Following a healthy diet should be seen as more than just a health trend. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons in the fight against heart disease.1 The AHA recommends an overall healthy dietary pattern that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables– including a leafy green favorite, spinach.
Spinach is full of important vitamins and nutrients our body needs including iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. But take note when tossing your next salad that spinach contains vitamin K within each green leaf.
Spinach and Vitamin K
Vitamin K occurs naturally in many leafy green vegetables, so it is no surprise that spinach contains a large amount of vitamin K. One cup of raw spinach has about 144.9 mcg of vitamin K while a cup of cooked spinach has 888.5 mcg of vitamin K. Hence, it is important to maintain the balance between your warfarin dose and your vitamin K intake when enjoying your greens. 2 If a serving of spinach is part of your daily diet, you can typically maintain your regular eating habits. Likewise, if spinach isn’t a normal part of your daily diet and you suddenly eat a large amount, it can have an effect. These changes in the amount of vitamin K from your diet can influence warfarin’s effectiveness within your body. An increase in vitamin K in your diet may cause your INR level to drop while a decrease in vitamin K can increase your INR level.2,3
To help you keep track of the amounts of Vitamin K in the foods you eat, like spinach, visit our Vitamin K Guide.
- 1. AHA. The American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations. Aug 12, 2015. Retrieved from the website:http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/The-American-Heart-Associations-Diet-and-Lifestyle-Recommendations_UCM_305855_Article.jsp#.VnhvU03fgdU.
- 2. Earl, L. RN, BSN, CACP. Vitamin K and Coumadin – What You Need to Know. National Blood Clot Alliance: Stop the Clot. November 28, 2008. Retrieved from the website:https://www.stoptheclot.org/vitamin-k-and-coumadin-what-you-need-to-know.htm.
- 3. NHS. Anticoagulants, Warfarin. NHS Choices. Jun 6, 2014. Retrieved from the website:www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Anticoagulants-warfarin-/.