Platelet are important components of your blood. These plate-shaped, sticky, colorless, small cells help clot the blood whether your injury is small or life-threatening (1). This, in turn, prevents excessive blood loss and even death. But sometimes, the blood platelet count may dip due to viral diseases, cancer, or genetic disorders (2). Apart from needing medical attention, you need to consume foods that naturally stabilize the blood platelet count. Here are 15 foods to help increase your platelet count. Swipe up!
It is highly recommended to consume papaya if your blood platelet levels are low (3). Apart from eating the ripe papaya fruit, you can drink a concoction made from the papaya leaves, which is equally helpful in increasing the blood platelet count. According to researchers at the Asian Institute of Science and Technology in Malaysia, papaya leaf extract was extremely effective in increasing the platelet count in patients who had dengue (5).
Boil the papaya leaves with water in a kettle. Strain and drink the extract twice a day. You can try consuming both the leaf extract and the fruit to increase the blood platelet count quickly.
In a study published in the International Journal of Universal Pharmacy and Life Sciences, 2011 edition, wheatgrass was found to be beneficial in elevating the platelet count (5). Researchers found that it helped increase the red blood cell, hemoglobin, and differential white blood cell counts. This is because wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll and has a molecular structure almost similar to hemoglobin.
Drinking a half cup of wheatgrass juice mixed with a few drops of lemon juice daily helps improve the platelet count.
[ Read: Foods That Boost Your Hemoglobin Levels ]
The red, diamond-like seeds of pomegranate are loaded with nutrients that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunity boosting properties. Scientific research confirmed that pomegranate could help increase platelet count, thereby preventing the risk of diseases (6).
Make fresh juice and drink it. Or add pomegranate to salads, smoothies, and breakfast bowls.
The Thunder Bay Regional Health Center has recommended a high-protein diet for increasing the platelet count. Lean meat and fish are known to increase the platelet count, but there is no significant scientific evidence to prove this. Researchers have found that fish oil has the potential to increase platelet count and activity and prevent various diseases related to low-platelet count (7).
Increase your lean protein consumption. Consume fish, chicken breast, etc. Talk to your doctor to find out the best fish oil supplement and its dosage.
Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, helps to support the development of platelets, and regulates the proteins that are produced by the body cells. The regulation of protein cells is highly important for elevating the number of platelets in the blood.
Prepare half a glass of fresh pumpkin juice and add a teaspoon of honey to it. Drink this twice or thrice a day for maximum benefits. You can also add pumpkin to baked goods, smoothies, stews, soups, and puree.
It is said that regular intake of foods rich in vitamin C helps to improve the platelet production in the body. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and higher doses of this vitamin prevent the free radical damage caused to the platelets (8).
Considering your body’s daily requirement is 400-2000 mg of vitamin C, you must include foods such as oranges, lemons, kiwi, bell peppers, spinach, and broccoli in your diet.
Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and fenugreek leaves, are high in vitamin K, and hence, you should consume them when your platelet count hits bottom (9).
During an injury, the body activates proteins to stimulate the formation of blood clots and stop the bleeding. These proteins depend on vitamin K for activation, without which the clotting of blood is not possible. That is why when the blood platelets are low, you must increase your consumption of leafy greens, especially kale as it contains a high amount of vitamin K (1 cup chopped kale contains 547 micrograms of vitamin K).
Add the greens to salads and smoothies. You can also have them blanched or boiled.
Indian gooseberries, popularly known as amla, are considered effective in increasing the production of blood platelets and boosting the immune system. In fact, a study on dengue fever, which also causes a drop in platelet count, recommends the patients to include gooseberry juice in their diet (10).
Take 3 to 4 gooseberries on an empty stomach every morning. You can also consume amla juice by mixing it with honey. Drinking this mixture 2 to 3 times a day helps to increase the blood platelet production. If you are looking for something tasty, you can have pickles and homemade jam made from fresh Indian gooseberries.
Beetroot is often recommended for anemic patients (11). According to studies, one bowl of carrot and beets taken twice a week helps increase the blood platelet count.
You can drink the juice, add them to salads, or even prepare a soup.
Coconut oil is rich in healthy fats and other nutrients. And this is precisely why it is considered to be very healthy and effective. Scientists fed rhesus monkeys with coconut oil and found that the platelet activation increased (12).
Use edible grade coconut oil for consumption. Add it to salads and smoothies and use it in cooking.
Milk is a good source of calcium, vitamin D, folate, and vitamin K. Vitamin K deficiency prevents your blood from clotting and may lead to severe bleeding (13). Hence, include milk in your daily diet to boost immunity and improve the blood platelet count.
Consume a glass of milk in the morning or before going to bed. You can also add it to your smoothie, breakfast bowl, or dessert.
Raisins are loaded with iron, which is important for RBC and platelet growth. Thrombocytopenia or low platelet count and anemia occur due to iron deficiency (14). Therefore, you must include raisins in your diet to up your iron levels.
Soak the raisins overnight. In the morning, add them to your smoothie, breakfast bowl, or a glass of milk. You can also use them to make dessert. Or just pop 4-5 raisins in your mouth as a snack between large meals.
Folate naturally occurs in many foods like kidney beans, oranges, peanuts, and black-eyed peas.
Have 20-25 peanuts as a snack, or toss kidney beans and black-eyed peas in soup.
Vitamin B12 deficiency not only poses a risk of blisters in your oral cavity but also leads to weak immunity and a low platelet count. Including vitamin B12-rich foods in your diet is shown to increase the platelet count (15).
Consume boiled, fried, or poached eggs. Milk, as already mentioned before, is good for increasing the platelet count, and you can consume it with your breakfast cereal. Or have a glass of milk in the morning or before going to bed. Add cheese to your eggs, wraps, salads, etc.
Not many of us are fans of these, but since they are rich in vitamin K, they have the potential to increase the blood platelet count. Vitamin K deficiency can lead to continuous bleeding, and hence, you must consume Brussels sprouts regularly to prevent it (16).
Grilled and well seasoned Brussels sprouts are the best. But you can also blanch them and toss them in the salad bowl with other veggies and a well-made dressing.
Now that you know how to increase the blood platelet count naturally, what are you waiting for? Start including these 15 foods in your diet from today. Remember, you must eat healthy, take your medicines on time, and go for regular checkups. Check out the FAQ section below to know a few facts. Cheers!
How many platelets do we have?
Our blood contains anywhere between 150,000-450,000 platelets per microliter of blood.
How long do they live?
They live for about 5-10 days and are replenished with new platelets.
What causes the blood platelet levels to drop?
The blood platelet levels drop due to various reasons like