DVT, or deep vein thrombosis, results in the formation of at least one blood clot in the body where there are large veins present, typically in the arm, pelvis, calf or thigh. DVT blood clots form when there is poor circulation, like when you are flying in an aeroplane, or when there is damage to a blood vessel. A blood clot that reaches the lungs causes a pulmonary embolism and can lead to death. Risk factors for the condition include obesity, pregnancy, genetics, cancer and oestrogen use. Symptoms include swelling of the affected area, and a warm feeling with a reddish tint.
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It's believed that foods high in vitamin K affect the way Warfarin, a blood thinner, acts in the body. It is suggested that vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, broccoli, turnips, onions, asparagus, lettuce, okra, celery, cabbage, rhubarb and cowpeas should be eaten in moderation so you don't negatively affect the blood-thinning medicine.
Garlic and Ginger
Should you have risk factors for DVT, preventive measures that can help reduce blood clotting include supplementing your diet with garlic, ginger, cod liver oil, vitamin E, horse chestnut, ginkgo and lemon juice.
Fruits, Fish and Vegetables
A 2007 study showed that those who increased their intake of fruits and vegetables over a 12-year period had a 40 to 50 per cent lower risk of developing DVT. Those that increased their consumption of fish to once or more a week over the same period of time also decreased their chances of getting DVT by 30 to 45 per cent.
Fat and Beef
That same study showed an association that those who ate red or processed meat had a 10 to 20 per cent increase in risk for DVT. It's possible that rich foods saturated in fat could activate a blood-clotting agent. In a high-risk situation like flying, it is suggested to consume foods high in omega-3 and vitamin E, such as fish, nuts, avocados and sunflower seeds, as well increasing your intake of magnesium, vitamin C and phytochemicals.
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- "Circulation"; Greater Fish, Fruit, and Vegetable Intakes are Related to Lower Incidence of Venous...; Steffen LM, et al.; December 2006
- Clot Care Online Resource: Diet & Deep Vein Thrombosis...; Henry I. Bussey, Pharm D.; June 2007
- Vitamin K Foods: Vitamin K Nutrition