An Accredited Member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, Julie Graduated with distinctions from S.A. College of Botanic Medicine and Natural Therapies Pty Ltd. Professional Qualifications include: Naturopathic Doctor, Herbal & Homoeopathic Practitioner: Diet and Nutritional Medicine: Remedial & Therapeutic... more
When a person appears to be a risk of a heart disease, ischaemic sclerosis, or a stroke, often blood thinning medications are prescribed.
The first question I have been asked is whether blood thinners will help and also will they do further harm?
I would firstly like to say that blood thinners are not safe to use as prevention, where this is often suggested. As for the benefits, when these conditions have been diagnosed, it is important that you weigh the benefits in comparison to the detrimental effects. Keep in mind that the benefits are limited only to thinning of the blood with no improvement to any damage that may have occurred. Even if your decision to stay on the medication, the advice in this article will be of benefit to you in supporting and improving your health.
Some food for thought here: If you are taking warfarin or aspirin, thinking that it may prevent further health problems, I would beg you to think again and to begin to put further changes into place to improve your health and quality of life. While these medications appear to address the problem, more often than not they come with a myriad of potentially damaging side effects. Warfarin and other blood thinners such as aspirin can cause severe bleeding even from a minor wound, they can cause headaches, stomach cramps and pain, dizziness and jaundice (liver problems).
It is important in order to improve your health and quality of life that you learn what the underlying cause why you have a problem with blot clots forming, any heart or circulatory problems. This will enable you to put into place the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes that will benefit you.
As with any health problem, the number one solution is to make changes to your diet and lifestyle, especially if you want to improve your quality of life. When you include foods that are natural blood thinners, you can enjoy the same benefits as a pharmaceutical blood thinner without the risk of side effects.
Look at how to thin your blood naturally to reduce blood clots, ischaemic heart disease, stroke and even dementia.
When you have been diagnosed with a serious condition that may be life threatening it is important that you work in conjunction with a health professional who will provide you ALL THE FACTS.
As changing the foods you eat and implementing lifestyle changes can be a gradual process, from that of taking pills, that may provide a somewhat instant effect. It may be necessary to gradually wean yourself off of your blood thinning medication in conjunction with a health care professional that is supportive of your changes. Once you have implemented these changes for 3-6 months, then consult your health care professional about coming off the blood thinning medication, going back then for another blood test in 6 months time to get clarity as to how you are improving.
Lifestyle and diet changes to improve blood flow
There are many ways to improve your health today. The decision begins with you, with the desire to change, being greater than the desire to remain the same.
Here are a few easy suggestions to begin with:
Water: I know you are being told on a regular basis about the importance of drinking water and may think, I didn't see water as a blood thinner. Guess what! It absolutely works and it is on tap everywhere. Dehydration is a leading causative factor to thickening of your blood, increasing the risk of you developing a blood clot, along with the other medical concerns related to dehydration such as kidney failure, toxaemia, fluid retention, brain fatigue. It is important that you make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day every day, this will keep your cardiovascular system and brain function healthy. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day is essential for prevention of dehydration. In the colder months try having hot water with a slice of lemon.
Garlic: Eating raw garlic can significantly lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, therefore reducing the risk of plaque formation, heart disease, preventing the formation of blood clots in the body. The other health benefits of fresh, raw garlic include are its antioxidant activity in preventing the effects of free radicals that cause harm to your organs and tissue, provides protection and strengthens blood vessels: the best natural antibiotic you will ever take for viral, flu and bacterial infections. So you don't want to eat two cloves of raw garlic per day... what you can do is to cut each into four small pieces that you can swallow with a glass of water. This way to they are odorless because you aren't chewing them.
Turmeric: You may already have heard about the research that has uncovered the health benefits of turmeric. It is the spice that for thousands of years has been used in Indian cuisine having a myriad of medicinal benefits. It provides protection and support with arthritic conditions, acts as an antiplatelet to prevent blood clotting. One teaspoon of grated fresh turmeric a day either added to your salad, herbal tea, as a milk drink before bed in almond milk with a teaspoon of honey, will provide you with support and protection.
Ginger: Ginger is almost as powerful as turmeric and is known to be extremely powerful in the treatment of cancer. Once again add a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger to your cup of herbal tea, salad, soup or vegetables.
Vitamin B3: There are eight different B vitamins, including vitamin B3—also referred to as niacin. The B vitamins are responsible for converting carbohydrates into glucose, which your body uses for energy. These vitamins help your body use protein, and fats are needed to maintain healthy skin, hair, liver, and nervous system function.
Niacin has been used to lower bad cholesterol for over fifty years and could help reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke. If you decide to take niacin to prevent blood clotting, start with a very low amount of about 50mg. Read up about vitamin B3 and understand the flushing effect before you start on it. Healthy food choices for Vitamin B 3 include: fish, nuts such as almonds, walnuts, beans, avocados, tomatoes and carrots. Other foods to include to support your daily intake of Vitamin B are flaxseed, pinenuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dark green vegetables. These can easily be added to your favourite meal.
Vitamin E & Omega 3: There are many health benefits from including Vitamin E into your daily diet. These include the prevention of blood clots, arteriosclerosis and improved brain function. Best food sources for vitamin E include: eggs, coconut oil, almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, spinach, mangoes, pinenuts, sweet potato and pumpkin. Best sources for omega 3 oils include: Fatty fish (i.e. anchovies, salmon, lake trout, herring, mackerel) and fish oil capsules. Plant sourced oils (i.e. flaxseed, sunflower oil, corn oil, safflower oil, soy)
Pineapple: Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain. This enzyme helps to protect against the formation of uric acid crystals. These crystals are known to cause gout and kidney stones. Bromelain is also a natural blood thinner, as it can help reduce the excessive adhesiveness of blood platelets. These benefits are increased if you combine pineapple with turmeric and ginger.
Cayenne pepper: This may be the last on the list, but is actually one of the fastest-acting blood thinners on the list. So if you were wanting to come off your medication quicker, this may be a great place to start. Cayenne pepper is spicy hot so it may take some getting used to and is not for the faint hearted. Adding a small amount say a 1/8 to a 1/4 of a teaspoon to your meal or vegetable juice is a good place to start and will help to improve both the your blood flow, promoting better heart health.
IMPORTANT MUSTS: Remembering that to obtain and maintain healthier heart, circulation and prevention of related diseases, it is of vital importance that you follow these guided instructions above EVERY DAY!
- Eliminate unhealthy habits such as smoking, taking drugs, decrease or eliminate your intake of sugar and processed foods, decrease your consumption of alcohol to 3-4 drinks per week, beer or wine being the preferred beverage.
- Focus on eating fresh healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, lean meat, include more fish and exercise. Walk 30 minutes every day.
When you become focused on the things that you need to do to stay healthy, it becomes easy to eliminate the things that you shouldn't do!
Want to give up smoking? Look no further than Julie's eBook: Why Can't I Give up Smoking?
Want to get a better understanding about the foods you need to eat and why? Check out Julie's eBook: Eat to Live