Your body needs vitamin K to clot blood and keep your bones strong. It's found in leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach.
If you take the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin), you need to be careful about how much vitamin K you get. Vitamin K can keep your warfarin from working as it should.
Most people who take warfarin can eat normally. The important thing is to get about the same amount of vitamin K each day. Don't suddenly start eating foods with a lot more or a lot less vitamin K.
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 don't need to stop eating food high in vitamin K. 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. Examples are kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, Swiss chard, and mustard greens. One serving is ½ cup.
Broccoli. One serving is ½ cup cooked or 1 cup raw.
Raw parsley. One 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. Examples are spinach, green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, and endive. One serving is 1 cup.
Cooked brussels sprouts. One serving is ½ cup.
Vitamin K also is found in many multivitamins. You don't 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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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.