Natural blood thinners

For a person who’s blood functions are working normally, an injury that causes blood loss would eventually stop bleeding because of a blood clot that your body forms. Your body has certain proteins for these purposes. However, when a blood clot forms and moves throughout your circulatory system, it can cause serious problems. If the blood clot gets stuck in the brain, you could have a stroke; if it gets lodged in the heart, you could have a heart attack. It’s pretty serious business. Not everybody has blood clots because of what they do or do not do; some people have the hereditary tendency to form them. Regardless of the cause, some people are prescribed anticoagulants, which are substances that prevent their blood from clotting. Of course there are prescribed medications that do this, as well as over-the-counter ones, but some people would prefer to go the natural route. Along this path, there are quite a few foods that act as natural blood thinners. Natural substances that help do this, that are present in many preservatives and flavorings, and that are present in Aspirin, are called salicylates.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Not only are omega-3′s promoted for their heart health properties, but also because they are great blood thinners. They have anti-inflammatory characteristics and can reduce inflammation in the blood. Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids are fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring. Taking a fish oil supplement would also get you a good dose of omega-3′s.

Herbs and Spices

Turmeric helps to thin the blood because it restricts the activity of an enzyme called fibrinogen, which is a factor in the blood coagulation process. Ginger and onion act as natural blood thinners because it prevents the platelets from sticking to each other. Ginger also helps to reduce inflammation by relaxing the muscles surrounding blood vessels and promoting blood flow throughout the body. Peppermint, paprika, cayenne pepper, curry leaves, curry powder, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, dill, oregano, and licorice all contain salicylates.

Fruits

Many fruits are high in the natural substance, salicylate, mentioned above. They include raisins, prunes, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, strawberries, grapes, tangerines, and oranges.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin essential to the human body that acts as an anticoagulant. It is present in many foods, including vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables.

Nuts and Legumes
Nuts are good blood thinners because they are good sources of vitamin E. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and peanuts are great; legumes like chick peas and lentils.

Salicylate-rich Foods
There are handful of other types of foods that are rich in salicylates. Red wine, vinegar, honey, orange juice, cider, broccoli, avocadoes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, lettuce, and cabbage are also considered to be natural blood thinners.

Talk with a Doctor
If you are on an anticoagulant medication, you should not just stop the medication and start eating blood thinning foods without talking with your doctor. First of all, the foods you choose might not have the same capacity to thin the blood as your medication does. Second of all, you might have really bad blood clots, so the medication may be the best option for you. Lastly, it’s never a good idea to stop a prescribed medication without your doctor’s consent. However, it can’t hurt to ask questions. If you are concerned about taking medication and would rather not, your doctor can give you some strong recommendations as to what food choices to make. As you can see, there are a wide variety of foods, herbs, and spice to choose from; your doctor may feel that some work better than others.

Last updated on Dec 31st, 2010 and filed under Cardiovascular Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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