Platelets are a vital blood component that helps your body to form clots to stop the bleeding in case of an injury. In the inactive stage, these cells resemble plates while in the active stage, they seem like structures with tentacles.
Due to the important role platelets play in the normal day to day functioning of a human body, it is advised that low platelet count should never be ignored. In this article, we’ll discuss what platelet counts are and how one you can increase platelet count using natural food.
What is Platelet Counts – Low, High, Normal Value
Platelet counts are a process of measurement of the number of platelets per microliter of your blood. A platelet normal value ranges between 1,50,000 and 4,50,000 platelets per microliter of blood.
Any count higher than this normal platelet count range known as high platelets count and results in thrombocytosis and any count lower than this range results in thrombocytopenia.
Some of the causes of low platelet production include aplastic anemia, vitamin B-12 deficiency, folate deficiency, iron deficiency, viral infections including HIV, Epstein-Barr, and chickenpox, exposure to chemotherapy, radiation, or toxic chemicals, consuming too much alcohol and cirrhosis.
It is recommended that you get the test done in regular interval because the blood platelet count test cost is less as Rs.180 as it is amongst the commonest tests that can be conducted in any pathology labs near you.
Symptoms and Medication of Thrombocytopenia
The symptoms of thrombocytopenia include slow blood clotting resulting in increased bleeding that can’t be controlled, bleeding gums and nose, easy bruising and appearance of petechiae and longer plus heavier menstrual cycles in women.
While medication is available for normalization of platelets but they are really expensive, and the treatment almost certainly demands hospitalization. Fortunately, there are some home remedies to increase blood platelets count, and the best home remedy to do that is through food.
So, let’s look at 5 foods to eat to increase blood platelets naturally.
1. Food Rich in Folate
Folate is an important B vitamin that is required for healthy blood cells. According to a study by the National Institute of Health, an average adult requires a minimum of 400 micrograms of folate daily, while a pregnant woman needs a minimum of 600 micrograms daily. Some of the food products that contain folate are given below:-
- Dark and leafy vegetables like spinach and Brussels sprouts
- Beef liver
- Black-eyed peas
- Fortified cereals and alternatives
- Kidney beans
- Orange and orange juice
2. Vitamin D rich foods
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that is essential for proper day to day functioning of bones, muscles, nerves, and immune system. According to researchers at Platelet Disorder Support Association, Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in the function of bone marrow cells that in turn produce platelets and other blood cells.
Though the body can produce Vitamin D by itself, it doesn’t usually receive the desired amount of sunlight for fulfilling the daily requirements and needs for this important vitamin rises for especially those in the northern and polar regions of Earth.
Adults from 18 to 70 years of age need a minimum of 15 micrograms of Vitamin D daily to function properly, and most of these needs are completed by consuming food that contains Vitamin D. Some of these sources are given below:-
- Egg Yolk
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel
- Fish liver oil
- Fortified milk and yogurt
If you are a vegetarian, the following foods will help you gain these necessary ingredients:-
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Dairy alternatives such as soy milk and soy yogurt
- UV exposed mushrooms
3. Vitamin K Rich Foods
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that facilitates blood clotting and bone health and hence important for those with low platelet count.
In a recent survey conducted by PDSA (Platelet Disorder Support Association), it was found that around 27% of the people who took Vitamin K reported an improvement in platelet counts and bleeding symptoms.
For an adult aged over 19 years age, the required amount of Vitamin K is 120 micrograms for men and 90 micrograms for women.
Some of the foods rich in Vitamin K that’ll help you increase your daily intake are given below:-
- Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, collards, and turnip greens
- Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage
- Soybeans and Soybeans oil
- Meats, fish, liver, eggs and cereals
4. Iron-rich Food
Iron is one of the essential nutrients for healthy red blood cells and platelets. Research carried out in the field of Anemia in the case of children suggests that iron might affect the platelet count in a positive way.
According to the National Instituteof Health (NIH) males over 18 and females over 50 require a daily intake of 8 milligrams of iron daily, while females aged 18 to 50 need 18mg and females during pregnancy need 27 mg.
Some iron-rich foods include:-
- Beef liver
- White beans and kidney beans
- Dark chocolate
5. Vitamin B-12 rich foods
Vitamin B-12 plays an integral part in the production of red blood cells, it has been reported that low levels of Vitamin B12 also contributes to low platelet counts and hence National Institute of Health did some research and concluded that people aged above 14 years of age need 2.4 mcg of Vitamin B12 while pregnant breastfeeding women need 2.8 mcg of vitamin -12.
The animal-based rich sources of Vitamin B12 include:
- Beef and beef liver
- Fish such as tuna, clams, trout, and salmons.
Some daily use plant sources of Vitamin B12 are:-
- Dairy alternatives such as almond milk and soy milk
Platelets are important blood cells that prevent the excess loss of blood and protect from the resulting ailments. It not only protects from excess bleeding and blood loss but also dangerous infections such as Dengue. One must take care of his/her platelet counts, and it is only recommended to control the low platelet count in preventable stages by consuming vitamin-rich food such as the one mentioned above.