Platelets are an essential component of blood that plays an integral part in clotting of blood and hemostasis (stoppage of bleeding). They are produced in bone marrow and have a total life span of 7-10 days. The normal platelet levels in blood range from 150,000-450,000 per microliter of blood. Since platelets are responsible for blood clotting and hemostasis, low levels of platelets present symptoms of easy bruising and bleeding, spontaneous bleeding from gums and nose, prolonged and profuse bleeding from cuts and wounds, blood in stools and urine, superficial bleeding of skin leading to skin rash formation and heavy menses in women. People can also suffer secondary symptoms of weakness, fatigue and malaise with low platelet count. Low level of platelet can be caused due to infection, post-surgery (splenectomy), leukemia, anemia, chemotherapy, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and certain medications.
What Food Should We Eat To Increase Platelets?
Diet and the foods we eat can play a major role in increasing platelet count and maintaining healthy and normal blood platelets. Diet boosted with vitamins, minerals and nutrients is best for thrombocytopenia.
Berries, green leafy vegetables, kiwi, oranges and tomatoes help in increasing blood platelet levels. Foods rich in vitamins C and E help boost the immune system, so all types of citrus fruits and vegetables containing vitamin C and E help with low platelet levels. These include strawberries, blueberry, raspberries, kiwis, tomatoes, cauliflower, mustard green, lettuce, turnip, and wheat grass. They help neutralize free radicals. Red fruits like tomatoes, plums, watermelons, cherries and berries are loaded with vitamins, minerals and strong antioxidants that help in increasing platelet count. Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and kale are loaded with antioxidants and rich in vitamins and minerals that reduce inflammation and increase platelet count. Aloe Vera and drum stick green act as blood purifiers, so they should also be consumed in high amounts.
Vitamins: Vitamins such as vitamin A, B complex, C, D and K help in increasing platelet count. Along with multivitamin supplements, one can eat foods rich in these vitamins. As vitamin C is water soluble, it is easily absorbed by the body and helps in restoring platelet count in the body. Sufficient intake of vitamin C from natural foods such as lemons, oranges, broccoli, spinach, bell pepper and kiwi are beneficial for low platelet counts.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Omega 3 fatty acids are found in foods that include fish, eggs, flax seed oil, tuna and salmon. Omega 3 fatty acid rich foods help in boosting the immune system, thus naturally increasing blood platelet level.
Antioxidants Rich Whole Grains: Studies and research have shown that antioxidants such as vitamin E and phytoestrogens found in whole grains help increase blood platelet levels by reduction in the effect of platelet aggregation of blood.
Indian Goose Berries Jam and Aloe Vera: Eating homemade fresh gooseberries jam or pickle can help increase blood platelet count. To make Indian goose berry jam, one needs to wash approximately 1 kg of Indian gooseberries and chop them into small pieces. After boiling them in 2 to 3 liters of water, they are soaked for next 24 hours. After that, 1 kg of brown sugar is added to the mixture and it is again soaked for one more day. Approximately 3 gm of citric acid is added to the mixture, after which it is brought to boil on medium flame for the next 10 minutes. The jam is stored for 48 hours after which it is ready to be consumed. Gooseberries (3-4 in number) can also be eaten empty stomach, in the morning, to increase platelet count.
Amino Acids and Proteins: Their increased consumption of amino acids and proteins also has a positive effect on platelet count. Good sources of amino acid and protein include beef, pork, turkey, chicken, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, seafoods, soybeans and chickpeas to name a few.
Walnut, Peanut, Black Sesame and Pumpkin Juice: These also promote platelet count. Along with these, milk and milk products contain calcium that helps promoting platelet count.
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