Platelets are one of the three different types of cells that are carried within our blood. Platelets don’t often get as much attention as their red and white blood cell counterparts, but we’re here to make their case.
Manufactured alongside white and red blood cells in bone marrow are platelets. The smallest of these three cells, platelets, resemble a shape similar to that of a small plate.
They boast sticky properties, which help in their primary function – blood clotting.
Our lifestyle can support the healthy production and function of our platelets, therefore the ability to stop excessive bleeding and prevent excessive clotting, or they result in the thinning or thickening of the blood.
Maintaining Platelet Count
Ideally we want to keep platelets as smooth as possible to avoid the thickening of our blood stream. Thick blood can be detrimental and extremely dangerous to the body’s normal functions, leading to life-threatening health complications.
Platelet count should neither be low or high, as both can lead to health dangers.
Low platelet count is pretty easy to detect. If you experience things like blood in your stools or urine, excessive bruising, involuntary bleeding from gums and nose, or prolonged bleeding from cuts you most likely have a low platelet count.
Because lower platelet counts are associated with the loss of blood, feelings of weakness and fatigue can also occur. Some women may also suffer from much heavier menstrual flows when their platelet count is low.
Increasing Platelet Count
The great news is that platelet count can be improved in a lot of cases, through very simple changes in lifestyle.
Some changes involve saying goodbye to packed and processed food in favor of preparing meals at home.
While cooking at home is a great start, not all foods were created equally. You want to focus your diet on foods that are rich in healthy vitamins. These foods are best known for increasing platelet count.
Minerals such as zinc and iron have also been known to increase platelet count significantly, along with other essential nutrients like amino acids.
As far as remedies for your health go, it’s always best to stick with what’s natural.
Foods that will Increase Your Platelet Count
If you’re aiming as increasing your platelet count, there is not better food for you than papaya. This is because the wide array of benefits and versatility it has to offer.
Although eating the ripe fruit itself is extremely beneficial for platelets, a concoction made from the leaf is even more powerful. Do this by boiling the leaves in water and consuming 2 tablespoons of the leaf extract in the morning and evening. You can also crush the leaves and drink 2 tablespoons of its bitter juice.
If this sounds like a lot of work, you can always purchase the extract directly.
Here is another fruit beneficial to increasing platelets. Just like all red fruits, the seeds of a pomegranate are jam-packed with iron, which is essential for combating lower platelet counts.
Pomegranate is also rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals which are well-known for boosting immune systems.
Pumpkin is also a well-known factor for spiking platelets in the body. Pumpkin is also packed with vitamin A which helps to support proper platelet development and protein regulation.
- Foods Rich in Vitamin A
Vitamin A is an essential component for the healthy synthesis of protein and platelets in our bodies. If you’re worried about low platelet count, make it a point to eat food that are inherently rich is vitamin A. Consider adding foods such as kale, carrots, and sweet potatoes into your diet.
- Foods Rich in Folate
Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is necessary for cell reproduction and growth. A folate deficiency in the body can lead to blood platelet reduction.
Healthy adults should consume an average of 400 mg of folate or more every day. This includes foods such as fortified cereals, raisins, beans, asparagus, spinach, and oranges.
- Foods Rich in Vitamin K
Without vitamin K, the body simply wouldn’t have the ability to blood clot. This vitamin is responsible for catalyzing certain proteins that stimulate the formation of blood clots.
Food rich in vitamin K include leafy greens such as parsley, lettuce, and spinach as well as eggs, soybean, olive, seaweeds, Swiss chard, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale.
When it comes to an effective remedy for lower platelet counts, wheatgrass has proven to be amazingly effective. It also has medicinal values and is amazingly nutritional.
The benefits of wheatgrass can be attributed to higher levels of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll’s molecular structure bears a similar resemblance to the hemoglobin molecule found in the human blood, which has an association with platelet development.
If you are searching for a single food that has just about every nutritional ingredient you could think of, then milk is your answer.
Milk is not only bursting with calcium, it works alongside fibrinogen and vitamin K to improve the body’s ability to form blood clots and increase platelets.
Other than fresh milk, organic dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt can help maximize calcium levels.
- Lean Protein
Leans types of proteins are a great source of zinc and B-12. Both of these nutrients play an essential role in the overall reversal of lower platelet counts.
For the most benefits, include lean meats in your diet such as fish, chicken, turkey and beef. Crab and oysters are also well known for their generous zinc contents.
While fish does have its benefits, keep in mind that Omega 3 has actually been known to prevent platelet activation. If you need to increase platelet count, stay away from the consumption of fish oil.
Whether you are wanting to improve your platelet count for an upcoming surgery, or simply for your overall health, making it a habit to consume these nutritional and rich foods, and reap countless additional benefits of a well-balanced diet.