Clotting in the blood is a vital function in the body that prevents excessive bleeding.
Nevertheless, blood clots that do not naturally dissolve can pose a potential danger.
This is because they have the ability to detach and travel to critical organs, obstructing blood flow to them.
In certain instances, they can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary embolisms, all of which are life-threatening emergencies.
Fortunately, there are methods to reduce the likelihood of developing a blood clot.
Similar to various medical conditions, diet plays a significant role in this regard.
Sasha Watkins, a dietitian and chief science officer at Field Doctor, spoke to Express.co.uk about how diet can effectively lower the risk of blood clots.
“It is crucial to note that while certain foods can be consumed more or avoided to decrease the risk of developing a blood clot, there are several other risk factors that can outweigh any dietary changes,” she explained.
“We understand that there is a connection between inflammation and clotting, as inflammation reduces the activity of natural anticoagulant mechanisms. Therefore, it is important to focus on foods that reduce inflammation in our diet.
“When examining our diet specifically, it is clear that further research is needed regarding the link between different foods and inflammation. However, studies have demonstrated that adopting a Mediterranean diet can protect against inflammation-related conditions.
“The Mediterranean diet consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fish.
“Thus, for individuals at a high risk of blood clots, it is a simple diet to follow.
“For those who face a greater risk of developing a blood clot, consuming foods containing flavonoids can also be beneficial in reducing the risk, as they have anti-inflammatory properties.”
In this regard, she specifically recommended increasing the consumption of three types of food, all of which are commonly found in a Mediterranean diet:
Examples of whole grains include:
- Whole grain pasta
- Whole grain bread
- Whole oats or oatmeal
- Whole grain brown or wild rice.
Additionally, she advised losing weight for individuals who are overweight, as this can effectively lower the risk of blood clots.
“Extensive research indicates that being overweight increases the risk of clotting. Therefore, following a diet that promotes weight loss and lowers BMI can help reduce the risk,” Sasha stated.
She further added, “Other risk factors that can increase the likelihood of clotting include physical inactivity, pregnancy, certain medications such as birth control pills, or genetic predisposition. Therefore, it is important to understand that diet alone cannot solely lower or raise the risk of blood clots.”
According to the NHS, symptoms of a blood clot may include:
- Throbbing or cramping pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in a leg or arm
- Sudden breathlessness, sharp chest pain (which worsens when breathing in)
- A cough or coughing up blood.
If any of these symptoms are experienced, it is advisable to call 111.
However, if experiencing difficulty breathing or if someone has lost consciousness, it is essential to dial 999.
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