There are a number of challenges for BloodConnect members - and one is finding volunteers for blood donation camps. While women have always been enthusiastic donors, at a recent camp in a top women’s college, only 22 students were found with a hemoglobin level of 12.5, which made them eligible to donate. The an alarming number had very low count.
Refusing to name the college, another blood BloodConnect member says, “Apart from informing students about blood donation and its importance, we have now started educating them on improving their health by eating right.”
Haemoglobin is a protein containing iron in the red blood cells which helps them carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of our body (tissue) and release it to burn nutrients which power the body. Carbon dioxide is also picked up by the haemoglobin and released in the lungs to be expelled from the body. Low haemoglobin can lead to anaemia or iron deficiency, which can lead to several complications.
“Where young men are concerned, we have some problems over the weekend because many of them go drinking on Saturday nights and alcohol is best avoided 24 hours before donation,” says Sumanth Chinthala of IIT-Delhi.
For most of the young people reading this, it is important to know that the pressure of looking good or dieting should not keep you from maintaining a healthy diet. Include exercise in your daily routine, but eat well.
For improved haemoglobin levels, make sure your diet includes iron rich food such as liver, chicken, pork, fish and eggs (especially the yolk). Non-vegetarians should have as much of green, leafy vegetables as possible, such as mustard, fenugreek, coriander and mint. In pulses, have green gram, Bengal gram, soyabean and lentils (preferably sprouted). Vitamin C also increases the absorption of Iron in our body.
Food items that improve your hb
5. Bengal gram
More details at bloodconnect.org and www.facebook.com/bloodconnect