Increased iron intake recommended prior to blood donation


Many people can donate blood, but even healthy donors are sometimes temporarily deferred due to low hemoglobin levels. The American Red Cross recommends eligible blood donors eat a well-balanced diet with extra iron-rich foods prior to their donation this fall.

During the fall, iron-rich produce such as broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, spinach, apricots and chard are in season and therefore more abundant.

Food can have two types of iron, heme and nonheme. The body can absorb up to 30 percent of heme iron, primarily found in meat, but only 2 to 10 percent of nonheme iron. Foods high in vitamin C, such as leafy greens, peppers and citrus fruits, help with iron absorption.

The Red Cross also recommends iron supplements for regular blood donors after consulting with their personal health care provider or pharmacist. Visit redcrossblood.org/iron to learn more.

Healthy blood donors help patients in need every day. Make an appointment to roll up a sleeve by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting redcrossblood.org.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Crow Wing County Oct. 30 from 12-6 p.m. at Gull Lakes Center, 23521 Nokomis Ave. in Nisswa, Minn. Oct. 31 from 12-5 p.m. at Timberwood Church, 23084 State Highway 371 in Nisswa, Minn.

Douglas County Oct. 21 from 12-6 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, 605 Douglas Ave. in Alexandria, Minn. Oct. 22 from 12-6 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, 605 Douglas Ave. in Alexandria, Minn. Oct. 29 from 1-7 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 526 State St. in Evansville, Minn.

Morrison County Oct. 30 from 1-7 p.m. at St. Francis Center, 116 Eighth Ave. SE in Little Falls, Minn. Oct. 31 from 1-7 p.m. at St. Francis Center, 116 Eighth Ave. SE in Little Falls, Minn.

Otter Tail County Oct. 21 from 12-6 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, 619 Third Ave. SW in Perham, Minn. Oct. 22 from 1:30-6:30 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, 505 W. Holdt in Battle Lake, Minn. Oct. 22 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, 619 Third Ave. SW in Perham, Minn. Oct. 30 from 1-7 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, 309 S. Otter Ave. in Parkers Prairie, Minn.

Todd County Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Lakes College, 1830 Airport Road in Staples, Minn.

How to donate blood Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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