Your body needs vitamin K to clot blood and keep your bones strong. It is found in leafy green vegetables, such as kale and spinach. If you are taking the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin), suddenly changing how much vitamin K you eat can keep warfarin from working well.
Most people who take warfarin can eat a normal diet. But it is important to not suddenly change your diet so that you are eating a lot more or a lot less food high in vitamin K. Make sure you get about the same amount of vitamin K each day.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How can you care for yourself at home?
You do not need to stop eating food high in vitamin K if you are taking warfarin, but you do need to eat about the same amount each day.
Limit foods that are high in vitamin K to about 1 serving a day. These include:
Cooked leafy green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, Swiss chard, and mustard greens (a serving is ½ cup).
Broccoli (a serving is ½ cup of cooked, or 1 cup raw).
Raw parsley (a serving is ¼ cup).
Limit foods that are medium-high in vitamin K to about 3 servings a day. These include:
Raw leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, and endive (a serving is 1 cup).
Cooked brussels sprouts (a serving is ½ cup).
Vitamin K also is found in many multivitamins. You do not need to stop taking your multivitamin if it has vitamin K, but you do need to take it every day.
Check with your doctor before you start or stop taking any supplements or herbal products. Some of these may contain vitamin K.
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