4 Foods That Can Cause Serious Medication Interactions

Posted by ComForCare on Aug 19, 2019, 8:00:00 AM

can blog-dark side of healthy foodsEating “green and clean” has become a large part of our pop culture. Articles pop up every day on social media about the new “superfood.” Most superfoods do provide heaps of nutrients, yet there is a dark side to these eats for some people with chronic diseases. Here are four foods that can cause issues:

Kale

One of the most popular superfoods in the market, kale is celebrated for its fibre, vitamins and minerals. More importantly, raw kale contains 578 micrograms of vitamin K. This can be very harmful to people who take blood thinners, such as warfarin. In the body, vitamin K is used to help the blood clot. Thus, when vitamin K is taken with a blood thinner, it decreases the medication’s effectiveness and makes the blood clots more likely to occur.

Grapefruit

Vitamin C is plentiful in grapefruit. However, it can negatively affect prescribed medications by interfering with the way the body metabolizes certain drugs. This leads to a higher amount of medication in the bloodstream, which could lead to serious or life-threatening adverse reactions.

Banana

It makes snacking on-the-go easy, is a good source of fibre, potassium and vitamin C and is a necessity for slapstick comedy. Potassium, in particular, promotes normal muscle and nerve functions. However, you can have too much of a good thing. 

Excess potassium can cause cardiac arrest, where the heart stops beating. Some medications on there own can increase the levels of potassium, such as ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers), which are used to treat high blood pressure. So it’s important to monitor how much potassium you are ingesting when taking these medications.

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Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a classic breakfast food. Fruits, seeds, nuts and spices form endless combinations and flavours. Oatmeal is well-known for its high fibre levels, which can help keep your digestive tract healthy and help control blood sugar for people with diabetes; along with the add-ins that come with their own health (or non-health) benefits. 

Oatmeal itself is very healthy, but if your add-ins are sugar, cream or lots of dried fruit, you might as well have a sundae. Sugar and cream are obvious villains. However, dried fruit can be dangerous too because they may contain added sugar, which can lead to obesity among other health issues.

When the next superfood emerges to rescue us from dastardly cupcakes or soft drinks, it could be a villain in disguise. Always read the nutrition facts on the packaging and talk to your physician or dietician about a tailored diet plan for you.

If you need assistance preparing healthy meals, ComForCare Home Care can help. Caregivers can accompany you to the grocery store and help you cook foods that follow your doctor’s orders. Call 800-886-4044 or find a location near you to learn more about our meal prep services. 

Topics: Aging, Caregiving, Safety, Healthy Living

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