Vitamin K produces proteins that help your blood to clot. While this can be a beneficial aspect in many cases, sometimes your blood can clot too much, leading to increased risk for stroke and heart attack. To keep these life-threatening events from occurring, your physician may recommend avoiding foods with vitamin K, particularly if you are taking blood-thinning medications. Because many green vegetables contain vitamin K, there are several foods you should avoid. Always speak to your physician first before making changes to your diet to ensure they do not negatively affect your health.
Vegetables Low in Vitamin K
If you are trying to reduce vitamin K from your diet, you can consume the following vegetables: green beans, peas, carrots, potatoes, celery, or corn, according to New York University Medical Center. Other vegetables low or without vitamin K include cucumbers, eggplants, tomatoes, peppers or zucchini.
Vegetables That Have Some Vitamin K
Some vegetables are considered to have a medium amount of vitamin K, such as 60 to 199 percent of the daily value of vitamin K, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. For most people, the recommended daily value for vitamin K is 70 to 80 micrograms. For example, one cup of raw romaine lettuce or endive lettuce contains 70 percent of the percent daily value of vitamin K. Other foods considered to be moderate in vitamin K include raw spinach, turnip greens, green leaf lettuce and raw, chopped broccoli. You should eat no more than three servings of these vegetables if you are taking blood thinners such as warfarin.
Vegetables High in Vitamin K
When you are avoiding foods with vitamin K, it also can be helpful to know what vegetables contain large amounts of it. Green, leafy vegetables tend to be high in vitamin K. These include kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens and parsley, according to the Harvard School for Public Health. You should eat no more than 1/2 cup of one of these vegetables each day if you are taking the blood-thinning drug coumadin because of their high daily vitamin K value. If you are taking blood thinners, such as warfarin, also known as Coumadin, you may need to avoid these vegetables in favor of those that do not contain vitamin K.
If you are consuming vegetables low in vitamin K because you are taking blood thinners, note that eating consistent amounts and not completely refraining from vitamin K-containing foods is most important, according to NYU Medical Center. This is because the amount of vitamin K prescribed to you is based upon the current levels in your blood. If you suddenly stop consuming foods with vitamin K, your levels will change and your medication may not be as effective. For this reason, you should ask your physician about the appropriate level of vitamin K to consume.
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.