Diet For People On Blood Thinners

+ Foods To Avoid When Taking Warfarin Or Blood Thinners Like Coumadin Or Jantoven


There are so many foods to avoid when on blood thinners. Specifically, these foods can inhibit the effectiveness of the drugs, putting the patients at risk for bleeding and other complications.

Both men and women should avoid large amounts of the below foods :

A stable diet, containing around 60 to 80 mcg of vitamin K is desirable. Below are the foods that have small amounts of Vitamin K. And can be safe if eaten under the supervision of a doctor :

  • Egg yolk
  • Some nuts
  • Turnips 0.1 micrograms
  • Beets 0.3 micrograms
  • Sweet Corn 0.5 micrograms
  • Onion 1 microgram per 1 medium onion
  • Rutabagas 0.5 micrograms
  • Pumpkin 2 micrograms
  • Summer squash 3 micrograms
  • Eggplants 3 micrograms
  • Bamboo shoots 0 micrograms
  • Mushrooms 0 micrograms
  • Tomatoes 7 micrograms
  • Red, orange, and yellow vegetables
  • Most purple and white vegetables

Dont Cut Vitamin K Out Completely

You dont want to cut out vitamin K completely, as it is present in a variety of healthy, nutrient-rich foods. These include leafy greens and many vegetables. Instead, be smart about how much vitamin K you consume, be consistent, and work with your doctor to find just the right balance.

For example, if you eat a diet rich in vitamin K, you may need to check your blood a little more frequently or take more warfarin. If you change your diet and eat fewer foods containing vitamin K, you may need to take less warfarin.

Work with your doctor to find the right dose for you.

Here are three tips to help you safely manage your vitamin K intake:

General Points When Taking Warfarin

  • A low INR means you have increased risk of clotting
  • A high INR means you have an increased risk of bleeding
  • Warfarin increases INR, Vitamin K decreases it
  • Most doctors aim to keep INR around 2-3, but it can go up to 2.5-3.5 for people with heart valve issues or other extreme cases
  • When a doctor prescribes Warfarin, they are trying to balance it with how much vitamin K you eat
  • Regularly check your PT/INR levels
  • Take the same amount of Warfarin at the same time each day
  • Keep your intake of vitamin K consistent from day to day
  • Eat no more than 1 serving of food that contains 200%-600% DV of vitamin K
  • Eat no more than 3 servings of food that contains 60-200% DV of vitamin K
  • Eliminate alcohol if you can, or limit yourself to no more than 3 drinks a day
  • Take no more than 800IU of vitamin E supplements
  • Avoid cranberries and cranberry juice as they can raise INR and risk of bleeding
  • Limit or avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice
  • Avoid drinking green tea as it antagonizes Warfarin and lowers INR
  • Work with your doctor when taking CoQ10 as it can hamper the effectiveness of Warfarin
  • Many natural herbs, roots, berries, and supplements affect PT/INR levels, so it is best to avoid them unless your doctor advises otherwise. The following supplements definitely affect PT/INR levels:
  • Arnica

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Seek Medical Attention With Bleeding What Is Warfarin

Warfarin is an anticoagulant medication. It is sometimes referred to as a blood thinner because it is used to improve blood flow and treat blood clots.

Blood clots can cause many medical conditions including deep vein thrombosis, stroke, heart attack or other serious conditions like pulmonary embolisms and death of skin tissue.

Because warfarin is the generic name of the popular brand Coumadin, we will refer to the medication as warfarin throughout this article.

People who already have or are at a high risk for blood clots may be helped by taking blood thinner medications. However bleeding problems caused by these blood thinners can lead to life threatening side effects. Important information on how to prevent these adverse effects can be life saving.

Carbohydrates: Dairy Starches And Fruit

Coumadin Diet Restrictions: What you need to know

Dairy, grains and fruit are all carbohydrate sources in your diet. Milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream are all good choices to eat while on warfarin. Grains can also be incorporated into your diet without having to worry about eating too much vitamin K. Incorporate bread, cereal, rice, pasta and oatmeal as part of a healthy diet. Other than grapes and blueberries, which are considered moderate in vitamin K, fruit is a good selection as a snack or at a meal and a low vitamin K source.

  • Dairy, grains and fruit are all carbohydrate sources in your diet.
  • Other than grapes and blueberries, which are considered moderate in vitamin K, fruit is a good selection as a snack or at a meal and a low vitamin K source.

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Top 10 Foods That Prevent Blood Clots

Are you at risk of developing blood clots? Are you looking for ways that you can reduce that risk, or are looking to live a healthier lifestyle?

Blood clots can be dangerous and scary. Preventing blood clots from forming in your heart, lungs, or other organs is important for your health and can even be potentially life-saving.

Dark Leafy Green Vegetables

Some of the most commonly consumed foods that are rich in vitamin K are dark, leafy green vegetables. Some examples of those include:

  • Kale

  • Brussel sprouts

  • Broccoli

If youre worried you have to cut out these vegetables completely, dont fret. Instead of avoiding eating leafy green vegetables, warfarin works best when the level of vitamin K in your body stays the same. So if you typically eat leafy greens, you can continue to eat your usual serving.

However, if you decide to change the amount of leafy greens youre eating either eating more or eating less you need to let your provider know before making these changes. These adjustments in your diet can raise your risk of serious blood clots or dangerous bleeding while youre taking warfarin.

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What Are Blood Thinners

Blood thinners prevent clots from forming. A blood clot can be potentially deadly. Clots prevent the flow of blood through the arteries, veins and other parts of the circulatory system. Blood clots can break off and travel and lodge into the lungs or even the brain.

Without doubt, sometimes its good to have your blood clot. If you cut yourself trying to slice bread , your blood will form a clot to stop the bleeding.

Protein Sources To Consume

Diet when taking blood thinners | Ohio State Medical Center

Meat contains very little vitamin K. Choose a variety of meat for protein in your diet include eggs, chicken, fish, turkey, ham and beef. Wild game, like duck or venison, can also be consumed when on warfarin. Nuts and legumes provide you with a good source of dietary protein. Most are low in vitamin K, with the exception of cashews, hazelnuts and pistachios, which are moderate sources of this nutrient.

  • Meat contains very little vitamin K. Choose a variety of meat for protein in your diet include eggs, chicken, fish, turkey, ham and beef.

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Diet For People On Warfarin

Warfarin, also known by the brand name Coumadin, is a medication prescribed to treat individuals at risk for blood clot formation. This drug decreases vitamin K activity, which then reduces your body’s ability to quickly form blood clots. To ensure that you are on the correct dose of warfarin, your doctor will recommend monthly blood checks. The daily value for vitamin K is 80 micrograms, with most people averaging between 70 to 80 micrograms per day. Because this drug interferes with vitamin K action, being consistent with the daily amount in your diet will help ensure that the warfarin is working properly.

What Can You Not Drink While Taking Blood Thinners

Alcohol can create side effects when combined with an anticoagulant. Medical professionals suggest avoiding acute alcohol intoxication. Coffee consumption can also alter the effects of blood thinners as caffeine can inhibit the metabolism of warfarin . Also, some juices like cranberry juice, green tea and grapefruit juice can deactivate an enzyme that normally breaks down warfarin, causing an unusual amount of bleeding .

Can drinking water thin your blood?

It is recommended to drink water throughout the day to keep your blood thin, starting with a glass or two in the morning. This lessens the risk of stroke and the thickening of the blood .

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What Is High In Vitamin K

The most common foods with high vitamin K are green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, and lettuce.

Foods with vitamin K that could affect warfarin are listed on the next 2 pages. Other foods that could affect warfarin are beef liver or other animal liver products.

Vitamin K can also be found in some nutrition supplements, such as:

  • Boost®, Ensure®, and Slim Fast®
  • Certain multiple vitamins and Viactiv® calcium chews
  • Tobacco, such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco

Talk with your provider if you have questions about vitamin K.

Following A Warfarin Diet

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People who are at risk of blood clots often have to make a variety of changes to their diets, especially when they’ve been told to take certain medications, like blood thinners. If your doctor has prescribed a blood thinner like Coumadin, you’ll need to follow a specific Coumadin diet.

Coumadin, is the brand name for warfarin, a drug that works as an anticoagulant. This means it essentially makes your blood less thick. This can increase your risk of bleeding, and requires specific dietary changes that make it safe for you and your cardiovascular health.

People are often told to avoid foods high in vitamin K, because this nutrient can affect the way warfarin works in your body. However, a good warfarin diet works best when you simply maintain your vitamin K levels at a healthy and stable level.

Any major dietary changes can alter the way your medication affects you. This means that you shouldn’t suddenly stop eating all foods that contain vitamin K. Equally, you may need to avoid foods that can cause dramatic increases in your vitamin K levels.

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Unintended Coumadin Diet Restriction Consequences

According to the Indiana Hemophilia & Thrombosis Center, there are certain eating changes that can affect vitamin K levels in your body. And some of these changes you might not think about.

The time of year is one example. Say you live in Duluth, MN. Your diet will likely be different in winter than in summer. Youll likely crave more fruits and fresh raw veggies in summer. Consequently, eating totally different foods can alter the clotting factor in your body.

Another abrupt change to your eating habits occurs when youre sick. You might not feel like eating much for a day or two or more. Travelling to a far-off, exotic destination might also change your usual eating routine.

Foods To Avoid On Coumadin

Certain foods may need to be completely eliminated if you’re following a warfarin diet. For instance, the National Institutes of Health states that 3 ounces of natto has 1,062 percent of the daily value for vitamin K. Half a cup of collard greens has 662 percent of the DV, while turnip greens have 532 percent of the DV. Consumption of such vitamin K-rich foods may interfere with your blood thinning medications.

Spinach, generally considered rich in vitamin K, has 181 percent of the DV per cup when cooked, while the same amount of kale has 141 percent of the DV. Just half a cup of boiled broccoli has 138 percent of the DV for vitamin K.

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics states that beet greens, dandelion greens and mustard greens are also foods high in vitamin K. A serving of these vegetables has between 400 and 800 micrograms per serving. Although all of these foods contain substantial amounts of vitamin K, consuming them in limited amounts can be part of a healthy diet.

You may also need to monitor your consumption of other nutrients while taking Coumadin. The National Institutes of Health explain that vitamin E supplements can antagonize vitamin K-dependent clotting factors. This means that it can increase your risk of bleeding and other side effects associated with taking blood thinners.

Fortunately, you shouldn’t need to worry too much about your vitamin E consumption. Only large amounts consumed through supplements are likely to cause this problem.

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When It Comes To Food Consistency Is The Best Ingredient

Blood clots are very serious, even life threatening, because they may stop the flow of blood to the lungs, the heart, and the brain. Warfarin, also known as Coumadin®, is a medication that helps slow or prevent blood clots from forming. When you take warfarin, itâs very important to keep your diet consistent. A balanced, healthy diet is always recommended, of course, but you can eat what you normally enjoy as long as you do so consistently.

Coumadin Diet Restrictions: Conclusion

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Remember at the beginning of this article, it was mentioned that Warfarin, the generic version of Coumadin was invented because of the blood-thinning effect of sweet clover. Other herbs can also thin the blood. These include ginger, echinacea, fenugreek, garlic and several others.

If youre currently taking herbal medicine or multivitamins and have recently been told you should take Coumadin, make sure you discuss all the supplements youre taking with a health professional.

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Coumadin Diet Restrictions: Watch Out For Vitamin K

Youre probably familiar with the benefits of certain vitamins such as C and D. However, fewer people think much about vitamin K. Besides helping to build bones along with calcium, vitamin K clots the blood. Thats a great benefit if you dont take Coumadin and get a papercut. However, for those that do take Coumadin, vitamin K amplifies the clotting effect.

Theres a standard blood thickness range. Its called INR. INR is short for International Normalized Ratio. For someone taking a blood thinner, the range should fall between 2-3. Under the score of 2 implies the blood is too thick. Above 3, its the opposite. Thin blood can produce excessive bleeding. As you can see, the normal range is very small. Consequently, one of the so-called Coumadin diet restrictions is not avoiding vitamin K, but rather, eating the same amount of it every day.

Another of the popular restrictions is not abruptly changing your diet. Especially without first telling your doctor. Say youre overweight and would like to shed body fat. Youve heard about the popular low-carb ketogenic diet plan. So you switch from eating a high-carb pasta and bread-rich diet to a low-carb, high-fat diet. The consequences of changing up your regular diet can radically alter your bloods clotting factor.

Videostaying Active And Healthy With Blood Thinners

People often worry about how routine medicines like blood thinner pills will affect their lifestyles. With a few simple steps, taking a blood thinner can be safe and easy. In fact, more than 2 million people take blood thinners every day to keep them from developing dangerous blood clots. Staying Active and Healthy with Blood Thinners is a 10-minute video that shows how small changes in daily routines can help people take blood thinners safely.

What is a blood thinner? What does it do? Why it is helpful? These questions are answered in this video, which features easy-to-understand explanations of how blood thinners work and why it’s important to take them correctly. It also introduces BEST, an easy way to remember how to fit blood thinner medication into daily life.

Be Careful

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Requirement For Blood Thinners

There are many conditions that require individuals to be on a medication called Coumadin , a therapy that makes the blood clot less easily or thins the blood. A history of heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, as well as several heart conditions may require individuals to take this medication or other medications that affect the clotting of the blood.

One thing to consider if on Coumadin is that Vitamin K is the antidote to this medication. This means that vitamin K counteracts the effects of Coumadin and makes it less effective . Therefore, if you are taking Coumadin or other blood thinners, avoid foods that are high in vitamin K.

What Else Can Affect Warfarin And How

Natural Blood Thinners: 10 Foods That Help Prevent Blood Clots

Substances other than food can also affect how well warfarin works. This effect is called an interaction. Sometimes these interactions can increase your risk of side effects from warfarin.

While you take warfarin, your doctor will check your blood regularly to see how well the drug is working for you.

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What Is The Recommended Daily Intake Of Vitamin K

According to the National Institutes of Health, children that are 3 years old and younger should consume 22.5 mcg of vitamin K per day. This number dramatically increases for children 4 years of age up to 18 years of age, ranging from 5575 mcg of vitamin K per day. Men 19 years of age and older require 120 mcg/day, while women 19 years of age and older require only 90 mcg/day.

Vitamin K In Popular Foods

Below, find more details on the amount of vitamin K present in different foods, including leafy greens, vegetables and other foods as provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

When it comes to blood thinners, the more you know the better you can manage your diet. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

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