Coumadin or warfarin is a drug that is consumed by patients who have the tendency to develop blood clots or who have cardiac histories. It is the anti-coagulant feature of the Coumadin that helps the patient in thinning of the blood or preventing the accumulation of platelets in their blood. This action of Coumadin if enhanced or reduced can prove to be harmful for the patients and there are a number of food items which when consumed along with Coumadin can cause such type of effects.
7 Foods to Avoid When Taking Coumadin
Given below is a list of food to avoid when taking Coumadin.
Vitamin-K Rich Foods
It is extremely essential for the patients taking Coumadin that they maintain consistent levels of vitamin K in their blood. Though consumption of foods containing high amounts of vitamin K in small proportions is not a problem, but the same quantity should not be increased to great levels on a daily basis or they can increase the effect of Coumadin and result in bleeding problems. Some common sources of high levels of vitamin K include many leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green onions, endive, lettuce, turnip, collard greens and mustard greens. Other than the food items, the medium of cooking like oils can also contain large quantities of Vitamin K like the Canola oil and the soybean oil. Some food items which contain medium levels of vitamin K include asparagus, green beans, kiwis, blackberries and blueberries, grapes, cashews and vegetable juice.
Alcohol enhances the effect of Coumadin in the patient. The increased consumption of alcohol can result in bleeding problems in patients taking Coumadin and therefore the patients should bring it to the doctor’s notice if he/she consumes alcohol on a daily basis. Though the limit of one to two drinks is not harmful for the patients, excessive alcohol consumption or binge drinking episodes should be avoided and to prevent any harmful effects of Coumadin.
Cranberry and its Products
The unique property of this little fruit to destabilize Coumadin can lead to severe bleeding problems in patients consuming this drug. Therefore, cranberries and any products containing cranberries like cranberry juice or cranberry herbal products should be avoided by the patient who is taking Coumadin.
Another recent study has found that an excessive consumption of mango and its products can also increase the levels of Coumadin in the blood. Again, the allowable consumption of the food should be discussed with your health care provider before binging into another one of your favorite mango dishes.
The consumption of herbal products and oral herbs is quite common these days, owing to the apparent fact that they can cause no harm. However, in case of patients taking Coumadin, the situation is a little different, as the properties of certain herbal products can combine with warfarin (Coumadin) to increase its effect on the patient leading to blood thinning disorders or increased bleeding. The most common herbs that should be avoided under patients taking Coumadin include bromelains, coenzyme Q10, dong quai, garlic, Ginkgo Biloba, ginseng and St. John’s Wort.
Another common beverage consumption that can hamper the effect of warfarin on the blood includes green teas or herbal teas containing Tonka beans, sweet clover oil or sweet wood ruff. These teas also enhance the effect of Coumadin leading to bleeding troubles in patients.
Fats & Oils
Last but not the least, there are certain oils and their products that do not react well with Coumadin. Oils like the soybean oil, olive oil and canola oil are the main oils that are not suitable for patients consuming warfarin. The consumption of these oil mediums for cooking is highly dissuaded. Furthermore, patient should also spare a glance at the product labels to make sure the product does not contain these oils. For example, mayonnaise might contain olive oil and therefore it is one of the products that should be avoided by the Coumadin patients.