Blood clots are clumps of blood that form in the blood vessels and can travel into the heart, lungs and brain. Blood clots can cause conditions such as strokes, angina, arterial embolisms, deep vein thrombosis, heart attacks, pulmonary embolisms and renal vein thrombosis. If you have suffered from any of these conditions or are at risk, your physician may prescribe blood thinners, or anticoagulants like Coumadin, in order to reduce your risk for blood clots. Many physicians will also prescribe an aspirin a day in order to reduce the risk of blood clotting. In addition to these medications, there are also natural fruits and vegetables that can help reduce the risk of blood clots.
Foods High in Salicylates
You may have heard of physicians prescribing an aspirin a day to reduce the risk of blood clotting. According to the National Institutes of Health, the components in aspirin that are responsible for reducing blood clotting risk are called salicylates. Salicylates can also be found in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. According to the Auckland Allergy Clinic, the following fruits and vegetables are very high in salicylate content: apricots, oranges, blackberries, pineapple, blackcurrant, plums, blueberries, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, cranberries, tangerines, hot peppers, olives, radishes, tomatoes and chicory.
Foods High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that aid in the regulation of normal blood clotting. Most people believe that in order to receive omega-3 fatty acids, they must consume a high a diet that is high in fish. While fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, they can also be found in many vegetables including Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach and salad greens.
Foods High in Vitamin E
A 2011 study published in the journal “Thrombosis Research” examined the effects of vitamin E on blood clot formation. What researchers discovered is that vitamin E is capable of inhibiting platelets, the cells responsible for clotting, from forming clots and in that way works as a natural anticoagulant. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, vitamin E can be found in a variety of oils, as well as spinach, broccoli, kiwifruit, mangos and tomatoes.
While fruits and vegetables are a part of a balanced diet, adding too many fruits and vegetables that have natural blood thinning properties can cause complications. If you are being treated with anticoagulants such as Coumadin, you will need to limit your intake of these fruits and vegetables, as they can increase your risk of bruising and bleeding. Tell your physician about all the medications you take and your regular diet, as he may adjust your medication or advise you on your dietary intake.
- MedlinePlus: Blood Clots
- MedlinePlus: Blood Thinners
- MedlinePlus: Aspirin
- Auckland Allergy Clinic: Salicylate Sensitivity
- Harvard School of Public Health: Ask the Expert: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Thrombosis Research: Vitamin E Inhibition on Platelet Procoagulant Activity: Involvement of Aminophospholipid Translocase Activity
- National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin E