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Can Prunes Be Taken While on Blood Thinners?

by
author image Piper Li
Piper Li, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear online at Biz Mojo, Walden University and various other websites. She is the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." With a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mesa State, Li enjoys writing about health, horticulture and business management.
Can Prunes Be Taken While on Blood Thinners?
A small bowl of prunes. Photo Credit George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Blood thinner medications, such as warfarin, help to reduce the risk of blood clots in patients prone to this type of circulatory disorder. Without treatment, blood clots may lead to strokes, loss of limbs and death. Although certain foods can interact with medications, there is no indication that prunes are unsuitable for people taking blood thinners. Always discuss your diet and nutritional supplements with your doctor, especially if you take prescription medications.

Prunes

Prunes are plums in dried form. These wrinkled fruits supply your body with nutrients. An average pitted prune contains 23 calories, about 6 carbohydrates, 70 milligrams of potassium, 37 micrograms of beta-carotene and 74 International Units of vitamin A.

Blood Thinners

Diseases of your heart or blood vessels can increase the likelihood of blood clots. Warfarin is a common type of blood thinner that helps reduce your blood’s ability to coagulate, reducing the possibility of dangerous clot formation. Taking blood thinner medications increases the risk of excessive bleeding from bumps, cuts and other injuries.

Diet

Certain foods may counteract the effects of blood thinners, due to their vitamin K content. Vitamin K helps to protect the health of your bones and increases your blood’s ability to coagulate. The bacteria in your digestive tract produce some of this important nutrient, while the foods you consume provide the rest. Eating too many foods that contain high amounts of vitamin K can be dangerous for people who are at risk of forming blood clots. People who take warfarin should avoid consuming large amounts of mustard greens, chard, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale and parsley, as well as limiting or avoiding cranberry juice and alcoholic beverages. One prune contains fewer than 6 micrograms of vitamin K. The recommended daily amount of vitamin K for most healthy individuals is 120 micrograms for men and 90 micrograms for women, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Precautions

Avoid eating large quantities of foods that contain vitamin K. Although prunes contain a minimal amount of vitamin K and are unlikely to alter the effectiveness of blood thinners, these dried fruits can have an undesirable laxative effect. Eating too many prunes may lead to weight gain, due to the amount of calories they contain.

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