Foods to Avoid When on Blood Thinners

Foods to Avoid When on Blood Thinners
by Jennifer Elliot | December 29, 2012

There are two categories of blood thinners, anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs. Anticoagulants prevent the clotting of proteins in blood, while antiplatelet drugs prevent the blood cells from getting stuck together. Examples of anticoagulants include warfarin and example of antiplatelet is aspirin. It has been formulated that the consumption of certain foods can either increase or inhibit the effects of these blood thinning drugs. Due to this reason there are certain foods to avoid when on blood thinners.
Here are some of those foods to avoid when on blood thinners:

Foods with Vitamin K

Foods with Vitamin K translate to foods to avoid when on blood thinners. Vitamin K is an important compound required by the liver to produce blood clotting proteins. The National Institute of Health states, when you take warfarin, it is essential that you consume foods with sufficient levels of Vitamin K so that your dosage can be calculated accurately. If you consume less than what you did at the time of calculation of dosage then you may increase your risk of clotting and if you consume lesser then you may increase the risk of bleeding. Good sources of Vitamin K include kale, spinach, Swiss chards, mustard greens, turnip greens, collards, endive, parsley, romaine, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green lettuce leaf, beef liver and chicken liver.

Green Tea, Alcohol and Cranberry Juice

Certain beverages may be categorized as foods to avoid when on blood thinners. Some beverages can interfere with the consumption of anticoagulants. Green tea consists of a substantial amount of vitamin K and so if you increase your consumption after the dosage has been calculated then you may suffer from bleeding and if you decrease it then you may suffer from clotting. The consumption of alcohol and cranberry juice can increase the effects of the drug and lead to bleeding. It is advisable to consult your doctor on whether it is safe for you to continue consumption of these beverages or if it better to stop consumption completely.

Herbs

It has been reported that when it comes to foods to avoid while on blood thinners, herbs are somewhere top of the list. This is because herbs can potentially increase or decrease the effects that these blood thinners are supposed to have. There are quite a few herbs highlighted by the National Institute of Health which can interfere with these drugs. Some of these are horse chestnut, insositol hexaphosphate, licorice, arnica, bilberry, butchers broom, cat's claw, dong quai, feverfew, forskolin, garlic, ginger, ginkgo and etc.

Foods with Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Foods which are consistent of omega 3 fatty acids are said to be good for heart health as they can reduce inflammation in the body. They can be found in various kinds of fish and fish oil supplements. They are also in krill, algae, canola oil, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, walnuts, and oils made from purslane, perilla seeds, walnuts, flaxseed, soybeans and pumpkin seeds. However foods which consist of omega 3s should be avoided when on blood thinners as they can lead to bleeding. It is advisable to consult a physician if you are only drugs aimed at blood thinning such as warfarin or aspirin.

Sources: 
https://www.marshfieldclinic.org/patients/?page=cattails_2007_janfeb_bloodthinners
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/14785552/ns/today-today_health/t/foods-avoid-when-youre-taking-meds/#.UNyhOTwsnjA

About the Author - Jennifer Elliot

Jennifer Elliot takes her Nutrition (and yours) very seriously! She believes that the strongest weapon we have against all diseases, ailments and conditions is Nutrition. She also widely promotes the importance of exercise to maintain optimal health. Keep an eye out for Jennifer’s articles to remain updated on how to lead a nutritious life!

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