Here is what you can add to your daily diet to keep your platelet count in check
A few days ago, we had discussed the foods that help in increasing the platelet count which in-turn helps treat patients suffering from dengue or any other condition. Let us now throw light on food that helps in reduction of platelet count or platelet aggregation.
For those who are unaware, platelet aggregation is one of the factors that leads to heart disease and increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. When the number of platelets is too low, it could result in excessive bleeding, and if the platelet count is too high, it could result in blood clots that can potentially cause what is known as thrombosis, which occurs when blood vessels become clogged by clots causing severe problems like strokes.
Doctors use blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin, ecosprin and aspirin to decrease platelet aggregation for some patients. But little do we know how our food impacts our body and blood count. There are certain foods that decrease platelet aggregation and can prevent many individuals from cardiovascular disease, and in some cases also help in decreasing the need for over-the-counter or prescription medication. The human body is designed to heal itself, designed to self-regulate and self-repair. We only need to give it the necessary elements to return to the state of balance and optimal performance and this can be achieved with proper nutrition.
It is necessary that we maintain a high-quality diet, try to avoid all products containing sugar or refined flour products as they lack nutritional value, junk food like soda, fried items, fast food, readily available non-veg options like sausages and red meat, all of which only hinder the functioning of the body, filling it with toxic matter and acidifying the blood.
Given below is a list of pointers:
♦ Water: Always drink up to three litres of water a day as this will make sure your platelets don’t aggregate by acting as a blood thinner. Taking sips of warm water every 30 minutes or one hour can cleanse impurities from the body.
♦ Garlic: Garlic is a popular home remedy for many conditions and it also reduces platelets due to its active compound called allicin, which is a vasodilator and anticoagulant. To maximise its effect, garlic should be consumed raw on an empty stomach.
♦ Vitamin K: Foods rich in Vitamin K are not recommended for patients with high platelets as it helps in blood clotting. It can also affect the efficacy of anticoagulant medications and promote platelet aggregation. If you are on any of the anticoagulants please avoid eating green leafy veggies, beef, red meat, etc.
♦ Pomegranate: Antioxidant compounds in pomegranate called polyphenols reduce the risk of cardiovascular accidents, due to their antiplatelet effect.
♦ Omega 3: Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to the flexibility of cell membranes, making them effectively more slippery. In the case of platelets, Omega 3 fats make them less sticky and less likely to clump together in the blood, thus having an antiplatelet effect. Foods that are high in Omega 3 are flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and fatty fishes like salmon.
♦ Tumeric: We have seen the use of turmeric to treat many conditions, ranging from skin problems to cancer. But turmeric can also act like an anti-platelet medication and reduce your blood’s tendency to form clots. So go ahead and enjoy this multi-factorial spice.
The aforementioned food items will help you naturally. But it is always best to consult your doctor or nutritionist first, to discuss the possible risks and drug interactions before changing your diet plan or starting with any natural supplement. Hopefully, this article will be helpful for people suffering from cardiovascular disease.
The writer is the Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems. She is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.