Cranberry juice: A go-to natural remedy for urinary tract infections, cranberry juice contains chemicals that may dangerously amplify the effect of Lipitor and other statin medications, according to recent research.
Spinach: Along with its cruciferous cousin—broccoli—spinach receives high praise in health food circles for its vitamin K content and minimal calorie count. But, for people taking blood thinners, including warfarin (Coumadin), munching on too much green can be bad. Dahmer warns that foods high in vitamin K—praised for its ability to promote blood clotting—may nullify the blood-thinning benefits of anti-coagulants. This doesn’t mean that going on blood thinners means that you have to forgo your favorite spinach salad. According to O’Connor it’s okay for people on these medications to consume a moderate amount of spinach (for example: a one-half cup serving, two to three times a week).
High-fiber foods: Dietary fiber, the kind found in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, is a nutritional powerhouse. Fiber has been proven to play a role in reducing a person’s risk of heart disease and diabetes. It can also help relieve constipation and promote healthy weight management. But, because fiber slows the rate at which the stomach empties, Dahmer cautions that it may also slow the rate at which medications are absorbed into the blood stream as well, resulting in lower-than-anticipated blood levels of certain prescriptions, such as antibiotics.
You don’t always have to swear off a particular food (or food group) just because it may interact with your medications.
Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about how your diet may impact your prescriptions and be sure to thoroughly read the labels on all medications to learn what foods to avoid.
One last tip, offered by Dahmer: take medications with plenty of water to help aid absorption and reduce stomach upset.