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