Blood clots that become lodged deep within the veins of our legs are called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, and they can be deadly. Not only does the clot block blood flow to the affected area, it can sometimes break loose and travel to the heart or lungs where it has the potential to cause death. Certain illnesses increase your risk for DVT, including cancer, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and inherited clotting disorders.
1. Drink More Water.
One serious contributing factor to blood clots is dehydration. When you don’t have enough water in your blood, it thickens. This pushes your risk for a clot way up. Though experts have recently cast doubt on the standard recommendation for six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, making sure you drink at least that much can give you peace of mind.
2. Eat A Kiwi.
A diet high in fruits and vegetables is important for health on so many levels, including the prevention of DVT. However, researchers from the University of Oslo in Norway suggest that kiwi fruit rises above the rest in terms of preventing dangerous clots. Their study found that people who ate 2-3 kiwi fruits each day had lower platelet activation, the mechanism by which blood clots, than people who ate none.
3. Spice Up Your Life.
One of the easiest and most flavorful ways to lower your risk of DVT is to eat a lot of garlic. Beginning in the time of the ancient Egyptians, people have been using garlic as medicine. It has distinct blood-thinning capabilities along with its pungent flavor and odor. But it’s not just garlic. Other herbs and spices high in salicylates include thyme, curry, turmeric, cayenne, paprika, licorice, peppermint, and ginger.
4. Virgin Olive Oil.
Olive oil is much healthier than vegetable oils for overall cardiovascular health, including the risk of developing blood clots. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that it’s the phenols in virgin olive oil that can lower the level of a few substances in blood that promote clots. It’s super easy to use olive oil for cooking.
5. Nuts And Whole Grains.
Both nuts and whole grains are rich in vitamin E, which is a natural blood thinner. Studies show that consuming more vitamin E can not only reduce your risk of developing a first clot, but also stop people who have already experienced DVT from developing further clots. Great food choices include walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts.
6. Fish And Flax.
Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids help to thin the blood and prevent both clots and strokes. Studies have shown that adding an additional 1.8 grams of omega-3 fatty acids to your diet each day can significantly improve blood flow and decrease the thickness of your arteries. The best known source of omega-3 is fish, especially salmon, herring, mackerel, trout, and anchovies.
7. Sip Red Wine Or Grape Juice.
That glass of wine you have in the evenings can actually help prevent the development of blood clots. Red wine is especially good because it contains a high level of the flavonoids that prevent clots by controlling production of platelets. If you don’t drink alcohol, red grape juice is helpful, too. And even if wine is not your thing, alcohol in general is a potent blood thinner.