donating. So, before donating blood, it is advisable to avoid certain foods to ensure a smooth donation process and maintain the quality of the donated blood. Here are some key foods to avoid before you step up for blood donation. 

Fried Foods 

Foods high in saturated and trans fats, such as fried foods, greasy fast food, fatty cuts of meat, and high-fat desserts, should be avoided. These foods can increase the fat content in the blood, making it cloudy and more difficult to process. 

Salty Snacks

Foods high in sodium, such as processed snacks, fast food, canned soups, and salty condiments, should be limited. High sodium intake can lead to water retention and may affect blood pressure levels. 


It is recommended to avoid consuming alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours before donating blood. Alcohol can dehydrate the body and affect the accuracy of vital signs measured during the donation process. 


While moderate caffeine intake is generally acceptable, it is advisable to avoid excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages like coffee, energy drinks, and certain sodas before donating blood. Caffeine can act as a diuretic, increasing urine production and potentially leading to temporary dehydration. 

Spicy Foods

It is advisable to avoid consuming overly spicy or heavily seasoned foods before donating blood. Spicy foods can potentially cause stomach upset or heartburn, which may lead to discomfort during the donation process. It's best to opt for milder and easily digestible foods before donating blood.