Can You Eat Leafy Green Vegetables When Taking Coumadin?

fresh green vegetables on white backgroundAs I am out and about doing demonstrations for Vitamix, I get to meet a variety of people and hear a lot of questions about nutrition in respect to their unique circumstances or health. As you may assume, the Vitamix blender, by its very name, suggests that its intended use is to increase your vitamin intake through diet. And of course, one of the richest sources of vitamins comes from produce. My recipes are packed with produce and other ingredients to create not only healthy, but delicious drinks, juices, smoothies, soups, ice cream, and sauces. Recently, however, I came across a gentleman who informed me that he couldn’t try one of my recipes because he said he was on Coumadin and therefore, couldn’t eat leafy green vegetables. As an immediate solution, I suggested swapping the green leafy veggie in the recipe for red cabbage. He tried it and absolutely loved it. Still, this got me doing some research on Coumadin and his concern about the green vegetables and found some interesting information that might be helpful to anyone taking Coumadin but wanting to still eat a diet rich in healthy vegetables, perhaps using the Vitamix Blender.

What Is Coumadin? Coumadin is a medication that is intended to help the human body slow down its ability to make blood clots. Obviously, clotting is important as it helps us heal from injuries and prevents us from bleeding to death when cut or hurt. However, there are a variety of reasons why someone might need to take Coumadin—Most often it is associated with a condition or circumstance in which they are clotting too quickly or creating clots that are dangerous to their health, perhaps increasing their risk for a stroke or a heart attack. The blood clotting mechanism and process is obviously a complicated one but for the sake of blog, it is important to know that it uses Vitamin K in order to create the clots. What Coumadin does is decreases Vitamin K activity, thus slowing down the blood clotting process.

What Precautions With Vitamin K Must Be Taken When Taking Coumadin? Because Coumadin specifically decreases Vitamin K activity, it is important for a person taking Coumadin to maintain a consistent level of Vitamin K intake. This will prevent the Coumadin from working ineffectively or working too effectively and thus, creating problems. We don’t want to stop the body from forming blood clots altogether, yet we don’t want it to form blood clots that put a patient at risk for a heart attack or stroke. Because of this, people taking Coumadin must maintain an awareness of how much Vitamin K they are ingesting and how often they are ingesting it.

How Do You Maintain Consistency In Vitamin K Through Diet? People taking Vitamin K can maintain consistency by eating a balanced diet. They should be aware of which vegetables are high in Vitamin K and limit those to just one serving per day. Vegetables high in Vitamin K include the following:

Typically, a ½ cup of these greens would constitute a serving, with the exception of parsley, which would be a ¼ cup.  vps

Additionally, they should be aware of which vegetables are moderately high in Vitamin K and limit those to three servings per day. Vegetables moderately high in Vitamin K would include the following:

Typically, 1 cup of any of these chopped, raw vegetables would constitute a serving.   vps

As for other vegetables with moderate to low amounts of Vitamin K— they are not as significant as the ones listed and therefore are vegetables that can be eaten when desired. Of course if you know you went overboard on one of the vegetables listed above, you may want to still use discretion. But if you followed the one to three serving rule for the others, don’t worry and enjoy. These include the following:

How Can I Still Enjoy Delicious And Healthy Recipes Using The Vitamix Blender And Still Maintain Safe Levels Of Vitamin K?  You can definitely still enjoy healthy and delicious recipes using your Vitamix Blender while taking Coumadin. Just be creative! If a recipe calls for three servings of a high Vitamin K vegetable, swap it out for three servings of a moderately high Vitamin K vegetable or perhaps only include one serving of the high Vitamin K vegetable and make up the other two cups with a moderately high or even moderate to low vegetable. The gentleman I catered to loved my red cabbage substitution for Spinach.

Don’t let medications like Coumadin prevent you from enjoying the health benefits of a Vitamix blender. Contact me to order yours today.