Platelets (thrombocytes) are small blood cells that circulate within our body and play a crucial role in clotting and preventing excessive bleeding. These are our body’s natural bandages to stop bleeding. They are important in surviving surgeries such as organ transplants, as well as fighting cancer, chronic diseases, and traumatic injuries. Platelets are formed and released in the bloodstream from our bone marrow.
In adults, a normal platelet count may range from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. A low platelet count is considered below 50,000 platelets/microliter of blood, and a higher range is considered above 4,50,000 platelets/microliter of blood. There are several conditions that can cause a low platelet count including bone marrow not making enough platelets and medical conditions such as autoimmune diseases.
However, several ways exist to increase platelet count naturally and improve your overall health. Here are some of them:
Leafy green vegetables like kale (a type of cabbage with curly leaves) and collards are good sources of vitamin K, which is crucial in producing proteins important to the clotting process. It is said that collard greens have the highest quantity of vitamin K in any food. In addition, turnip greens, spinach and broccoli are also excellent vitamin K sources. Eating an adequate amount of food that is rich in vitamin K may preserve the body’s ability to stop bleeding.
Folate rich foods
Folate is a natural form of vitamin B9 that is naturally found in many foods. Folate plays a vital role in the formation of DNA and RNA, as well as being involved in protein metabolism. They are essential in breaking down homocysteine, an amino acid that can harm the body if present in high amounts. During periods of rapid growth, such as pregnancy and fetal development, folate helps produce healthy red blood cells. Foods that are high in folate include mustard greens, beef liver, legumes (especially black-eyed peas and kidney beans), rice and peanuts.
Vitamin C-rich foods
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that helps in boosting platelets. So consuming foods rich in vitamin C can help increase your platelet count. To raise your vitamin C intake, add plenty of oranges, lemons, grapefruits, kiwis, and berries, to your diet. There are also vitamin C supplements available that increase your platelet count. Beetroot is another food source that is rich in folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Due to their high content of inorganic nitrates, beetroots are well known for their health benefits.
Papaya leaf extract
A unique phytochemical found in papaya leaves called acetogenin is considered beneficial to increase platelet count. The leaves of the papaya plant contain cystatin, chymopapain, tocopherol, phenolic acids, papain, cyanogenic glucosides, glucosinolates, and vitamin C. The leaves of papaya are also rich in natural antioxidants and are often used to treat various other ailments, including skin diseases.
What to avoid during a low platelet count?
If you are wondering whether your platelet count is too low, there are some signs to watch out for. However, it is important to note that mild drops in platelet levels may not present with any noticeable symptoms.
How to tell if your platelet count is low?
Untreated low platelet count can lead to serious complications. You can also book a Platelet Count test here if you want to know your current platelet count. It is a simple blood test that measures the number of platelets in your blood. You may also be advised to go for this test if you have symptoms that suggest a low platelet count or if you have a medical condition that can affect your platelet levels. It's important to follow your doctor's instructions and recommendations for any testing or treatment.