Do you suffer from low blood platelet count or thrombocytopenia? If yes, then you must include foods that increase blood platelets in your body. Apart from the medications that your health caregiver has prescribed, you must also include the foods that protect your body from losing too much of blood when you are wounded. Low blood platelet count occurs due to multiple reasons, including medications, viruses, alcohol, genetics, diseases and pregnancy(1). The platelets are found in the blood and are sticky, colorless and irregularly shaped.
Here are the top 10 foods that are found to be helpful in increasing the blood platelets.
Papaya is the highly recommended fruit to be consumed when the blood platelets are at low levels. Apart from eating the ripe papaya fruit, you can also drink the concoction made from the papaya leaves that is equally helpful in increasing the blood platelets. All you have to do is 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 papaya fruit to increase the blood platelet count fast.
According to researchers at the Asian Institute of Science and Technology in Malaysia,papaya leaf extract is extremely effective in increasing the platelet count when given to patients of dengue (2).
A study published in the International Journal of Universal Pharmacy and Life Sciences, 2011 edition,has said that wheatgrass has been found to be beneficial in elevating the level of platelet count. Rather, it has been observed that wheatgrass contributes significantly in increasing the red blood cell, hemoglobin, differential white blood cell counts and white blood cell. It is because wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll and has a molecular structure almost similar to the human blood hemoglobin molecule. Drinking a half cup of wheatgrass juice mixed with a few drops of lemon juice daily helps to improve the platelet count.
[ Read: Foods That Boost Your Hemoglobin Levels ]
The red diamond like seeds of pomegranate is rich in iron just as all the red fruits and help to increase the blood platelet count (3). Pomegranate is also rich in vitamins, helps you to gain resistance and strength and fight low platelet related health diseases such as dengue fever.
The Thunder Bay Regional Health Center has recommended a high protein diet for increasing the platelet counts. The foods in this category, promote platelet production and are also an excellent source of vitamin B-12 and zinc. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, Zinc gives a boost to the immune system of the body that slows down due to deficiency of platelets and leads to slow healing of the wound (4). For maximum benefit, you must include crab, beef, turkey, chicken in your diet as these foods are rich sources of zinc.
Just like papaya, another orange colored food, pumpkin is also known to be good at improving platelet count. Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, helps to support the development of the platelet and regulates the proteins that are produced by the body cells (5). The regulation of protein cells is highly important for elevating the amount of platelets in the blood.
Prepare half glass of fresh pumpkin juice and add 1-teaspoon honey to it. Drink this twice or thrice a day to get maximum benefit. You can also include pumpkin in several other ways in your diet, such as by adding it to baked goods, smoothies, stews, soups and puree.
Ascorbic acid, popularly known as vitamin C helps to increase the platelet count. A study published in the Japanese Journal of Hematology in 1990 had 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 (6). Considering your body’s daily requirement of 400 to 2000 mg of vitamin C, you must include foods such as oranges, lemons, kiwi, bell peppers, spinach and broccoli that are loaded with ascorbic acid.
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 the bottom. During an injury, the body activates proteins to stimulate formation of blood clots and stop the bleeding. These proteins depend upon the 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 high amount of vitamin K (1 cup chopped kale is equal to 547 micrograms vitamin K). Vegetable oil and parsley are also good sources of vitamin K.
Indian gooseberries also popularly known as amla are considered effective in increasing the production of blood platelets and boost the immune system (7). For best results, take 3 to 4 gooseberries on an empty stomach every morning. You can also take amla juice as an alternate by mixing it with honey. Drinking this mixture 2 to 3 times a day helps to increase the blood platelet production. Alternatively, if you are looking for eating something tasty, you can eat pickles and homemade jam made from the fresh Indian gooseberries.
Beetroot is often recommended for anemic patients (8). According to studies, one bowl of carrot and beets if taken twice a week helps to increase the blood platelet count. You can drink juices of beetroot, eat it as a salad or even prepare a beetroot soup.
Sesame oil is produced by cold-pressing method and is amazingly helpful in inducing the production of blood platelets. It reduces inflammation, damage from free radicals, and improves blood circulation (9). You can drink 1 to 2 tablespoons good quality sesame oil twice a day or rub it externally on the lymph node thrice or four times a day. Using sesame oil for cooking is also a good idea.
Now that you know how to increase blood platelets naturally, what are you waiting for? Start including these 10 foods in your diet from today. For maximum benefits, you must eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and proteins so that your body heals up quickly and you feel active and energetic again.