Sometime ago we discussed foods that help increase platelet count which in turn helps patients suffering from dengue or any other condition. Let’s also throw light on foods that help reduce 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 heart attacks or stroke. When the number of platelets is too low that could result in excessive bleeding and if the count is too high it could result in the formation of blood clots that can potentially cause thrombosis, which occurs when blood vessels are clogged by clots causing strokes. Doctors use blood thinning drugs such as warfarin, ecosprin and aspirin to decrease platelet aggregation in some patients. But little do we know about how our food impacts our body and blood count variedly. There are certain foods that decrease platelet aggregation, can prevent cardiovascular diseases and in some cases also help decrease the need for over-the-counter or prescription medications. The human body is designed to heal itself, 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. Given below is the list of such food items:
Water: Drink up to three litres of water a day as this will make sure the platelets do not aggregate. Taking periodic sips of hot water can cleanse impurities from the body.
Garlic: Is used as a popular home remedy for many conditions. It also reduces platelets in the blood due to its active compound called allicin which is a vasodilator and anticoagulant. To maximise its effects garlic should be consumed raw on empty stomach.
Vitamin K: Foods rich in vitamin K are not recommended for patients with high platelet count as vitamin K helps in blood clotting and can also affect the efficacy of anticoagulant medications and promote platelet aggregation. Those who have been prescribed anticoagulants should avoid eating broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, other green leafy vegetables, beef, red meat, etc.
Pomegranate: Antioxidant compounds in pomegranate known as polyphenols have the ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular accidents due to their antiplatelet effect.
Omega 3 fats: 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 high in omega 3 are flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, fatty fish like salmon, fish oil, canola oil, etc.
Turmeric: Can also act as an antiplatelet medication and reduce the blood’s tendency to form clots. Go ahead and enjoy this multi-factorial spice.
Always consult your doctor or nutritionist to discuss the possible risks and drug interactions before changing food routines. Hope this article will help those suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
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