The International Normalized Ratio, or INR, gauges the effectiveness of blood thinning medication such as warfarin. People that are at high risk of blood clot formation, such as those that have suffered heart attacks or strokes, need an INR of about 2.5 to 3.5. However, people with an INR of 2.0 to 3.0 still need basic blood thinning. Foods that contain vitamin K can lower your INR because vitamin K facilitates blood clotting.
Beef and pork liver are high in vitamin K and eating them will lower your INR. Veal and lamb also contain vitamin K. Poultry, such as chicken and turkey, also have vitamin K. Consuming meat products in general will lower your INR. This does not mean you need to give up eating meat completely. However, you will need to regulate your meat intake so that it remains constant, ClotCare.com notes. Keeping your meat intake constant will ensure your INR is more accurate and also helps ensure the dose of your blood-thinning medication remains accurate. Moderation and careful regulation ensure this.
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Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs and Spices
Cabbage, broccoli, asparagus and Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin K. Pears, rhubarb, avocados, pomegranates, grapes and currants also contain vitamin K, as do herbs and spices such as basil, thyme and sage. Marjoram, coriander and cayenne pepper also have vitamin K. Green, leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach and lettuce, contain vitamin K. Suddenly increasing your consumption of these vegetables and herbs will lower your INR. A consistent diet is essential in maintaining normal INR, so avoid making drastic changes in the foods you consume.
Dairy and Soybean Products
Dairy products contain vitamin K and will lower you INR. Cheeses, such as cottage cheese, contain vitamin K. You will also find vitamin K in yogurt and butter. Tofu and other soybean products contain vitamin K. You need to regulate your dairy product consumption to keep your INR from decreasing.
Nuts and Oil
Certain nuts and oils decrease INR. An ounce of pine nuts contains 15 micrograms of vitamin K, Drugs.com warns. A tablespoon of vinegar-and-oil salad dressing or canola oil also contains 15 micrograms. Sudden intake of a large amount of these products lowers your INR and increases your risk of serious clotting issues.
- ClotCare.com; Vitamin K and Warfarin (Coumadin); Marie B. Walker; Janurary 2008
- Drugs.com: Vitamin K in Food
- LabTestsOnline.org; PT/INR: The Test; March 2011
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Vitamin K; Steven D. Ehrlich; June 2009
- MayoClinic.com; Warfarin Diet: What Foods Should I Avoid?; Sheldon G. Sheps, M.D.; May 2010
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.