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Blood Thinners and Leafy Green Vegetables

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 09/17/2021

You’ve probably been told that blood thinners and leafy green vegetables don’t mix. So should you avoid all vegetables while on blood thinners? Here’s what you need to know.

Timestamps

0:00 Can you have vegetables while taking a blood thinner?

0:30 What does a blood thinner do?

1:23 Vegetables low in vitamin K1

2:02 Vegetables high in vitamin K1

2:33 Share your success story!

What can you do if you’re on a blood thinner, which forces you to avoid leafy green vegetables? Blood thinner medications like warfarin (coumadin) compete for vitamin K1. So if you consume vegetables high in vitamin K1, it will make the drug ineffective.

A blood thinner helps prevent a clot from causing a heart attack or stroke. They don’t actually make your blood thinner, and they don’t break up clots. They prevent blood from forming new clots and slow the growth of existing clots.

There are certain blood thinners that don’t have any drug-food interactions, including:

• Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)

• Dabigatran (Pradaxa)

• Apixaban (Eliquis)

• Heparin

Check with your doctor to see if any of the above medications may be an option for you.

Vegetables low in vitamin K1:

• Onions

• Squash

• Eggplant

• Tomatoes

• Mushrooms

Cucumbers

• Artichokes

• Beets

• Bamboo shoots

• Bell peppers (all colors)

• Avocados

• White cabbage

• Celery

• Cauliflower

Vegetables high in vitamin K1:

• Natto

• Collards

• Kale

• Spinach

• Mustard greens

• Brussels sprouts

• Soybeans

• Broccoli

• Lettuce (except iceberg lettuce)

• Red cabbage

*Green tea also lowers the effectiveness of blood thinners.

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