5 Easy Recipes for People With ITP

Medically reviewed by Micaela Bellés, RD
Posted on April 17, 2023

Healthy eating won’t cure immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), but there’s some evidence that people with ITP benefit from dietary patterns that help reduce inflammation. Preparing food at home allows you to choose nutritious ingredients that help you feel your best and may protect against other health problems.

In addition, side effects of some ITP treatments (like corticosteroids and prednisone) include higher blood pressure and blood sugar, so it’s a good idea to manage your intake of sodium and added sugars. When you make your own meals and snacks, you can control how much salt and sugar they contain.

Here are five simple recipes that feature whole foods to help improve your diet while living with chronic ITP.

1. Crispy Kale Chips for Healthy Snacking

Leafy greens aren’t just a side dish. You can replace salty snacks like potato chips and pretzels with nutritious and delicious kale chips. Greens — including kale, spinach, and arugula — are a good source of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting.

Since people with ITP may be prescribed treatments that affect clotting, talk to your hematologist or health care team before drastically changing your diet. They’ll likely be happy to hear that you want to eat more greens.

When making kale chips, look for fresh curly or Lacinato kale — the hearty leaves can withstand the heat of the oven. The 30-minute recipe below includes a version for the microwave.

Crispy Kale Chips

Servings: 4 | 30 minutes


  • 1 bunch kale
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • Pinch of kosher salt


1. Preheat the oven to 300 F.

2. Wash the kale thoroughly under cool, running water. Dry the leaves by using a salad spinner or blotting with paper towels. Slice the leaves in roughly 1.5-inch squares, cutting out and discarding any hard stems.

3. In a large bowl, toss the kale with the olive oil.

4. Spread the kale in a single layer on two baking sheets and sprinkle with the salt. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake until crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for a couple of minutes before eating.

Microwave Option

Kale chips made in the microwave are just as tasty as those baked in the oven. Spread the prepped kale pieces in a single layer on a microwave-safe dish. Microwave for 3 minutes, and then check to see if they’re crispy. If necessary, continue cooking the chips for 30 seconds at a time until you’re happy with their crispinessness. Let the kale chips cool while you make the next batch. Within minutes, you’ll have a bowlful ready to munch.

2. Chia Pudding for a Better Breakfast

Chia seeds are often called a superfood or functional food because they provide plenty of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. They’re also a good source of the minerals calcium and zinc and of omega-3 fatty acids. Healthy fats and omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and promote a healthy nervous system, brain, and heart. Whipping up a batch of chia pudding is a fun, easy way to get more of these seeds in your diet.

The recipe that follows is for a simple and basic pudding, but you can customize it and experiment with different flavors. For the liquid, try using almond, soy, or dairy milk or your favorite 100 percent fruit juice. Include your choice of mix-ins, such as chopped nuts, sliced fresh fruit, raisins, vanilla extract, or cinnamon, to make the recipe your own.

Chia Pudding

Servings: 2 | 20 minutes


  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup milk or fruit juice


1. In a small bowl, place the chia seeds, add the liquid, and stir together. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 15 minutes. Giving it more time will allow it to thicken. Add mix-ins or a topping, if desired.

Overnight Option
Prepare chia pudding in the evening and refrigerate it overnight. You’ll have a delightful breakfast waiting for you in the morning.

3. Festive Guacamole for an Everyday Staple

Most people think of guacamole as a party food, but there’s no reason this nutritious dip can’t be a staple in your diet. Making guacamole at home lets you control the ingredients and ensure you’ll have a fresh batch to enjoy. Versatile guacamole is great as a:

  • Topping for whole-grain crackers
  • Condiment in wrap sandwiches
  • Dip with freshly cut veggies
  • Dressing for salad

Avocados are high in beneficial monounsaturated fats, which are anti-inflammatory and support heart and circulatory health. Adding healthy fats to your meals also helps you feel full and enhances the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins from other foods on your plate.

The garlic in the recipe below adds a burst of flavor to guacamole, but it may also affect blood clotting. Talk with your doctor to find out how much garlic is good for you.

Festive Guacamole

Servings: 8 | 10 minutes


  • 2 large ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • Dash of ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of ground red pepper, if desired


1. In a bowl, mash the avocado using a potato masher or a fork. Add the remaining ingredients, including ground red pepper if you want a spicy flavor. Stir together until blended.

Storage Option
The acidity of lime juice will help keep guacamole from turning brown in the refrigerator. Squeezing extra lime or lemon juice on top of guacamole will preserve its bright green color longer. Alternatively, you can save the pit and place it in the guacamole to keep it fresh.

4. Salmon Cakes for a Quick Seafood Dinner

Your pantry and fridge might already hold all the ingredients you need to throw together a tasty seafood dish — salmon cakes. Salmon is rich in healthful omega-3 fatty acids.

Stock up on canned salmon and other ingredients when they go on sale so you’re always ready to prepare a quick meal at a reasonable cost. There are plenty of ways to make salmon cakes, but you can start with this basic recipe from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Salmon Cakes

Servings: 2 | 25 minutes


  • 1 (7.5-ounce) can salmon, skin removed
  • 1/4 cup plain, dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons horseradish


1. In a medium bowl, mash the salmon until it has the texture of canned tuna. Add the remaining ingredients and mix together.

2. Divide the mixture into four mounds, shaping each into a patty.

3. Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Cook each patty on both sides until golden brown.

5. Stuffed Dates for a Healthier Sweet Treat

Dates offer a nutritious way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Although they’re high in natural sugar, dates beat out processed desserts by providing plenty of heart-healthy potassium and fiber — ingredients that promote overall health and may help fight fatigue from ITP. You can stuff dates with nuts and other healthful ingredients when you want a pick-me-up for yourself or a special dessert or appetizer to share with others.

One of the easiest ways to make stuffed dates is to fill pitted dates with peanut butter. You can sprinkle them with cinnamon for added flavor. This nonperishable snack is great to take when traveling or add to a packed lunch.

The recipe below from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers a more savory take on stuffed dates, using fresh herbs and mascarpone cheese.

Stuffed Dates

Servings: 12 | 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese or low-fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 24 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Rosemary sprigs, for garnish


1. In a small bowl, mix the cheese and rosemary. Cover the mixture and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

2. For each date, cut a long slit along one side, open the slit, and stuff with about 1 teaspoon of the cheese mixture. Dip the slit side in the walnuts, coating the mixture with the nuts. Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Talk With Others Who Understand

On myITPcenter, the site for people with immune thrombocytopenia and their loved ones, people come together to learn more about treatment options and lifestyle changes for ITP.

Have you made any dietary changes to support your platelet count, immune system, or bleeding symptoms? What are some of your favorite healthy recipes? Post your thoughts in a comment below.

    Posted on April 17, 2023


    Onions, garlic, raisins lower your platelets.

    posted October 13, 2023
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    How Do You Enjoy Leafy Greens, Like Kale, In Your Snacks?
    July 28, 2023 by myITPcenter 1 answer
    Micaela Bellés, RD is a pediatric clinical dietitian at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. Learn more about her here.
    Anastasia Climan, RDN, CDN is a dietitian with over 10 years of experience in public health and medical writing. Learn more about her here.

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