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Types of Foods and Related Factors That Cause the Blood to Clot


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head of lettuce   Most leafy green vegetables contain high amounts of vitamin K, which is known for its ability to clot the blood.



There are a number of foods and other factors that are known to clot the blood. In the past I had bleeding problems for most of my life - heavy periods, nosebleeds, an eye hemorrhage, ovarian pain, blood in my urine, and easy bruising. When I would get injured as a child the copious amount of blood around the injury was sometimes really scary over what would turn out to be a relatively minor wound. Over time I realized that I could control my bleeding simply by changing my diet. These days my coagulation is kept under control simply by avoiding foods and other factors that thin the blood and ingesting more of the foods listed below that clot my blood.

Based on articles in the media, it seems like my issues may be in the minority and that a greater number of people suffer from blood clots. Hypercoagulation and cancer are linked disorders. Researchers often assume that cancer causes blood to clot too much. However I've read that in traditional Chinese medicine, a somewhat opposite belief is held - that poor circulation causes cancer. If you look at all of the studies on which foods and other environmental factors are beneficial for cancer, they are always foods that thin the blood and/or improve circulation. (Click here for more on information on my ideas on blood thinners and cancer treatment and prevention.)

Foods That Clot Your Blood

The main nutrient involved in blood clotting is vitamin K, which was named "K" for the Danish word for coagulation. Humans obtain vitamin K from two main sources: 1) the food that we eat; and 2) synthesis by intestinal bacteria.

Foods High in Vitamin K - The foods highest in vitamin K tend to be leafy green vegetables. The vegetables I have personally found the most helpful to clot my blood and prevent bleeding problems are red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce and Romaine lettuce. For a lengthy list of foods high in vitamin K, the best source I've found is at www.nutritiondata.com.

Foods with Helpful Bacteria - Friendly gut bacteria aid in synthesizing vitamin K. In my opinion, this is probably the most overlooked possible cause of blood clots on the planet. I have noticed that eating yogurt with active cultures will aid in preventing my bleeding issues. Besides yogurt, other foods that often have active cultures include buttermilk, buttermilk pancakes, acidophilus milk, Ranch dressing, ranch dip, sourdough bread and sourdough muffins. In my experience acidophilus seems to be the bacteria that is most effective for me at clotting my blood. So if you have the opposite issue from me and want to thin your blood, then you may want to consider avoiding foods with probiotics and perhaps specifically acidophilus.

An Acidic Body Balance - Acidophilus bacteria that synthesize vitamin K thrive best in an acidic environment. I have noticed that I am less likely to have bleeding issues when my body is on the acid side of normal. When I have eaten cabbage, which is a good home remedy to reduce stomach acid, I have developed bleeding issues, even though cabbage has a reasonable amount of vitamin K. In general most fruits and vegetables make the body more alkaline while most grains, meats and nuts leave it more acidic. (View my sections on acid and alkaline foods for more on this topic.)

Many natural health experts, including Dr. Loren Cordain, a paleo diet researcher at Colorado State University, think that modern diets, with their lack of alkaline forming fruits and vegetables, cause a high number of people in industrialized societies to have a net acid load on their kidneys. This in turn results in many health maladies including osteoporosis, calcium kidney stones, age-related muscle wasting, hypertension, stroke, asthma and exercise-induced asthma. As noted above, I think there is a good case that a high acid diet may also lead to blood clots and may even be a factor in cancer, a disorder closely linked to blood clots.

If you suffer from blood clots and rarely eat produce or have problems like acid indigestion, heart burn or acid reflux, then logically an over acid diet may be one possible common root cause to consider.

Other Factors That May Cause Blood Clots

two passengers in an airplane
  One of my relatives had to have emergency surgery for a blood clot after being on a nine hour plane trip.

Lack of movement - People who are bedridden and those on long airplane flights are at risk for blood clots.

Lack of Vitamin D / Sunshine - At least one of my readers reports excessive bleeding from taking vitamin D supplements. A lack of vitamin D has also been linked to breast cancer, a disease closely associated with blood clots.

High Estrogen Levels - Recent research has linked high levels of estrogen in women with blood clots. In years past, women used to be put on prescription estrogen inducing drugs routinely at menopause to prevent osteoporosis. The medical community now realizes that in some women this has done more harm than good by raising the risk of blood clots and cancer.

At least part of the reason for this may be that estrogen is known to increase the uptake of vitamin K and low estrogen levels are linked to vitamin K deficiency.

Factors that reduce estrogen levels include exercise, low fat diets, high fiber diets, and possibly sunshine.

Foods that are reported to increase estrogen levels include coffee, tofu and other soy products, parsley and cilantro. Other factors linked to higher estrogen levels are a lack of exercise and high fat, low fiber diets.





Related sections of interest:

Foods That May Thin the Blood - Vitamin E, salicylates, garlic, olive oil, onions and more

Health Conditions Linked to Vitamin K Deficiency

Foods and Environmental Factors That Cause the Blood to Clot

Frequently Asked Questions: Is there a link between nose bleeds and eating Chinese food?

Nose bleeds: Overlooked Causes of Epistaxis

Menorrhagia: Often Overlooked Causes of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Ovarian Pain from Vitamin K Deficiency

Natural treatment for ovarian cysts


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