Simple Food Swaps for ITP

By Michelle Ponte

Can eating certain foods raise or lower your platelet count? While there's no such thing as an ITP diet, some foods can give your immune system a helping hand by offering good nutrition in every bite.

Eat More:

Fresh, natural foods
“Whole,” fresh foods pack the greatest nutritional punch. And while you may be unable to ditch all convenience foods, you can probably make it a point to enjoy at least one unprocessed food at every meal.

Leafy greens
Leafy green foods give your body lots of vitamin K, which promotes clotting. Plus, they can also help fight fatigue. So fill your plate with kale, collard greens, spinach and sea vegetables like seaweed.

Whole grains
Brown rice, wheatberries, farro, quinoa and other whole grains are full of fiber and nutrients.

Eat Fewer:

Dairy products
Dairy foods can promote mucus formation, which worsens some autoimmune diseases. So when your platelet counts are low, limit how much milk, cheese and other dairy you eat.

“Blood-thinning” foods
Onions, dark grape products, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and large amounts of fish oil can interfere with blood clotting. Eat these only in moderation.

Sugary items
Read food labels carefully to cut back on hidden sources of sugar, such as fructose, corn syrup and other sweeteners. And limit table sugar, honey and other known sources.


Avoid quinine—found in tonic water, the natural substance can lower platelet counts.

Published July 2011

Recipes & Nutrition
Simple Food Swaps for ITP
Cashew Fried Rice
Ginger Lime Quinoa With Edamame
Black Bean Tacos With Mango Salsa
Roasted Kale Chips
Vegetable Kung Pao
Miso Grilled Veggies and Seaweed Salad

Citrus Lime Halibut with Papaya and Avocado Salsa
Veggie Fajitas With Pineapple Salsa and Fresh Guacamole

Scallop Risotto With Lemon, Collards and Toasted Walnuts
Falafel Salad With Lemon Tahini Dressing
Sweet and Sour Sesame Asian Cabbage and Kale

Quinoa Salad With Shaved Fennel, Orange and Olives
Recipe Cards

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