Eating fruits high in vitamin C, folate, and iron may help support your platelet count. A low platelet count increases your risk of excessive bleeding.

Platelets are the smallest of your blood cells. When a blood vessel is damaged, platelets gather and form clots to prevent bleeding.

A low platelet count may occur when your bone marrow doesn’t produce sufficient platelets, your body destroys or depletes them, or your spleen (which stores about one-third of your platelets) retains too many of them.

Among the factors that may lead to a low platelet count are:

One way to help increase your platelet count naturally is by eating healthy foods, including the following fruits.

But, be aware that some fruits have antiplatelet properties, meaning they help stop your platelets from sticking to one another. This reduces your blood’s ability to form clots.

The following fruits contain platelet-supporting vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, folate, and iron.

  • Oranges: Along with vitamin C, citrus fruits are rich in folate, or vitamin B9, which is essential for healthy blood cells. A large orange contains 55 micrograms (mcg) of folate, about 14% of the recommended daily value (DV) of 400 mcg for adults.
  • Mangoes: Mangos are loaded with vitamin C, which is important for the function and grouping of your platelets. A 1-cup (165-gram) serving provides 66% of the recommended DV of 90 milligrams (mg) for vitamin C.
  • Papaya: Just 1 cup (145 grams [g]) of this tropical fruit has nearly 98% of the DV for vitamin C. Also, a 2019 study suggests that papaya leaf extract significantly increased the platelet levels of children with dengue fever.
  • Strawberries: Recommended as a good source of vitamin C by the National Health Service (NHS), 3.5 ounces (100 g) of strawberries contain about 67% of the DV for adults.
  • Pineapple: A cup of pineapple provides 88% of the DV for vitamin C. But, pineapple also contains bromelain, an enzyme with antiplatelet properties.
  • Prunes: Dried fruits like prunes, figs, and raisins contain significant amounts of iron, which research shows is necessary for your platelets to function efficiently. A serving of 100 g of prunes has more than 3.5 mg of iron, which is 19% of DV. Just be aware that dried fruits are also higher in sugar and calories.
  • Cantaloupe: A 1-cup serving of this melon provides 19% of the DV of vitamin C. Cantaloupe also contains folate and iron, but not in significant amounts.
  • Pumpkin: One cup of pumpkin provides just over 10% of the DV for vitamin C. But, a 2021 Chilean study found the seeds from the Cucurbita maxima variety have significant antiplatelet potential.
  • Pomegranate: A 4-inch pomegranate provides 32% of the DV for vitamin C. There’s evidence that these fruits have a positive influence on heart health, including platelet function.
  • Avocado: One serving of these fruits (though avocados are sometimes considered vegetables) provide about 10% of the DV for folate and 5% of the DV for vitamin C.

The following fruits have antiplatelet properties, such as the antioxidant quercetin. If your platelet count is low, you might want to eat those fruits in moderation or avoid them altogether.

These antiplatelet properties are beneficial for people with high platelet counts, which is called thrombocythemia, or people at risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Besides eating certain fruits, the following foods are rich in vitamin B12, which is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and may help support your platelet count:

These are some other foods that are natural sources of folate and iron:

Read more about increasing your platelet count naturally.

A healthy platelet count generally ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. It varies depending on your age, sex, and race. Young people, women, and non-Hispanic Black people may have somewhat higher platelet counts. Your platelets can be measured in a complete blood count.

A low platelet count, called thrombocytopenia, is when the platelet count is less than 150,000 platelets per microliter of blood and increases your risk of excessive bleeding. Some of the symptoms of a low platelet count include:

A low platelet count may prevent your blood from clotting, which increases your risk for excessive bleeding.

You can help increase your platelets by eating a healthy diet that includes fruits rich in nutrients like vitamin C, folate, and iron. But, some fruits have antiplatelet properties that prevent the grouping of these blood cells, so should be avoided by people concerned with having a low platelet count.