Maintaining a good platelet count is essential in helping your body deal with injuries in the best way possible
Platelets are some of the smallest cells in the bloodstream that protect the body from excessive loss of blood, in case of an injury. These cells look like plates in their non-active state. In the case of a wound, these cells travel to the site of injury and bind the damaged blood vessels, thereby forming a blood clot. In its active state, the platelets develop tentacles like a spider.
There are various reasons why one’s platelet count may be low. It can be caused by viral infections, vitamin deficiencies and aplastic anaemia or even a drug-induced state as in the case of chemotherapy.
Now, that you know how important platelets are, you certainly don’t want your count to be low, at any time. Here are a few food options that you can incorporate into your routine to improve your platelet count:
Papaya leaf juice/Papaya extract:
It has the ability to increase platelet production, which takes place in the bone marrow. Papaya leaf extract has been shown to increase arachidonate 12-lipoxygenase in the body and this particular enzyme promotes platelet production with an increased number and differentiation of megakaryocytes.
You could wash the leaves, take out the centre vein and crush the leaves in a grinder, add a little bit of water and consume every six hours daily. Half cup, thrice a day, is advised.
Wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll, which helps to renew red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Drink around 50 ml of fresh wheatgrass juice or mix a teaspoon of wheatgrass powder in a glass of water and consume in order to increase the low platelet count.
The cold-pressed oil version is beneficial in increasing platelet count. Sesame oil has properties that can raise platelet levels naturally. It helps in reducing free radical damage, inflammation in the body, and helps improve blood circulation.
Drink around one tablespoon of high-quality cold-pressed sesame oil at least once a day. It can be rubbed externally on the lymph node areas as well several times a day to help incr-ease platelet count. In addition to this, cold-pressed sesame oil can be used for cooking.
Indian gooseberry/amla is a rich source of Vitamin C that helps in increasing the immunity as well as the platelet count. It is advisable to drink 150 ml of fresh salsa juice or mix a teaspoon of amla powder in a glass of water, and have it once a day.
Omega-3 fatty acid:
Omega-3 fatty acid-containing foods include fish, eggs, walnut, flaxseed and flaxseeds oil, tuna and
wild salmon, etc. Omega-3 fatty acid foods boost the immune system and
can naturally increase your platelet level count.
Pumpkin is a vital food to improve low platelet count. It is a good source of Vitamin A that support the bone marrow for proper platelet development. It also regulates the proteins produced in the cells, which is important to raise the platelet level. You can include pumpkin soup/juice once a day.
One of the best dietary methods of increasing platelet count. Being high in natural antioxidants and homeostatic properties, beetroot can not only raise haemoglobin levels, but also your platelet count within a few days. Incorporate it in smoothie form or salad form to get maximum benefits.
Aloe vera gel stimulates macrophages that combat viruses and other foreign bodies. The antioxidant of aloe vera also makes it an effective remedy for increasing low platelet count. You can incorporate one or two freshly scoops aloe gel from the plant directly or have 50 ml juice.
These food items will help anyone increase their platelet count naturally. Use them wisely and keep your healthcare practitioner in the loop.
(Deepika Rathod is Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho, Holistic Healing Systems. She is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.)