Ask a Dietitian > Q&A: “My grandma is taking warfarin (blood thinner), do you know what foods she can and can’t eat?”

Q&A: “My grandma is taking warfarin (blood thinner), do you know what foods she can and can’t eat?”

April 23, 2018

This is a question I was frequently asked as a community dietitian. There is an urban myth that when someone is prescribed warfarin they need to cut out all all green vegetables which is not true.

Warfarin (blood thinner)

For anyone taking warfarin it’s important they continue to enjoy the foods they are used to eating and don’t unnecessarily limit their intake.

Warfarin is a blood thinner which is prescribed as a preventative measure for people who are at risk of having blood clots. These blood clots can cause a stroke or heart attack.

Vitamin K

When people are prescribed warfarin they are advised to take care in eating foods which are rich in vitamin K. Vitamin K acts as a natural blood clotting agent and in large amounts, will react with warfarin to reduce its effectiveness.

Foods rich in vitamin K and regularly consumed in New Zealand include: broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, lettuce, spinach, watercress, beef, liver, soybeans, wheat bran and green tea.

Consistency

Vitamin K rich foods can be eaten and enjoyed, as long as they are regularly included in meals and consumed in consistent amounts. By consistent amounts, I mean having about the same amount of these vegetables on a regular basis, and not having a large amount one day, followed by none the next few days.

Serving sizes

One to two servings of green vegetable on a daily basis is recommended as part of a balanced diet. A serving is half a cup of cooked green vegetables or a handful of green salad.

Alcohol

If you drink alcohol, try to limit your intake to no more that 2 standard drinks a day, increased alcohol intake will affect blood thinning and may increase bleeding.

Further Info

Keep your doctor informed of any dietary supplements you take and discuss with them vitamin or herbal supplements you are considering taking.

For further information on warfarin access this information sheet on the PHARMAC website.

Visit our learning centre for training modules

Want to learn more about caring for your clients? Have a look at our e-learning database and learn procedural tasks from qualified nurses and therapists. Designed to help you provide the best care possible for your patients or residents.

Found this article helpful?
Share it!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Latest Blog Posts

Our nutritionally fortified purees and minced & moist products are a convenient meal option as they have a shelf life of 30 days in the refrigerator, they require minimum preparation and are ready to serve, meaning less hands and less chance of infection. Given these uncertain times we are working with our customers to help ensure their own continued ability to serve nutritious and safe food to their residents.

The Pure Food Co has today released discounted care packages for elderly Kiwis to encourage better nutrition. All Pure Food Co products are high quality purees, fortified with essential nutrients for elderly including protein and energy, which are crucial for maintaining and improving immune function.

The Pure Food Co.’s latest range of puree flavours are safe to eat, supercharged with nutrition and – most importantly – delicious. This is pureed food like you’ve never seen or tasted before.

NZ Food Awards winners announced 24 October, 2019 by FMCG Business The New Zealand Food Awards celebrated innovative producers at a Gala Dinner in Auckland with

Do you have a health query?

If you’re unsure of what the right move for you or a loved one’s health is, flick us a message below and our registered dietitian can provide you with some helpful advice.

Please complete this form to receive a download link for our product catalogue.

  • If you do not work in aged or healthcare, please select the last option.
  • Please leave this blank if you do not work in aged care or healthcare
  • Please leave this blank if you do not work in aged care or healthcare