Have you been deferred in the past because of your iron? You aren’t the only one! Iron deferrals are the number one reason why a lot of blood donors are not eligible to donate. We have some great tips to help maximize your iron before your next donation, but before we get started, it is important to know that females iron levels must be at a 12.5 and males must have a 13.0 iron level in order to be eligible to donate blood. With that being said, here is how you can boost your iron.

Number 1: Eat iron-nutritious foods, such as red meat, seafood, beans, green leafy vegetables, breads and pastas. We also recommend eating foods that are high in vitamin C. For breakfast, you could start your day with an omelet and a glass of orange juice. If your donation is after lunch, a great source of iron would be a hamburger and fries or a leafy green salad.

Number 2: Avoid dairy and caffeine drinks! Coffee, soda, and dairy products can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb iron when eaten with other foods.

Number 3: This step is for every donor, but drink plenty of water before your donation so you are well hydrated to save lives.

If you have been deferred in the past due to iron, try these steps and come see us again! You can make an appointment to donate at hcbb.com/schedule or call 661-323-4222.

The next life you save could be your own. Remember: when you give, people live!