Okay – we’re on the anticoagulant medication trail today!
Yep, I know that’s a pretty big word for this time of the morning (well it’s morning where I am, anyway!).
To put it in layman’s terms – this article will be covering a selection of foods that act as blood thinners, or blood-thinning agents. The type of foods that are known to help with eliminating the build up of blood clots (and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke!).
There are over-the-counter medications, usually prescribed by your GP, but what about those that want to take the more natural route?
Let’s take a closer look…
REMEMBER – I am certainly not a doctor, or any sort of medical professional – if you are prescribed something it is for a reason, so take it! The following natural examples SHOULD NOT be used as a substitute for prescription anticoagulant medication.
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Does Garlic Thin Blood?
Okay, this is a bit of a 50/50 one at the moment, and it’s hard to get a straight answer on the subject – does garlic thin blood?
A popular March 2001 medical article claimed that garlic was an excellent choice for naturally battling blood clots. To be precise – it exerts a mild inhibitory effect on platelet aggregation.
All well and good…
But, a later medical journal/article, stated that garlic does not have blood-thinning effects when taken alone at a daily recommended dose – this research was dated at May 2013.
So, at the time of writing this, most ‘experts’ believe that there is insufficient evidence on garlic’s blood thinning properties.
How Much Does Fish Oil Thin Blood?
It’s now common knowledge in health circles that fish oil, and fish, contain high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Now, these fatty acids definitely contain elements that contribute to blood-thinning effects.
You can find high levels of food source EPA and DHA in fish (salmon, tuna, sardines and cod). You can also buy doses of fish oil over-the-counter in supplement format (capsule and liquid formats).
The American Heart Association believes that just two generous portions of fish a week will change your overall risk of coronary heart disease.
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Vitamin E’s Blood-Thinning Properties
Vitamin E has exhibited blood-thinning properties in laboratory situations on a number of occasions – all of them seem to be dose dependent.
What does this mean?
Well, you need large quantities of this vitamin to see these sort of effects. To be brutally honest with you – there are positive signs there, but more research is needed on Vitamin E before you can call it a natural blood-thinner.
If you are still interested, Vit E can be found in foods such as eggs (yolks), whole grain options, seeds and nuts.
A really common medication prescribed for people with heart conditions is a blood-thinning medication called warfarin. Did you know that warfarin is a derivative of a naturally occurring, plant-derived chemical called coumarin?
Well now you do!
There are thousands of coumarin-containing herbs available but don’t get your hopes up – they are typically very weak and are nowhere near as powerful as the warfarin medication.
Some medical experts have actually gone as far as warning warfarin-takers away from coumarin-rich herbs to avoid possible additive effects (just in case!).
Here are some examples of coumarin-containing herbs:
- Angelica root
- Arnica flower
- Licorice root
Foods That Act as Blood Thinners
The most important thing to take away from this article is the fact that NONE of the above should be used instead of the blood-thinners you were prescribed – you are on that medication for a reason!
Always discuss your medications, supplements and dietary choices with your doctor/GP/Health Care worker BEFORE you start taking anything.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered above, please leave them in the comment section below.
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