When a person is prescribed warfarin, or its brand name counterpart Coumadin, they will also receive a list of foods to avoid. Warfarin is an anticoagulant medication that is used to prevent the formation of blood clots. The medication is prescribed to patients that have had a heart attack or heart surgery, as well as other certain conditions.
Patients taking warfarin are warned to avoid fruits and vegetables that contain high levels of vitamin K. This vitamin can increase the risk of bleeding by amplifying the effect of the medication. It can also inhibit the medication from working, increasing the risk of blood clots developing. The patient will be instructed to stick to a diet that avoids or limits any food items containing vitamin K.
Vegetables To Avoid
Patients that are taking warfarin will receive a long list of different vegetables to avoid while they are on the medication. Many cruciferous vegetables will be on that list because they are all high in vitamin K. Cruciferous vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower, should be reduced in their diets or avoided completely. Foods made with cruciferous vegetables, such as cole slaw and sauerkraut, should be steered clear of as well.
Vegetables that are dark green and leafy are also very high in vitamin K and should be avoided while on warfarin. These vegetables generally contain the highest levels of vitamin K of any foods available. Vegetables that are included on this list are lettuces, greens, watercress, kale, spinach, parsley, and endive. Some doctors tell their patients not to eat any of these vegetables while on warfarin, while others recommend small portions and moderation.
Some stalk vegetables also contain vitamin K and should be limited in the diet of a patient on warfarin. Eating large quantities of these vegetables can dramatically affect the performance of the medication and put the patient’s health at risk. The list of stalk vegetables to avoid includes celery, rhubarb, and asparagus. Foods made with these vegetables, such as rhubarb pie, should also be eliminated from their diet.
Fruits To Avoid
Certain fruits should be restricted in the diet of a patient on warfarin because they also have high levels of vitamin K. Any foods made with blueberries, kiwi fruit, grapes, or plums can be eaten in minimal quantities, but moderate amounts may interfere with the effectiveness of the medication. Eating mangos frequently may also affect the way the medication works and increase the patient’s health risk. Follow the doctor’s recommendations and choose foods carefully to reduce the risk of health complications while taking warfarin.