The Power of Platelets
When you cut yourself, your blood gets to work. Platelets, which are usually round and disc-like, seep into the wound and make themselves go spiny and sticky. As the platelets begin to stick to each other and the broken blood vessel walls, they work to form a matrix along with a special protein that produces fibrin. Fibrin strands stretch out and around the sticky platelets to hold the mass of platelets together. During this process, the body also constricts the blood vessels that are leaking, and a shiny red scab forms over the wound.
This process of constricting the blood vessels and slowing blood loss through clotting is called hemostasis.
What Elements Constitute Successful Blood Coagulation?
Successful blood clotting depends on a cascade of clotting factors working together in the body, including calcium and Vitamin K. Both calcium and Vitamin K can be found in vegetables like leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. You can also get calcium and Vitamin K from fish, meat, and dairy products. In general, eating a well-balanced diet packed with vegetables will help your body get adequate amounts of calcium, Vitamin K, and all the other nutrients that act together to allow calcium and Vitamin K do their work.
People with certain deficiencies or illnesses (or some who take specific prescription medications) can end up with problems in blood clotting: some lack the elements of successful hemostasis and bleed too much, and some experience too much of the coagulation effect and risk developing clots in blood vessels throughout the body.
Blood clotting disorders are often genetic, but some arise as consequences of developing other disorders, such as liver disease. People with blood clotting disorders may also have low red blood cell counts, a deficiency in Vitamin K, or be taking medications that inhibit or exaggerate the clotting mechanisms.
People who risk having their blood clot too much have a disorder called thrombophilia. People who do not have adequate clotting factors commonly suffer from hemophilia. Both disorders can be treated, but treatment may be a lifetime affair.
Keeping Your Blood Healthy
Your blood carries nutrients to every cell in the body, so keeping your blood healthy is important to your vitality and wellbeing. For those who want to nourish their blood, tissues, and organs, doing the following is a great way to nurture your body:
- Eating a well-balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean and organic meats, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
- Concentrate on getting plenty of greens as whole plants as well as in healthy juices, powders, or supplements. Leafy green vegetables are high in calcium and Vitamin K, two of the most important blood clotting factors.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Get regular, moderate exercise.
- Breathe deeply to oxygenate the blood.
- Avoid chemical pollutants from personal hygiene products, chemical household cleaners, and commercial air fresheners. Instead, use natural products made with essential oils.
- Eat dandelion root or take dandelion root capsules.
- Indulge in a little spicy food—cayenne pepper works to cleanse the blood.
Supporting Blood Health with Supplementation
Good quality supplements can help support healthy, enriched blood. Look for supplements created with organic ingredients, including alfalfa and other plants that are high in calcium and Vitamin K in order to promote healthy blood coagulation.