The good news is that Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is both preventable and treatable. The bad news is that undiagnosed and untreated DVT can lead to serious illness, disability and death. On your way to better odds, here are 6 foods to help you prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis.
But first, understand that ALL of us have blood pumping through our veins, automatically putting us at risk of blood clots forming deep inside our bodies.
One step you can take now is modifying your diet.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration can cause your blood to thicken, increasing your risk for a blood clot.
- To make sure you’re staying well hydrated, drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
Is it working?
- Check your urine. If it is a light yellow color or clear, you’re probably drinking enough. If it’s dark, you’re probably not and should increase your daily water intake.
2. Sip Red Wine or Grape Juice (but be sure to watch for the sugar content!)
Several studies from the University of Wisconsin have found that substances called “flavonoids” in purple grapes can help prevent blood clots by making platelets.
Red wine has powerful antioxidants, substances that protect your cells against damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals.
- The health benefits from wine are the same for men and women, but men can drink more given their generally larger body mass — one or two 4-ounce glasses of wine per day — while women should consume only one glass.
You still need to practice moderation when you drink, however, as having more than the recommended amount has been tied to heart disease, liver damage, and multiple other health problems.
Your choice of red wine can make a difference.
- Cabernet Sauvignon has the most antioxidants, followed closely by Petite Sirah and Pinot Noir.
- Merlots and red Zinfandels have some antioxidants, but fewer than the other wines.
3. Garlic Is Your Friend
People have been using garlic as medicine for thousands of years, starting with the ancient Egyptians.
Garlic is thought to have many health benefits, one of which is possible blood-thinning properties.
- Eating garlic regularly may help prevent blood clots. Talk to your doctor about how much garlic you should eat, if you have already been prescribed blood thinners.
As a natural blood thinner, garlic could interfere with blood-thinning medications such as Warfarin (Coumadin) you might be taking.
4. Enjoy Virgin Olive Oil
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the phenols (an organic compound) in virgin olive oil can help prevent blood clots.
- In the study, people who consumed virgin olive oil with a high phenol content had lower levels of a substance that promotes blood clots.
For a DVT food choice, dip your bread in olive oil, the virgin kind.
5. Eat a Kiwi
It’s no secret that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is good for heart health. But researchers at the University of Oslo revealed a shining star when it comes to DVT food choices, kiwifruit.
Kiwis may be small, but they pack a lot of nutrition in their green flesh. They are rich in lutein, a powerful antioxidant, which may also be responsible for lowering blood pressure, according to the researchers.
The study found that people who ate two to three kiwi per day had a lower risk of blood clots. As a bonus, eating kiwi helped lower cholesterol levels too.
6. Make Leafy Greens a Routine
If you take warfarin (Coumadin) to prevent blood clots, fluctuating amounts of foods high in vitamin K, such as green, leafy vegetables, can interfere with your medication.
- However, many doctors tell patients to avoid all green leafy vegetables, which they learned decades ago in school.
Instead, eat leafy greens consistently, every day.
Have a small salad every day instead of once in a while.
Some good choices include:
➡ Kale – It’s rich in vitamins A, C, K, B6, as well as calcium and magnesium. it’s packed with anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering antioxidants, which also promote healthy eyes and hearts.
➡ Collard Greens – This is a real rockstar. One serving of collard greens has more calcium than a glass of milk…
- They’re also packed with several strong anti-cancer properties and are perhaps the best leafy green for lowering cholesterol.
- They ’re also rich in vitamins K, C, & A.
➡ Spinach – This leafy green is rich in iron, calcium, and a whole alphabet of vitamins.
- Spinach has also been shown to help combat prostate cancer more than any other popular vegetable.
➡ Cabbage – Hundreds of studies have shown that cabbage is an excellent cancer-combating vegetable. It’s also great for your digestive tract and your heart.
➡ Bok Choy, a Chinese cousin of cabbage, is also a nutritious and delicious leafy green.
The same foods that are bad for the health of your heart, in general, can also increase your risk of developing blood clots.
That means considering staying away from:
- Unhealthy trans fats,
- Saturated fats found in full-fat dairy and fatty meats
- And from all types of sugar.