5 fun facts about blood

Wellness | December 14, 2018
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It's the hardest working part of your body. Here are five things you can do to help it.

Over several centuries, science has learned many things about human health by studying blood. Not only does it hold our genetic code, blood can be used to diagnose numerous diseases. And it can be tested to measure levels of countless elements in our system—from blood sugar and cholesterol to Vitamin D and zinc—all of which can help you and your doctor pinpoint potential problems and solutions to health complaints.

Here are five fun facts about blood:

  1. The temperature of your blood is about one degree higher than your body temperature.
  2. Blood helps to regulate your body temperature by either absorbing or giving off heat.
  3. Red blood cells have a life cycle of about 120 days.
  4. Most white blood cells live between a few hours and a few days, although some can remain in the body for years.
  5. Scientists have identified at least 20 minor human blood groups in addition to the four major types. Certain blood types are more prevalent in different parts of the world. Below are the percentages by type in the United States (as of 2011).

blood type matching chart

Speaking of blood type, you might wonder if there's any truth to the notion of “eating for blood type.” While scientists have found correlations between blood types and susceptibility for certain kinds of diseases, at this point there does not appear to be any substantial proof behind the idea of eating for blood type. 

What is proven is that healthy food choices contribute to good health, regardless of your type.

Here are five things you can do to support good blood health:

  1. Drink plenty of water since that's what makes up much of your blood.
  2. Breathe fresh air to draw higher levels of oxygen into your system.
  3. Eat quality foods with high nutritional value (fiber, lean protein, good fat, vitamins, minerals) that meet your body’s needs.
  4. Stay physically active. It gets keeps your blood circulating to all your many parts.
  5. Steer clear of smoking and tobacco products to avoid introducing toxic substances in your body.

Explore more topics on blood health.

Sources: 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279392/
https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/uf10217#uf10218
https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/hw4260#hw4263
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2264/
https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/hw3681#hw3684