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Sadly, we’re hearing more about strokes and blood clots lately. Apparently, this is a rare, but possible concern with COVID-19 and it is disheartening because, at first, researchers thought this virus stayed in the lungs. But now, we know it can penetrate all human tissues and organs. 

More: Ask the Pharmacist: Immune system benefits of Andrographis

A research study led by doctors at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Dublin, Ireland found that some patients admitted to their hospital experienced abnormal clotting, and that this was the main contributing factor to their death. In those patients, they identified hundreds of tiny clots in the lungs. This explains why oxygen levels drop so quickly and so dramatically in the most severe cases of the disease.

Clotting in your blood matters. You want it to clot so you don’t get a paper cut and bleed to death. But you don’t want it to clot so much that the debris forms an obnoxious piece of gunk that ends up blocking blood flow to your brain, heart or lungs. There’s a healthy balance that’s in-between both extremes and we call the balance “homeostasis.”

Blood health can be manipulated by foods, spices and drugs. Clots do not happen to everyone who gets the virus, in fact, many people don’t even know they’ve been exposed or infected! So, as you consume my article, know that my intention is not to provoke fear, or anxiety, it is to offer sensible advice so you can improve your blood health.

Since the immune system resides in the intestinal tract for the most part, your diet is what instantly changes your gut microflora and your ability to fight. 

The list of foods and spices below have natural anti-clotting properties, that’s why people who take anticoagulants may want to avoid these foods and spices or ask your doctor if they’re okay for you. Again, certain foods listed below will interfere with their PT/INR levels and medications. This is not a complete list:

Spices

  • Cayenne pepper
  • Thyme
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon (contains coumarin, a powerful blood thinning agent)
  • Curry powder
  • Turmeric 

Foods

  • Ginger
  • Dill
  • Peppermint
  • Beets (high in nitrates)
  • Walnuts (high in vitamin E)
  • Salmon (omega 3 fatty acids)
  • Cherries
  • Citrus

I can email you a comprehensive version of this article with more foods if you join my online community. Sign up and I’ll see you in your inbox: suzycohen.com. 

The fear is crippling. And some of us should be more cautious if we’re in the group that is most severely impacted. But from the statistics that are publicly available, I can reassure you that, just like a cold or flu, the majority of infected folks will survive and thrive again.

We all need something positive to hold on to right now. And the truth is that most people survives and gets past it. This is a positive thought to hold on to. We don’t have control over the future. But we have control of our fork. If you feed your family a healthy amount of foods that support blood health, then you have even better odds of recovering. And that is my wish for all of us. 

More: Ask the Pharmacist: How to make your own hand sanitizer

Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit SuzyCohen.com.

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