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Having a low blood count is a common problem nowadays. When your RBC (red blood cell) count or Platelets go down your body is said to have a low blood count. Every day, the human body creates millions of RBCs, Platelets and anemia or low platelet count could be one of the conditions you’re dealing with right now.

Understand the types of blood cells:

We have three different types of cells in the blood. They are

  • Red cells
  • White cells
  • Platelets

Red Cells: Red cells carry oxygen to every part of our body and provide energy.

White Cells: White cells are part of our defence system, fighting infections.

Platelets: Help in preventing excessive bleeding wherever there is injury or trauma.

But can we increase blood counts with diet alone?

If you’re worried about a low blood count, it’s better to take diets that boost the body’s blood count. Because a low blood count might inhibit the body from completing key activities, it’s critical to increase blood production and eat a healthy diet.

Cause of low counts

A person is known to have anaemia if their hemoglobin is less than 11 gm, and when platelets go below 1.5 lakh, it’s called thrombocytopenia or low platelets. So before we treat these patients, it’s very important to know the cause of low counts. The most common cause of anemia is nutritional deficiency, followed by hemolytic anemia, where blood decreases and bone marrow disorders like MDS and blood cancers.

The most cause of low platelets is Infections, ITP, and bone marrow disorders, as mentioned before.

Let us discuss anemia, a secondary nutritional deficiency, and diet’s role in these disorders. Nutritional anemia is caused by a lack of two important nutrients, iron and B12.

Iron deficiency:

Iron deficiency is seen in patients with poor diet habits and those who lose excessive blood in menstruation/stools.

B12 deficiency:

B12 deficiency is seen in pure vegetarians and other causes related to the intestine.

Can we correct anemia with diet alone?

Yes, in mild cases when hemoglobin is 10- 11 gms, but not in severe cases. Here’s a list of foods that will help increase blood count. These foods should be on your list:

1. Food rich in iron:

Iron helps in increasing the production of red blood cells. Food items rich in iron are:

  • Fish and meat
  • Eggs
  • Dry fruits and nuts
  • Green-leafy vegetables
  • Broccoli and beans

2. Amplifying the absorption of iron

Along with increasing the consumption of iron, it must be absorbed in the body. Vitamin C supplements help you to increase iron absorption. These include:

  • Citrus fruits
  • vegetables(green-leafy)
  • Strawberries

3. Vitamin A

Vitamin A (Retinol)also aids in iron absorption and usage. These include:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Grapefruit
  • Dark green leafy vegetables

4. Folic Acid

Vitamin B-9, i.e., Folic Acid, is also beneficial in boosting blood count. Sources of Folic acid are :

  • Folic acid fortified cereals and bread
  • Spinach
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Nuts

5. Vitamin-B-12

Food items with high Vitamin B-12 are:

  • Red meat
  • Eggs
  • Dairy Products like cheese and milk
  • Fish

You will notice a difference if you begin eating a healthy diet that includes these blood-forming diets. Apart from all of this, it’s also crucial to remember that your alcohol consumption should be kept to a minimum. Drinking could lower your platelet count, which is the last thing you need to know right now.

Book an appointment to see the Haematologist at our clinic in Lagos, Call +234 817 365 1737 or email frontdesk@thelecc.com.