The nectar of life running through our veins, i.e., blood, is crucial for our survival. Blood is a mixture of various components. The liquid part, called plasma, is water, salts, and protein. The solid part of our blood contains red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Each component has its distinct function. We will be discussing platelets here and, most importantly, the foods that can help in increasing platelet count.
Platelets are mainly responsible for blood clotting. Platelets work as healers in case of injury. Low platelet count can lead to uncontrolled bleeding, which can become a life-threatening situation. So we must have a healthy platelet count.
Platelet Count (PLT)
You can opt for a complete blood count test to assess your platelet count. Platelet count is the number of platelets you have (per microliter of blood). Your range can vary from low to elevated.
- Low range: Less than 150,000 platelets per microliter
- Normal range: 150,000–450,000 platelets per microliter
- Elevated range: 500,000–1 million platelets per microliter
Nutrients Essential to Increase Platelet Count
The viral disease can reduce your platelet count by a significant amount, and after witnessing severe episodes of Covid, it has become more critical to have a healthy platelet count.
The following nutrients can help you increase your platelet count.
- Vitamin B-12– Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient for the healthy functioning of our body. Our body can’t make Vitamin B-12 on its own, so we need to take it from outside. It can be challenging for vegans to find Vitamin B sources as they are very limited. Plant-based meats and fortified cereals can be good options. You can take vitamin B-12 supplements also.
- Iron- Iron is a hemoglobin constituent that provides our blood red color. The iron deficiency can lead to anemia and a decrease in platelet count. Lentils, dark chocolate, fortified breakfast cereals, and green veggies are some great options for Iron.
- Folates- Folate is an essential nutrient for healthy blood cells. Leafy green veggies, Sprouts, breakfast cereals, black eyes peas are some great sources of folate.
- Vitamin C- Vitamin C needs no introduction, be it skin, hairs, or immunity vitamin C is beneficial for us in many ways. Vitamin C can be a great nutrient when it comes to increasing platelet count naturally. Citrus fruits, Broccoli, and bell peppers are some great sources of Vitamin C.
- Vitamin K- Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that promotes blood clotting and bone health, so you better not ignore it. Leafy green veggies, broccoli, soybean, and pumpkin are some great sources of Vitamin K.
- Vitamin A- Vitamin A promotes the production and activities of blood cells, so it is necessary for a healthy platelet count. Vitamin A can be found in carrots, tomatoes, and mango.
Foods to Increase your Platelet Count
Now that we know nutrients essential for increasing platelet count, we will discuss some food items in which these nutrients are found in abundance. However, it is challenging to increase platelet count through diet and exercise alone when you have a meager platelet count. But for those with an average platelet count, these food items can help increase the platelet count naturally.
- Pomegranates are packed with iron and can improve blood circulation and cell count tremendously. Pomegranates also contain high amounts of Vitamin C, which is essential for boosting immunity.
- Pomegranate can also be consumed in juice form also. A bowl of pomegranate fruit a couple of times a day can help fight malaria.
2. Papaya Leaf Extract
- Papaya leaf extract is the most advised food for increasing platelet count. Those suffering from dengue fever can find great relief by consuming a glass or two of papaya leaf extract. Clinical trials have clearly demonstrated a significant benefit of papaya leaf extract in increasing platelet counts in viral fever.
- Papaya leaf extract capsules are also available in the market for those who find it hard to gulp juices.
- Giloy is another excellent product for increasing the platelet count naturally, gioly is a powerhouse of all the essential qualities to boost immunity.
- Giloy can be taken in juice form and giloy tablets are also available on the market.
4. Wheat Grass Juice
- Wheatgrass juice is quite famous for increasing platelet count. Wheatgrass contains high levels of chlorophyll that are structurally similar to the hemoglobin in our blood. So not only platelet but also increases red blood cells and white blood cells in our blood. The juice is loaded with magnesium, potassium, vitamins, sodium, and amino acids, making it a good choice for increasing immunity and blood cell count.
- Kale and all other green leafy vegetables are rich sources of vitamin K.( Vitamin k has a significant role in blood clotting). Including green veggies in your diet can accelerate the production of platelets in your bone marrow.
- Pumpkin has amazing properties for increasing platelet count as it contains vitamin A, which is essential for enhancing the number of platelets produced by the bone marrow.
Foods to Avoid
There are certain foods and drinks that can be detrimental to your healthy platelet count, such as
- Cranberry juice
- Aspartame, an artificial sweetener
- Quinine, a substance in bitter lemon and tonic water
The food we eat can work as medicine if we exercise caution and mindfulness in our eating habits. Our blood is our lifeline, and a healthy blood cell count ensures our overall well-being. The foods discussed above can be a great nutrient source that stimulates platelet formation. If you are looking for ways to increase your platelet count, you should definitely include these food items in your meal.