The key is consistency
If you're on Coumadin® or another anticoagulant, you may have heard that tasty greens like spinach and kale (which are high in vitamin k) are now strictly off the menu. This doesn't have to be the case! The key is consistency. You should have a consistent intake of vitamin K. Eating a lot of vitamin-K-rich foods one day (say, a heaping helping of cabbage at Sunday dinner) and none the next day will weaken the effects of your medication. Always talk with your doctor before making any changes to your diet. Below is a list of some common vegetables and their vitamin K content (in micrograms per 1-cup serving).
Very High Vitamin K (90 mcg)
High Vitamin K (60 - 90mcg)
- Cabbage (boiled)
Moderate Vitamin K (30 - 60mcg)
- Romaine lettuce
- Green peas
Low Vitamin K (10 - 30 mcg)
- Red cabbage
- Peeled cucumber
Very Low Vitamin K (-10 mcg)
- Split peas
- Lima beans
- Red bell pepper
You can find tables of vitamin k content online. Ask your doctor how much vitamin K is safe for you (Recommended Dietary Allowance for men is 120 micrograms daily, and 90 micrograms for women), and go from there!
1 - FDA. Medication Guide: Coumadin Tablets (Warfarin Sodium Tablets, USP) Crystalline. http://www.FDA.gov (accessed May 5, 2010).
2 - USDA. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 16: Vitamin K (phylloquinone) (mcg) Content of Selected Foods per Common Measure. http://www.USDA.gov (accessed May 5, 2010).
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