Apart from inflammatory diseases, another common medical problems arise from blood clotting. There could be a plethora of causes for blood clot and different cases have different treatment methods. However, you can prefer to prevent blood clotting by changing your diet or by preventing any physical injuries.
Wondering how to prevent blood clots naturally? Generally, there are a number of natural blood thinners (anticoagulants) that will help prevent blood clots. Further, they also provide other health benefits apart from preventing blood clot.
What Is a Blood Clot?
Blood clot may sound as a simple phenomenon which is a buildup of blood and tissue inside one of your veins or arteries, but if the case is not taken care of in time, it can be lethal. When blood fails to circulate properly, blood clots form. When you are wounded, blood naturally clots to stop bleeding. However, blood clots can also create a blockage in your veins or arteries, break loose and travel to the heart, lungs or brain, causing life-threatening heart attacks, strokes, embolisms or other health emergencies.
What Are Natural Blood Thinners?
- Vitamin D from sunshine has long been recognized by Ayurvedic medicine as a natural blood thinner.
- Water is a very effective blood thinner. Drinking about 1/2 ounce of water per pound of body weight (50 oz. if you weigh 100 lbs.) every day will help keep the blood from thickening and clumping.
- Moderate daily exercise will also help thin the blood. Remaining stationary for long periods of time (a long trip or hours on the couch) will increase the risk of a blood clot.
Other Natural Foods and Compounds That Thin The Blood
One of the acids called Salicylates block Vitamin K and thin the Blood. These will help to increase blood circulation as well as to naturally thin the blood. Some natural salicylates are: Apple cider vinegar, blackstrap molasses and cayenne pepper are very popular natural blood thinners. Spices containing salicylates: Cinnamon, Tumeric, Curry powder, Oregano, Peppermint, Cayenne, Ginger, Paprika, Thyme, Dill, Garam masala. Blood thinning foods containing salicylates are most fruits, including dried fruits.
Coumarin is a natural compound found in some plants. When ingested, it has anticoagulant properties and can be toxic at high doses. Some of the plants and dietary supplements containing coumarin derivatives include: Alfalfa, Arnica, Bilberry, Bishop’s weed, Capsicum and more.
We can get Vitamin D from foods, vitamin-fortified foods, supplements and from sunlight. Vitamin D is a nutrient most often linked to the maintenance of strong bones, but it has also been suspected to have an anticoagulant effect by changing certain proteins involved in the clotting mechanism.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Fish oil is an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that comes from cold water fish, such as wild salmon, tuna, herring, and anchovies. Omega-3 fatty acids affect blood clotting by decreasing platelet aggregation, which modestly prolongs bleeding time. Some evidence suggests that fish oil supplementation may also enhance fibrinolysis (the break-up of clots).
Three compounds in garlic (allicin, adenosine, and paraffinic sulfide) are thought to have antiplatelet properties. There are few data on its effect on preventing venous clots. However, garlic supplements taken in combination with a prescription anticoagulant may play a role in increased bleeding.
Blood thinning foods and supplements that have anticoagulating agent in them are ginkgo biloba, ginseng (panax ginseng), ginger, policosanol, magnesium, dong quai, coenzyme Q-10, glucosamine, L-arginine, taurine, feverfew, onion, among others.
Most of the foods, herbs and vitamins mentioned in this article do have a potential clot preventative effect due to their impact on platelets. It won’t serve as a permanent cure for clots that form in the veins (DVT and PE), which are comprised primarily of fibrin with only small involvement of platelets. Medical attention is a must in such cases. Moreover, these are just blood clot preventive foods, herbs and vitamins and are not appropriate alternatives to prescription anticoagulants.