Dengue is a prevalent disease in tropical and subtropical areas characterized by a low platelet count. If you or someone you know is suffering from dengue, increasing your platelets should be your main goal. Today, let’s discuss the best food to increase platelets in dengue.
These foods will help you naturally increase platelets without the need for any supplements. Let’s start with a quick overview of dengue, followed by the best foods to eat in dengue for boosting platelets.
What Is Dengue?
Dengue, also known as dengue fever, is a viral infection caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. The Aedes species of mosquitoes bite an infected person, thereby carrying the virus. When they bite another person, they transfer the virus into their body, thereby infecting them.
Though anyone in the world can get dengue, it’s more common in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Brazil, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Columbia, and Thailand are countries with the most dengue cases.
A person with dengue gets flu-like symptoms, like fever, cold, body ache, fatigue, etc. However, a characteristic feature of dengue is a sudden plunge in platelet counts. It’s also the primary cause of death among dengue patients. The normal platelet count in humans is 100,000-400,000.
In dengue, it drops below 100,000, and it can even go below 40,000 in severe cases. When platelets reduce to below 20,000, it’s a condition of medical emergency and requires platelet transfer. If the body fails to restore platelets in time, internal bleeding can occur, leading to blood loss and death.
Best Food to Increase Platelets in Dengue
Increasing platelet levels is the major aim for doctors when treating dengue patients. Though the body restores platelets by itself once it recovers from the infection, sometimes that recovery doesn’t happen. In such cases, doctors prescribe platelet supplements and platelet transfer to increase the count.
There are some natural platelet supplements as well. Let’s look at some foods you can eat to increase platelets in dengue naturally.
Papaya Leaves: Best Food to Increase Platelets in Dengue
If you’ve ever got dengue, you must’ve heard your mother or grandmother asking you to eat papaya. Though the papaya fruit also helps increase platelets, papaya leaves are much better at increasing platelets. These leaves have high amounts of complex protein, which boosts bone marrow function and promotes platelet production.
The ideal way to consume papaya leaves is by crushing three leaves and making a glass of juice. Drink it every six hours.
Many health experts and enthusiasts call broccoli a magic food, and rightly so. It has enormous amounts and vitamins and minerals that boost your health and ensure the seamless functioning of your body.
Broccoli is a rich source of vitamin K, which boosts the production of blood platelets. Additionally, it’s a fantastic source of minerals and antioxidants. Hence, every dengue patient should have broccoli in their diet.
Spinach: Best Food to Increase Platelets in Dengue
Spinach is an excellent source of iron. It also has omega-3 fatty acids. Both iron and omega-3 fatty acids boost the immune system and facilitate the production of platelets. Therefore, a patient suffering from dengue or any other condition that causes low iron or blood counts should add spinach to their diet.
Pomegranate: Best Food to Increase Platelets in Dengue
Another great source of minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, pomegranate, can help you boost platelet levels. It is rich in iron and is helpful in not only increasing platelet counts but the overall blood health. In addition, pomegranate helps reduce fatigue and exhaustion, making it a good energy booster.
Eating pomegranates is quite easy. You can either peel them and eat the seeds directly or consume them in the form of a soup.
Foods Rich in Vitamin B-12
Vitamin B-12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells and platelets. If your platelets aren’t returning to normal, it could be due to low platelet counts. Though there are vitamin B-12 supplements available, you can increase vitamin B-12 naturally by consuming foods like eggs, fish, and beef (especially beef liver).
If you’re a vegan, you can opt for fortified cereals, soy milk, almond milk, and other supplements.
Folate is a B vitamin that promotes the health of blood cells. You must’ve heard of folic acid, a synthetic form of folate. Several foods contain folate, such as dark green leafy vegetables, beef liver, yeast, etc.
If you take folate supplements, be mindful of the amount of folate you consume. Excessive consumption of folate can affect vitamin B-12 function.
Foods Rich in Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an important nutrient you must consume daily. It promotes the functioning of the immune system, bones, nerves, and muscles. It also helps bone marrow produce more platelets.
Several foods have good amounts of vitamin D. Examples include egg yolk, fish liver oils, fatty fish, and fortified dairy. If you’re a vegetarian, you can eat fortified dairy alternatives, orange juice, and breakfast cereals to get good amounts of vitamin D.
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is absolutely essential for the proper functioning of the immune system. It also facilitates the production of platelets by enabling the body to absorb more iron. Many foods are rich in vitamin C. Citrus fruits like oranges, tomatoes, and strawberries are good sources of vitamin C.
Some Foods to Avoid in Dengue
Some foods are great for dengue fever, while some foods are not so great. Dengue weakens your digestive system, making it difficult to digest some foods. Eating these foods can impact your digestion and slow down your recovery. Therefore, it’s essential to avoid these foods when recovering from dengue.
- Fried and oily foods
- Spicy foods
- Foods high in fats, especially processed foods
- Carbonated drinks
Conclusion: Best Food to Increase Platelets in Dengue
Dengue is a viral disease that reduces blood platelets. Though most patients have mild symptoms, platelets can reduce drastically in serious conditions. Eating the right foods can help you restore your platelets to normal and speed up your recovery. However, eating platelet-rich foods alone won’t help you recover from dengue. Be sure to get adequate medical treatment.