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. But there is risk for anyone, even in absence of these conditions. That’s why it is so important to be aware of the role that diet plays in the formation of DVT. There is actually a lot that you can do to make a difference.
Luckily, DVT is treatable if you catch it early enough. But why take the risk when it is so easy to significantly lower your odds of developing a clot just by eating more delicious foods?
None of the 7 clot-prevention foods on our list should be challenging to add to your diet. In fact, we guarantee you’re going to love #7 – we saved the best for last!
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.
Another way to check if you’re getting enough water is to look at the color of your urine. It should be light yellow or nearly clear. If it is orange or brown in color, you are not getting enough water to lower your risk of DVT.
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.
Lower platelet activation translates to a lower risk of blood clots, and kiwi was also found to lower cholesterol levels. But don’t worry if you don’t like kiwi. Other fruits that contain salicylates, which inhibit blood clotting, include oranges, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, grapes, raisins, and prunes.