Posted by Seminal Wellness Team on 3/5/2023 to News
We know white blood cells help us fight disease and red blood deliver oxygen to our cells (through hemoglobin); but, another part of the blood is just as important: platelets. Platelets, the large cells found in our blood, not only manage clotting to stop or slow bleeding; recent studies have determined they aggregate at sites of infection and injury to aid white blood cells in guarding against disease. Simply, platelets are key to our immunity.
For optimized clotting and immunity, blood platelets should range from 150,000 to 450,000 (150 to 450) per microliter of blood (National Institutes of Health, 2022). So, what is the best way to optimize our platelet count? We can take several steps in our diet, lifestyle, and wellness routine to support these clutch players. First, we should eat foods that are stacked with iron, vitamins B9 (folate), B12, C, D and K. Here are some examples:
- Beans and peas
- Beans and peas
- Dark, leafy green vegetables (spinach, brussels, sprouts, etc.)
- Dried fruit (no sugar added, with minimal preservatives)
Vitamin B9 (folate) foods
- Dark, leafy green vegetables (kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, etc.)
- Beans and peas
- Beef liver
- Rice (unrefined such as brown, black, etc.)
Vitamin B12 foods
- Fortified cereals
- Fortified dairy alternatives (e.g., almond milk)
Vitamin C foods
- Brussels Sprouts
- Red and green bell peppers
- Citrus fruits (grapefruits, oranges, etc.)
Vitamin D foods
- Fortified milk and yogurt
- Oily fish
- Fortified cereals
Vitamin K foods
- Leafy greens (spinach, cabbage, turnips, etc.)
- Pumpkin and squash
- Fermented foods
- Cashews and nuts (once you're not allergic)
Second, we need to be disciplined in our lifestyle. Make regular exercise a daily habit. Make adequate a sleep a responsibility, not a privilege (ideally, seven to eight hours nightly). And, manage stress while staying balanced (don't get beaten by challenges; get better). The latter leads to the third weapon in our arsenal prioritize your wellness routine. Whether it's through yoga, working on your art, listening to music, writing in your journal, etc., take the time everyday to reflect and reconnect, especially with those, and that, which is most important. And, having a healthy platelet level is essential. Too few platelets (less than 150,000/150) can lead to excessive bleeding and prolonged recovery (Mayo Clinic, 2022; National Institutes of Health, 2022) while too many platelets (more than 450,000/450) can lead to blood clots, heart attack, cancer, and pregnancy complications (Johns Hopkins Medicine, n.d.; Williams, n.d.). Integrating the foods, and similar ones, mentioned above, and the following the suggested lifestyle choices will bring your platelets in balance.
It's in Every Bite
Foods rich in vitamins B12, D, and K—among other nutrients—will optimize your platelet count.
As is emphasized throughout the Seminal site, wellness is key to your physiology, and, by extension, is a foundation of platelet production. Those who take a wellness approach to diet, exercise, and lifestyle have lower incidence of chronic disease (Okely & Gale, 2016). When you're in balance, your blood will be in balance. Here are six recommendations for helping you stay your best:
- Eat foods rich in vitamins B9, B12, C, D, and K while avoiding processed foods
- Get adequate, and restful, sleep each night (ideally 7 to 8 hours, undisturbed)
- Drink water at least 5 times daily, while eliminating sugary drinks
- Get fresh air daily (the sun triggers vitamin D production in your body, which boosts your platelet count)
- Make exercise, even a few minutes a day, part of your daily routine
- Reflect and recharge. Getting through the day is an achievement, and you need to hear up for what's awaiting tomorrow.
Platelets are the clutch players for your immune defenses. With these routines, you're always ready for the game.
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Thrombocythemia. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/thrombocythemia
Leonard, J. (2023). How to increase platelet count naturally: Foods to eat and avoid. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/32297
Mayo Clinic. (2022a). Iron deficiency anemia. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355034
Mayo Clinic. (2022b). Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count). https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/thrombocytopenia/symptoms-causes/syc-20378293
National Institutes of Health—National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute (2022). Platelet disorders—Thrombocytopenia. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/thrombocytopenia
Okely, J.A. & Gale, C.R. (2016). Well-being and chronic disease incidence: The English longitudinal study of ageing. Psychosomatic Medicine, 78(3), 335-344. https://journals.lww.com/psychosomatic Medicine/Fulltext/2016/04000/Well_Being_and_Xhronic_Disease_Incidence_The.11.aspx
Williams, M.S. (n.d). What are platelets and why are they important? https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/what-are-platelets-and-why-are-they-important
Thanks for discussing the kinds of foods we should eat. Which foods should we absolutely avoid to get our platelets in the right range?
Seminal Wellness Team
Thanks for the question Kinsha. You want to minimize--better, completely avoid--refined, and added, sugars like those found in most cookies, cakes, and sodas. You also want to opr for foods that are baked rather than fried (many fried foods are fried in hydrogenated vegetable oil, which undermines heart health and circulation). Just as importantly, avoid foods that have minimal nutritional value--without sufficient fiber, protein, calcium, vitamins, etc.--which is the case for many inorganic snack foods. Now, let's reiterate what you should have in your diet. Whole, organic foods, many of which were listed in the post, should be staples. Seminal's Drop Solid is just one good option. Thanks again for the question.