In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “What to eat before donating plasma?” Also, we’ll explore what foods to avoid when donating plasma, what plasma is, and why people donate it.
What to eat before donating plasma?
Users who intend to donate plasma should eat meals that contain protein and iron, and maintain themselves hydrated. Ideally, this should be done at least three hours before assisting a donation center.
Specifically, foods that fall into the aforementioned categories include meat (such as beef, chicken, ham, and eggs), dairy products, dark green vegetables, non-starchy grains, fruits such as watermelon, and iron-enriched grains.
If users are wary of the fat content in some of the aforementioned meat products, they can instead consume leaner types such as fish.
Dark leafy greens are ideal, due to their iron content, as well as fruits such as apricots, dates, strawberries, prunes, and grain products that are fortified/enriched with iron (milled cereals, rice, pasta).
In the case of donors that follow stringent, plant-based diets, it is also in their interest to consume ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Vitamin C will help them assimilate iron that isn’t found in meat.
Hydration is equally important. The water content in a person’s body has a direct effect on how turgid a person’s blood vessels are, and to avoid hits and misses, our readers should maintain a healthy hydration level.
What foods should I avoid when donating plasma?
Foods that users intending to donate plasma should avoid include those rich in fat, added sugars, and all alcoholic beverages.
Foods high in fat can have detrimental effects on the quality of a plasma donation. Namely, they may turn it translucent, and as a result, the donation will be of no use and be discarded.
Alcohol in a person’s blood can have a dehydrating effect, and it is, therefore, contraindicated to aspirin donors.
Foods rich in added sugars should also be avoided, as the sugar may alter the quality of the plasma.
To summarize, readers should avoid consuming alcoholic beverages and junk food before their donation appointment.
What is plasma?
Plasma in blood alludes to the liquid in which the cells are suspended. It can be obtained by filtering out red and white blood cells, and its function is to transport cells, hormones, nutrients, and elements throughout the circulatory system.
It is made up of about 90% protein, 7% protein, and the remaining percentage is constituted by other dissolved molecules such as fatty acids, sugars, vitamins, lipids, and elements such as nitrogen, carbon, and oxygen.
An analytical chemical examination of plasma would also reveal metabolic waste substances such as urea, salts, and acids.
Its appearance, once purified of all other cells, is of a somewhat grainy texture, with a yellowish tint. It is more viscous than water, and as a bodily fluid, it functions as a liquid reservoir.
The components of plasma are synthesized in various organs and systems throughout the body, such as the liver, endocrine glands, kidneys, lymph nodes, and the intestinal lining.
Why do people donate plasma?
Plasma is donated for various reasons, namely, to be used for plasma protein therapy.
These therapies consist in supplying components (mostly proteins) within the plasma to other individuals whose bodies have a severe deficiency or need.
Patients who require plasma protein therapy may require treatment throughout their whole lives, or to combat the onset of specific diseases.
Notable uses for plasma protein therapy include:
- Patients with severe hemorrhaging or clotting disorders – these patients receive proteins that help them form clots and in severe cases, can save a person’s life.
- Administering Immunoglobulins – these proteins are used to address deficiencies of the immune system. They can treat genetic disorders, and infectious diseases and also be administered to patients who undergo treatments such as immunosuppression and chemotherapy.
- Hyperimmune globulins – are used to treat infectious diseases, as therapeutics for transplants, and in high-risk pregnancies where there may be an incompatibility of antibodies.
- Anti-inflammatory proteins – These proteins are administered to protect vital organs from severe, potentially life-threatening reactions.
- Treatment of plasma protein deficiencies – plasma proteins are essential for a person to maintain healthy circulatory function and by extension, healthy organ functions.
These therapies are often life-saving, and they can be used to address many conditions that would otherwise be lethal.
However, plasma protein therapy relies on donations, and to assure that the plasma is top quality and efficacious, users are encouraged to follow the guidelines for donating plasma.
If our users are inclined to donate blood plasma or see if they’re candidates to do so, we recommend they consult with local agencies and medical professionals that can provide guidance and assistance.
In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query: “What to eat before donating plasma?” Also, we’ve explored what foods to avoid when donating plasma, what plasma is, and why people donate it.