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If you want to reduce your risk of serious conditions like heart attacks and strokes, preventing blood clots is a must. But before going on warfarin or some other anticoagulant medication, have you considered the alternative of natural blood thinners?
There are several all-natural products that can help reduce your risk of clotting. These range from spices to vitamins.
In this article, I'll cover:
- What blood clotting is and why it can become dangerous.
- What blood thinners do.
- 7 of the best natural blood thinning foods, spices, and supplements.
- How to avoid clots in the first place.
What are blood clots and why are they dangerous?
All day long, the body is constantly forming and dissolving blood clots. This is a natural function.
Whenever you get cut or injured, platelets in the blood activate. They clump together to form a sort of plug in the blood vessel. That makes a blood clot. It is also called a thrombus.
Normally, blood clotting allows your body to respond to injuries by stopping bleeding. This is a healthy response that can be life saving. With time, the injury heals and the clot dissolves.
However, sometimes clotting occurs when it isn't needed. And sometimes clots don't dissolve naturally like they should. This can create blockages that cause serious harm.
When clots form when they aren't needed, they can cause severe problems in the body. Sometimes, they form in places like the heart and block proper blood flow. They can also get dislodged and travel through the body to places like the lung or brain.
The blockage of blood flow in these areas is not good. It can cause life-threatening conditions like heart attacks or strokes.
What are blood thinners?
Blood thinners are things that prevent the formation of clots and promote healthy blood flow through the body. Blood thinners are often prescribed when you have heart disease or are at high risk for clots.
There are two types:
- Anticoagulants. These slow down the body's blood clotting process. The most well known of these medications are warfarin (Coumadin) or heparin.
- Anti-platelets. These stop platelets from clumping together in your blood vessels. Aspirin is one of these.
These meds are used in an attempt to reduce your risk of serious problems. But blood thinners like warfarin can come with lots of side effects and other problems.
One problem with anticoagulant meds is that you aren't supposed to eat foods rich in vitamin K1 while you are on them. But vegetables with a lot of vitamin K1 are some of the healthiest choices. Learn more about this in my video. I also share acceptable foods to eat if you are already on a blood thinner.
Want to learn more about all-natural alternatives to blood thinners? Consider the 7 natural remedies listed below.
7 All-natural options for blood thinning
There are many effective herbs, vitamins, and supplements that can help prevent blood clots. These things don't have side effects, but they can help thin your blood.
As always, discuss your care options first with your doctor. You can research these natural options yourself, and then talk with your doctor about what will be right for you. I've included links below to some of the research.
So, what are the best natural blood thinners?
1. Vitamin E
Vitamin E has the power to prevent and dissolve blood clots. And it supports the cardiovascular system.
Be sure your vitamin E is the whole complex. Don't buy a synthetic version. You want it to have both tocotrienols and tocopherols for best results.
Garlic is currently being heavily researched for its anti-thrombotic effects. A nutrient called ajoene in it helps with thinning the blood. This makes it useful for preventing strokes.
Include more garlic in your diet. Enjoy it for its flavor and health benefits.
Nattokinase is an enzyme that comes from a fermented Japanese food called natto. It is a potent dissolver of blood clots.
Take this as a supplement.
There are many health benefits of turmeric. One is that it acts as an anticoagulant. This bright yellow spice is a great superfood.
Include turmeric in your diet by using it as a spice in your cooking. Or, take a supplement.
5. Apple cider vinegar
In addition to these 9 health benefits of apple cider vinegar, you can also use it to help prevent blood clotting.
Add apple cider vinegar to water and drink it daily.
6. Cod liver oil
Fatty acids like omega 3s found in fish are natural blood thinners. Cod liver oil is a great option, as it has many health benefits. Fish oil also is useful. Learn more about the difference between the two in this video.
Cod liver oil comes in capsules or liquid form.
Take it as a supplement.
Avoiding clotting in the first place
The natural options listed above are great alternatives to blood thinning meds.
But as usual, prevention is key. The best thing you can do is to keep your body healthy and clot-free in the first place. So, what causes clots? And what can help you avoid them?
Many people believe that things like high cholesterol or saturated fat cause blood clots. However, these things are not the cause.
In fact, the four things listed below are really the culprits.
Spiking glucose is not good for clotting.
When you have high insulin levels, your risk goes up.
This stress hormone is linked to a higher risk of clotting.
The hormone estrogen can trigger clotting factors.
Avoiding stress, not taking hormones, and addressing insulin resistance are all key to prevention.
Other risk factors include:
- Low physical activity.
- Use of birth control pills.
You may want to consider lifestyle changes that will help you keep healthy. Stay active, keep your weight in check, and quit smoking.
It is ideal to avoid clots in the first place and to stay off of blood thinners like warfarin if at all possible.
Consider the 7 natural blood-thinning remedies listed above to keep your blood flowing smoothly. Adding these foods and supplements to your diet is an easy way to reduce risk without side effects.
As always, discuss any new supplements with your care provider. This is important if you are already on other meds.
To further reduce your risk, maintain a healthy, active, low-stress lifestyle. And try out my Ketogenic Diet Plan as well.
Have you tried any of the natural blood thinners listed above? Which would you recommend? Share your experience with them in the comments below.