6 Ways to Increase Protein for Plasma Donation
What is plasma?
Did you know that more than half of your blood is made up of plasma and that plasma is 92% water? Although it is largely comprised of water, plasma also contains the essential proteins like antibodies and coagulation proteins as well as others. Because of this, it’s important for donors to maintain a high level of protein when donating plasma. There are things you can do to boost your protein levels. Disclaimer: The following high-protein sources may not be appropriate for all individuals. Please speak with your health care provider before making changes to your diet.
6 easy ways to get more protein:
- Indulge in a little red meat
Feel free to indulge in that steak! Eating red meat is a great way to increase the protein levels in your blood. Just make sure to enjoy a leaner cut. Compare the nutritional value of a 3-ounce serving of each of these steaks: a sirloin contains 26 grams of protein, 150 calories and 5 grams of fat vs. a ribeye, which contains 15 grams of protein, 200 calories and 15 grams of fat. Consider the same when choosing ground beef: A 3-ounce serving of 93% lean ground beef contains 24 grams of protein, 170 calories and 8 grams of fat. The same size serving of 80% lean ground beef has 19 grams of protein, 200 calories and 17 grams of fat.
- Eat pork
Pork is also an excellent source of protein, providing 26 grams in a 3.5-ounce serving. Here are some tasty recipes to try that might also be a little kinder to your budget than the steak above: 23 Budget-Friendly Pork Chop Recipes (tasty.co)
- Enjoy some poultry
Arguably one of the most versatile foods to plan a meal around, poultry is also very high in protein. A 4-ounce roasted chicken breast contain 26 grams of protein. Try these delicious chicken recipes for your next meal: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/photos/easy-chicken-dinner-recipes
- Consume eggs and dairy
Consider eating eggs for breakfast instead of cereal: Three large eggs contain 19 grams of protein (vs. 5 grams of protein in a bowl of oatmeal). Better yet, add some cottage cheese and make a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese contains 11 grams of protein.
- Eat plant-based proteins
You don’t need to be a meat-eater to increase your protein levels. Tofu, edamame, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds and dark leafy greens are all excellent sources of protein. (Caution: Some plant-based meat substitutes are heavily processed and may contain high levels of saturated fat and sodium, so check the nutrition label.)
- Enjoy other sources of protein
- Protein bars, protein shakes and homemade smoothies made with protein powder are all great sources of protein. Adding whey protein powder to your smoothie has the added benefit of giving the smoothie a frothy texture – more like a shake! One scoop of whey powder provides about 17 grams of protein, on average.
- If you have sensitivities to dairy products, vegan protein powders are also good sources of protein. You most likely ate it as a kid, and peanut butter is still a rich and creamy way to get a little protein in your diet. It’s versatile too, enjoy it on a PB&J or with apples or celery. In fact, spreading 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on sliced fruit or vegetables can boost the total protein content by 7 grams.
- Not only is it convenient to eat, but canned tuna and salmon is also very high in protein: A 3.5-ounce serving of canned fish contains about 19 grams of protein and is just 90 calories.
There you have it, six delicious ways to boost your protein levels for plasma donation. We’d love to see you come in to donate plasma some time soon!