Consistent Vitamin K Diet: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

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.

You can choose how much vitamin K you eat. For example, if you already eat a lot of leafy green vegetables, that's fine. Just keep it about the same amount 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 or nurse call line 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 know what foods contain vitamin K. Then you can try to eat about the same amount of vitamin K each day.

  • You might limit foods that are high in vitamin K to about 1 serving a day. These foods have about 250 to 500 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K in each serving. They include:
    • Cooked leafy green vegetables. Examples are kale, spinach, turnip greens, collard greens, Swiss chard, and mustard greens. One serving is ½ cup.
  • You might limit foods that are medium-high in vitamin K to about 3 servings a day. These foods have about 50 to 150 mcg of vitamin K in each serving. These include:
    • Cooked Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, and asparagus. One serving is ½ cup.
    • Raw leafy green vegetables. Examples are spinach, green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, and endive. One serving is 1 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 natural health products. Some of these may contain vitamin K.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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