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
Among the factors that may lead to a low platelet count are:
- blood-thinning medications
- leukemia, lymphoma, or other blood cancers
- autoimmune diseases including immune thrombocytopenia, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus
- exposure to toxic chemicals like pesticides
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.
- 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 studysuggests 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
cupof 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 servingof 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 DVfor vitamin C. But, a 2021 Chilean studyfound 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 evidencethat these fruits have a positive influence on heart health, including platelet function.
One servingof these fruits (though avocados are sometimes considered vegetables) provide about 10%of the DV for folate and 5% of the DV for vitamin C.
A healthy platelet count generally ranges from
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.