Tip: Avoid These Foods If You’re Taking Coumadin
When taking Coumadin, any food high in Vitamin K should be avoided. Vitamin K acts as a coagulant and counteracts blood thinning medications like Coumadin. For the most part, avoid leafy greens like spinach, kale, asparagus, and broccoli. This also includes Brussel sprouts and cranberries.
If you’re not sure whether a food is approved to eat while on blood thinners, ask your physician so you can learn the amount of vitamin K each has. While blood-thinning medications are widely used, itâs not common information that natural foods can offer the same benefit. Before taking these foods, please consult with your doctor or healthcare provider, especially if you are on a blood thinning medication like Coumadin.
As mentioned, avoiding blood clots is very important as it will help you avoid a heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and other heart-related diseases. Adding the spices and incorporating the foods mentioned is a great natural remedy to avoid medication dependency and naturally thin your blood.
This information is not meant to be medical advice. Please consult with your physician or a medical professional before consuming any medication or food.
Why Make The Switch
Blood thinners are one of the best ways to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, especially if you have preexisting cardiovascular disease or have had cardiovascular procedures done. However, medicinal blood thinners come with a few side effects and risks that can pose health issues for some.
In short, blood thinners help reduce the risk of thrombotic and embolic strokes, which are both types of ischemic strokes. A thrombotic stroke is when a blood clot blocks blood supply to the brian. These blood vessels inside the brain become clotted and result in a thrombotic stroke. This is typically seen in elderly people, or those who have higher cholesterol levels as lipids can build up and block blood supply as well. Thrombotic strokes often come after a series of mini strokes.
Embolic strokes, on the other hand, occur when blood clots form somewhere else in the body and travel to the brain via the bloodstream. The stroke occurs in the same place, but the cause of the stroke is different. There are no warning signs for embolic strokes, but those with atrial fibrillation have a higher risk.
Green Tea As A Natural Blood Thinning Drink
One way to treat thick blood is to regularly consume green tea.
Green tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin that has an antiplatelet and anticoagulation effect. One study on mice found that green tea catechins helped prevent platelet aggregation.
Another study found that green tea compounds have the potential to help reduce the risk of blood clots. This study showed that green tea has antiplatelet activities to benefit blood health.
Although green tea is very healthy for you, care should be taken if you have to take anticoagulant medication. Studies have shown that green tea is a potential source of vitamin K that can affect the effectiveness of warfarin.
Consuming green tea every day not only benefits your heart health but can help you lose weight and boost your cognitive function.
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Blood Thinning Medications And Cancer
Blood thinning medications are prescribed for increased risk for developing a blood clot. Some chemotherapy medications cause an increased risk for blood clots. Having a history of previous blood clots or heart problems may also require a blood thinning medication. The medications that may be prescribed are: warfarin and enoxaparin. A blood test is used to monitor blood clotting time and determine the correct dosage. It is referred to as PT/INR . The following are some tips to minimize any complications while taking a blood thinning medication:
Be familiar with Vitamin K.
- Vitamin K is a vitamin that aids in blood clotting.
- Vitamin K sometimes gets confused with Potassium. Potassium is a mineral.
- The human body produces some Vitamin K. Foods, drinks, and vitamin/mineral supplements also contain vitamin K.
- When too much vitamin K is consumed through foods, drinks, and vitamin/mineral supplements, it interferes with blood thinning medications as well as the blood test that measures clotting time.
- It is most important to be consistent with vitamin K intake. Large variation or fluctuations in intake pose a problem when attempting to regulate clotting time and medication dosage.
Be familiar with the vitamin K content of foods, drinks, and supplements. Foods and drinks containing vitamin K should be consumed in moderate, consistent amounts.
It is most important to remember to eat about the same amount of Vitamin K every day.
Be careful when using nutrition supplements.
When You’re Taking A Blood Thinner
Its not a good idea to take this drug with a supplement that thins blood. It raises your chances of severe bleeding inside and outside your body.
If your doctor wants you to start using warfarin, you might wonder if you can take a supplement instead. But theres no good scientific evidence that shows they work as well as prescription drugs.
Always talk to your doctor before using any kind of supplement. Theyll tell you if itll affect any medications youre taking.
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Supplements That May Affect Your Blood
Research shows several supplements may affect how well your blood can form clots. For many of these, its not clear how much of the supplement is needed to affect clot formation. Some of these include:
Aloe. In one case, a woman taking an aloe supplement bled heavily after oral surgery. There’s also a risk of bleeding if you take aloe with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen.
Cranberry. There are documented cases of cranberry supplements interacting with warfarin. This can lead to bleeding.
Feverfew. Lab studies of platelets show it can affect their ability to stick together and form clots.
Garlic. Animal and human studies show it can slow blood clotting and lead to bleeding.
Ginger. One study found high doses of ginger affected clotting. More research is needed, but theres also evidence it can raise your risk of bleeding if you’re taking warfarin.
Ginkgo. Research shows it can slow clotting. Its also led to bleeding in people who took it alone or with NSAIDs.
Meadowsweet. There are no reports of meadowsweet interacting with warfarin or NSAIDs. But it has a compound called salicylate that affects how well platelets can stick together.
Turmeric. Curcumin, one of turmeric’s active ingredients, has antiplatelet effects.
White willow. This supplement has aspirin-like effects in the body. That means it can keep platelets from sticking together. There’s no documented evidence of it interfering with warfarin.
Vitamin K And Coumadin What You Need To Know
Article by Laura Earl, RN, BSN, CACP
If you have been diagnosed with a blood clot, a medication named warfarin may be prescribed as part of your treatment to prevent further blood clots. You may need to take warfarin for a few weeks, months, or the rest of your life. While taking warfarin , there are a few things about vitamin K you will need to know.
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What You Need To Know:
- Warfarin is a type of medicine called a blood thinner. It makes your blood clot more slowly. This can help prevent dangerous problems, such as a stroke . Vitamin K helps your blood to clot . Warfarin works by making it harder for your body to use vitamin K to clot blood. Changes in the amount of vitamin K that you normally eat can affect how warfarin works.
- Your healthcare provider can tell how well warfarin is working from a blood test that you will have regularly. This test is called an international normalized ratio . It shows how quickly your blood clots. To keep your INR at a healthy level, you need to manage how much vitamin K you eat.
Cayenne Pepper Is A Natural Anticoagulant
Taking cayenne pepper may be a natural way to help treat thick blood and prevent platelets from clumping together.
Cayenne pepper contains the spicy compound capsaicin that has blood thinning properties. Studies have found that capsaicin has both an anticoagulant and antiplatelet effect on the blood and can help prevent clotting.
Another way that cayenne pepper may help as a natural blood thinner is that it contains salicylates. Salicylic acid is a compound that is a major component in aspirin that is often used for its blood thinning and anti-clotting properties.
In fact, some researchers have found that spicy curries containing turmeric, chili powder, and paprika may contain pharmacological amounts of salicylic acid.
Some researchers advise against taking capsaicin supplements along with antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs.
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How To Add To Diet
Its easy to add these natural blood thinners to your diet. They can be included in meals to add flavor and nutritional benefits.
Another way to consume these herbs and spices is with tea. Turmeric tea and ginger tea can be made at home and added to your daily health routine.
These herbs are also available in capsule or extract forms, but if youre going to supplement with higher doses like this, be sure to discuss it with your doctor beforehand.
In addition to adding natural blood thinners to your diet to reduce the risk of blood clots, its important to eat a healthy, well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet. Maintaining a healthy weight and reducing inflammation are essential, as they promote healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Heres a quick breakdown of what you should eat to boost your overall health:
- colorful vegetables
- omega-3 foods
- healthy fats
In addition to bringing heart-healthy foods into your diet, its also essential to avoid foods that cause your body harm. This includes foods made with artificial sweetener, sugar and refined carbohydrates, diet sodas, baked goods made with trans fats, and excessive alcohol consumption.
Preventing Blood Clots Naturally: Top 10 Blood
Cayenne pepper, ginger, and garlic are 3 important blood-thinning herbs
Blood clots are very much in the news these days but the mainstream media has not carried any information about their prevention. Many of my patients have been asking me to detail what they can do if they are confronted with a greater risk of blood clots that lead to circulation blockages and death from strokes, heart attacks, and respiratory failure.
This article discusses the numerous ways of preventing blood clots and is intended only for people who are not already on anticoagulant drugs . If you are on prescription medications check with your doctor before using any of the natural remedies mentioned here.
The very first thing you should know is your blood type. The reason for this is because certain blood types are more likely to have cardiovascular disease or blood clots than people with blood type O. Blood type Os are more likely to have a bleeding condition but less likely to get infections. Severe trauma will cause more bleeding and blood loss in type Os than any other blood type so know your type.
I have always been amazed that 80% of the new patients I see in my practice do not know their blood type. If you do not know, ask your family doctor to do a simple blood test to inform you. Dont let him/her talk you out of it because its very important to know, especially with regards to blood clotting risk.
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Drugs With Food And Beverages
Food and drinks dont mix with certain drugs. They can cause delayed, decreased or enhanced absorption of a medication.
MAO inhibitors and blood pressure: Eating chocolate and peanut butter can be a tasty combination, but eating chocolate and taking certain drugs could carry risks. In fact, eating chocolate and taking MAO inhibitors such as Nardil or Parnate for depression could be dangerous.
Other blood-pressure raising foods to avoid: aged cheese, sausage, bologna, pepperoni and salami.
Grapefruit: Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interfere with some prescription drugs, and even a few non-prescription drugs. Dont drink grapefruit juice with certain blood pressure-lowering drugs because it can cause higher levels of those medicines in your body, making side effects more likely.
Licorice: It probably seems like a harmless snack, but if youre taking Lanoxin for congestive heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms, some forms of licorice could increase your risk of Lanoxin toxicity. Licorice may also reduce the effects of blood pressure drugs or diuretic drugs, including Hydrodiuril and Aldactone .
Alcohol: If youre taking any sort of medication, avoid alcohol, which can increase or decrease its effect.
Vitamin Supplements Containing Coumarin:
Any natural supplements containing coumarin or plants and herbs that contain high doses of coumarin are considered excellent natural blood thinners. This sweet smelling natural compound has anti-coagulant properties, which prevent clot formation in humans. Though highly effective, an overdose of this particular supplement can be toxic.
There are a number of plants and dietary supplements that contain this particular compound like nettle, wild carrot, lavender, parsley, Tonka beans, sweet clover, rue, wild lettuce, chamomile, celery seeds, fenugreek and dandelion. When ingested with cinnamon and cassia, coumarin may also lower blood pressure and relieve inflammation caused by arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
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Foods That Contain Vitamin K:
Dark green leafy vegetables have the highest amounts of vitamin K. Foods that contain vitamin K include the following:
- Foods with more than 100 mcg per serving:
- ½ cup of cooked kale
- ½ cup of cooked spinach
- ½ cup of cooked collard greens
- 1 cup of cooked broccoli
- 1 cup of cooked brussels sprouts
- 1 cup of raw collard greens
- 1 cup of raw spinach
- 1 cup of raw endive
Seek Care Immediately If:
- You have red or black bowel movements.
- Your urine is red or dark brown.
- You have bleeding from your gums or nose.
- You have heavy bleeding from a wound that does not stop, or unusually heavy monthly periods.
- You have a severe headache.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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Best Natural Blood Thinners
Luckily, natural blood thinners are a great way to continue reaping the benefits of blood thinners without the risks of hemorrhagic stroke. Here are a few examples of natural blood thinners that can help.
- Fish oil: Fish oil is an excellent natural blood thinner that can help when taken in doses of 2 to 3 grams each day.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E in mixed tocopherol form can be taken as a natural blood thinner in doses of 100 to 200 IU each day.
- Garlic: Garlic is another natural blood thinner that can be taken in 1 to 2 grams a day. These work best in capsule form.
- Lumbrokinase: This natural blood thinner can be taken in doses of 20 mg a day.
- Nattokinase: Take 100 mg a day.
Can I Take Vitamins With Blood Thinners
Examples of supplements which may reduce warfarin’s ability to thin the blood include vitamin K, ginseng, St. John’s wort, and, in very high doses, green tea. CoQ10 is chemically similar to vitamin K2 and may also decrease the effects of warfarin, although the evidence for this is mixed.
Additionally, can you take vitamin C with blood thinners? Warfarin — There have been rare reports of vitamin C interfering with the effectiveness of this blood-thinning medication. However, if you take warfarin or another blood thinner, talk to your doctor before taking vitamin C or any other supplement.
Likewise, people ask, which vitamins are blood thinners?
Vitamin E reduces blood clotting in a few different ways. These effects depend on the amount of vitamin E that a person takes.4.Vitamin E
What supplements should not be taken with warfarin?
Common supplements that can interact with warfarin include:
- Coenzyme Q10
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Avoid Problems With These Tips
There are lots of things you can do to take prescription or over-the-counter medications safely.
- Always read drug labels carefully and learn about the warnings for all the drugs you take.
- Keep medications in their original containers so you can easily identify them.
- Ask your doctor what you need to avoid when you are prescribed a new medication. Ask about food, beverages, dietary supplements and other drugs.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking an OTC drug if you are taking any prescription medications.
- Use one pharmacy for all your drug needs.
- Keep all of your health care professionals informed about everything that you take.
- Keep a record of all prescription drugs, OTC drugs, and dietary supplements that you take. Try to keep this list with you at all times, but especially when you go on any medical appointment.
Before taking a drug, ask your doctor or pharmacist these questions:
- Can I take it with other drugs?
- Should I avoid certain foods, beverages or other products?
- What are possible drug interaction signs I should know about?
- How will the drug work in my body?
- Is there more information available about the drug or my condition?
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Last Reviewed: Oct 30, 2014