Blood clots are how the body keeps from bleeding out after an injury. Sometimes, though, blood clots can form deep within the veins. These can get dislodged later, traveling through the veins and arteries and eventually lodging in the lungs, brain or heart. When this happens, strokes are often the result.
Doing what you can to keep your body healthy and functioning well is always a smart idea, but if you know that blood clots run in your family, you will want to take extra steps to keep from forming dangerous blood clots. Here are 10 ways to prevent the formation of unwanted clots.
1. Raise your legs. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), you want to be sure to raise your legs at least six inches above your heart on a regular basis.
2. Exercise. Harvard Medical School tells people to be sure and exercise regularly. Get the blood moving, breaking loose clots when they're small and not a problem. Walking 30 minutes six days a week will do everything you need.
3. Avoid a pillow. If you've recently had surgery, AHRQ says not to place a pillow under your knees while sleeping.
4. Drink water. Everyone should drink plenty of water, but according to EVERYDAY HEALTH, those who are prone to blood clots should try to take in six 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
5. Take cayenne pepper. Before trying a natural blood thinner, speak with your doctor, but if he or she is okay with it, Healthline recommends cayenne pepper. You can take capsules or simply add the pepper as a spice to your cooking.
6. Use olive oil. Try replacing your regular cooking oil with extra-virgin olive oil. EVERYDAY HEALTH states that it contains phenols which help prevent clots.
7. Maintain healthy body weight. Obesity is one major reason for forming dangerous blood clots. Harvard Medical School says to be sure and maintain a healthy body weight.
8. Drink grape juice. The flavonoids in purple grapes help prevent blood clots. EVERYDAY HEALTH recommends drinking purple grape juice every day.
9. Use cinnamon. According to Healthline, cinnamon is an anticoagulant and helps lowers blood pressure. Feel free to add this to your food or sprinkle it in your coffee grounds before brewing it.
10. Move around. AHRQ tells people to be sure to move around. If you're traveling, get up regularly and stretch. Shift positions if possible. Avoid standing or sitting for more than one hour at a time.
By taking proper precautions, you may be able to avoid having troublesome blood clots.