Blood clots that lodge deep in the veins of our legs are called deep vein thrombosis or DVT and can be fatal. Luckily, DVT is treatable if you detect it well in advance. But why take the danger when it is so easy to significantly reduce the chances of forming a clot just by eating more delicious foods?
None of the 7 foods for clot prevention on our list should be a challenge to add to your diet. In fact, we guarantee you will love the number 7: we save the best for last!
1. Drink more water
One factor that contributes seriously to clots is dehydration. If your blood doesn’t have enough water, it thickens. This greatly increases your risk of a clot. Although experts have recently questioned the standard recommendation of drinking 6 or 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
2. Add kiwi to your meals
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is important for health on many levels, including the prevention of DVT. However, researchers from the University of Oslo suggest that kiwi outperforms the rest of the fruits in terms of preventing dangerous clots. Their study showed that people who ate between 2 and 3 kiwis each day had lower platelet activation than people who did not eat kiwi.
Lower platelet activation results in a lower risk of blood clots, and it was also found that kiwi reduces cholesterol levels. But don’t worry if you don’t like kiwi. Other fruits that contain salicylates, which inhibit blood clotting, include strawberries, oranges, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, raisins, and plums.
3. Add flavor to your life
One of the easiest and tastiest ways to reduce the risk of DVT is to eat a lot of garlic. Beginning in the time of the ancient Egyptians, people have used garlic as a medicine. Along with its pungent taste and smell, garlic has definitive abilities for blood thinning.
But it’s not just garlic. Other herbs and spices high in salicylates include thyme, curry, turmeric, cayenne pepper, paprika, anise, mint, and ginger. Do not fall into the trap of believing that a healthy diet should be tasteless, add those species to flavor it.
4. Switch to olive oil
Olive oil is much better than vegetable oils for cardiovascular health in general, including the risk of having clots. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that the phenols in olive oil can lower the level of some substances in the blood that promote clots.
It is very easy to use olive oil for cooking, but you can also infuse it with garlic and other herbs to kill clots, to make an excellent addition for salad.
5. Enjoy nuts and whole grains
Both nuts and whole grains are rich in vitamin E, which is a natural anticoagulant. Research shows that consuming more vitamin E can not only reduce your risk of developing the first clot but also prevent people who have already experienced DVT from developing more clots.
The best food options include nuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. Whole grains such as oatmeal, wheat, and lentils are also rich in vitamin E.
6. Focus on fish and flax
Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids help thin the blood and prevent both clots and strokes. Research has shown that adding an additional 1.8 grams of omega-3 fatty acids to the diet every day can significantly improve blood flow and decrease the thickness of the arteries.
The best-known source of omega-3 is fish, especially salmon, herring, mackerel, trout, and anchovies. But there are also excellent sources of plants available for people who do not like the taste of fish. Flax and sunflower seeds are other rich sources of omega-3.
7. Drink red wine or grape juice
And here the good news. That glass of wine you drink can help prevent the development of blood clots. Red wine is especially good because it contains a high level of flavonoids that prevent clots by controlling platelet production. If you don’t drink alcohol, red grape juice is also useful.
And even if wine is not your thing, alcohol, in general, is a potent anticoagulant. It seems to work by reducing platelet aggregation and fibrinogen levels (fibrinogen is a blood coagulant), while increasing fibrinolysis, which is the process that dissolves clots.
One last tip: Limit trans fat
We have talked a lot about the foods you should add to your diet to reduce the risk of blood clots and the dangerous DVT. They are all tasty foods that should not be too difficult to eat. But nothing is totally easy when it comes to health. You should also pay attention to reduce the intake of saturated and trans fats.
Saturated fat increases inflammation, and this makes it difficult for blood to flow freely. Therefore, it is important to reduce fatty cuts of meat, dairy products, and junk food snacks. Packaged foods also hide a surprising amount of fat, so be sure to read the labels in the store.