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Vitamin K is a dietary supplement that has been around for decades and is essential to the body’s blood clotting process. There are 25 foods in which Vitamin K can be found, including leafy green vegetables, meat, eggs, and milk. The recommended daily intake of vitamin-K rich food is 90 micrograms (mcg).
Vitamin K is a vitamin that is important for bone health cardiovascular health and also helps with blood clotting. It is found in many foods such as green vegetables, cheese, egg yolks, and chicken. The recommended amount of vitamin k in a day is 80-120mcg.
Are you ready for another more excuse to consume your vegetables? Vitamin K is abundant in leafy greens and vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, which has been linked to better insulin levels, a lower risk of cancer, and protection against heart disease.
Not only that, but vitamin K-rich meals may help your bones stay healthy by promoting normal blood clotting. They also aid in the prevention of vitamin K insufficiency.
This crucial vitamin, however, isn’t just present in veggies. It’s also present in several fruits, meats, dairy products, and fermented meals, and your own beneficial gut flora even creates it.
Getting enough of this important vitamin is crucial for good health, and a lack may lead to a slew of issues.
Continue reading to learn all you need to know about vitamin K and how to acquire enough of it in your diet.
What Is Vitamin K and What Does It Do?
Vitamin K is necessary for everything from bone metabolism to blood sugar regulation.
Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (phylloquinone) are the two primary kinds (menaquinone).
The most prevalent source is vitamin K1, which is found mostly in plant foods such as leafy green vegetables.
Animal products and fermented meals, on the other hand, contain vitamin K2. Meat, dairy, and natto are all rich in this vitamin. The beneficial microorganisms in your gut microbiome also generate it.
Vitamin K insufficiency is uncommon in those who eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. This is because it may be found in various healthful whole meals, such as veggies.
Processed foods and refined sugars, on the other hand, are vitamin K-deficient foods. So if you eat a lot of these nutrient-poor foods, it’s possible you’re not receiving enough of this important vitamin.
Vitamin K shortage is very dangerous since it may cause easy bruising, bleeding, tooth decay, and weaker bones. As a result, it’s critical to have one or two servings of vitamin K-rich fruits and vegetables with each meal.
Many individuals are unaware that there are many types of vitamin K.
Vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 are the two primary types of vitamin K that we get through our foods. Phytonadione is the name for vitamin K1, whereas menaquinone is the name for vitamin K2.
Menadione, a synthetic version of vitamin K3, is also available.
- Vitamin K1 is typically found in vegetables, but vitamin K2 is present in fermented dairy products and is also created by our gut flora.
- While vitamin K1 is present in plant foods that are helpful to the heart for various reasons, such as green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, and cabbage, vitamin K2 seems to be the most important benefit.
- Vitamin K2 seems to be more helpful than vitamin K1 in preventing and reversing artery calcifications, which may cause heart issues.
- Eating a range of complete vitamin K meals, such as green plant foods and raw, fermented dairy products (like yogurt or raw cheese), fish, and eggs that include vitamin K2, is the best approach to meet the daily need for both kinds.
- A synthetic variant called as vitamin K3 is also available. Instead of depending on pills, it’s ideal to consume a variety of complete foods strong in vitamin K and other key nutrients.
Are you looking for a list of vitamin K-rich foods? This crucial vitamin is predominantly found in green vegetables, fruits, fermented foods, and animal products, making it simple to achieve your requirements with a well-balanced diet.
Here are a few of the best sources of vitamin K:
- 12 cup cooked kale: 531 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- 12 cup boiled spinach: 445 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- 12 cup cooked turnip greens: 265 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- 12 cup raw dandelion greens: 214 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- 12 cup cooked mustard greens: 210 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- 12 cup raw Swiss chard: 150 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- 12 cup cooked Brussels sprouts: 109 micrograms (91 percent DV)
- 12 cup raw spring onions (scallions): 103 micrograms (86 percent DV)
- 12 cup boiled cabbage: 81.5 micrograms (68 percent DV)
- 1 slice of beef liver has 72 micrograms (60 percent DV)
- 71 micrograms per cup of kiwifruit (59 percent DV)
- 3 oz. cooked chicken breast — 51 micrograms (43 percent DV)
- 12 cup raw broccoli: 46 micrograms (38 percent DV)
- 31.5 micrograms per cup of avocado (26 percent DV)
- 1 cup blackberries — 29 micrograms (24 percent DV)
- 1 cup blueberries — 29 micrograms (24 percent DV)
- 23 micrograms in 3.5 ounces of natto (19 percent DV)
- 17 micrograms per ounce of prunes (14 percent DV)
- 1 ounce (17 micrograms) soft cheese (14 percent DV)
- 15 micrograms per cup of kidney beans (13 percent DV)
- 15 micrograms per ounce of pine nuts (13 percent DV)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate — 14 micrograms (12 percent DV)
- 1 ounce cashews — 9.5 micrograms (8 percent DV)
- 3 oz. cooked ground beef — 8 micrograms (7 percent DV)
- 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter — 3 micrograms (2 percent DV)
1. Defeat Cancer
According to some research, vitamins, K1 and K2 may aid in the killing of cancer cells and may potentially lessen the chance of cancer.
440 postmenopausal women with weaker bones were supplemented with vitamin K1 for two years in a research conducted by the University of Toronto’s Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine. Vitamin K1 supplementation was related to a 75% decrease in cancer incidence.
Another research with 24,340 individuals published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that greater consumption of vitamin K2 was linked to a lower risk of cancer.
Furthermore, many foods that are strong in vitamin K are also high in antioxidants.
Vitamin K foods, such as leafy greens, are high in cancer-fighting antioxidants, which help reduce free radical damage and lower cancer risk, making them among the finest cancer-fighting diets.
2. Strengthen Your Bones
It’s important to have enough vitamin K1 in your diet to keep your bones strong. This is because it has a role in bone metabolism by increasing the quantity of a particular protein needed to keep calcium in your bones stable.
Increasing your intake of this vital fat-soluble vitamin has been shown in many studies to help lower the incidence of bone fractures.
For example, a research published in the journal PLoS Medicine by the University of Toronto found that supplementing with vitamin K1 reduced the incidence of fractures by half.
Another research from Tufts University in Boston’s Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging found that a low consumption of vitamin K foods was linked to lower bone mineral density in women.
As a result, many women at risk of osteoporosis take supplements to ensure that they are getting enough calcium. Weight exercise a few times a week, frequent sun exposure, and a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids are some other natural remedies for osteoporosis.
3. Maintain a healthy blood clotting system
Vitamin K’s involvement in increasing the development of blood clots is perhaps the most well-known.
Blood clotting is a vital mechanism that helps to prevent excessive bleeding after an injury. Bleeding from the gums or nose and easy bruising are two of the earliest indicators of a vitamin K deficit.
As a result, patients using blood thinners like coumadin should limit their consumption of this important vitamin.
Coumadin inhibits blood coagulation by working against vitamin K. Increases or reductions in your daily consumption that are drastic might cause these drugs to become ineffective.
4. Encourage good heart health
In addition to promoting good blood clotting, consuming a diet rich in vitamin K may help your heart perform in other ways.
Vitamin K1 was proven to reduce the development of coronary artery calcification in older persons in a 2009 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition involving 388 participants.
Vitamin K1 has also been shown to help with vascular calcification, a disease in which calcium deposits build up in the arteries and cause blood vessels to lose flexibility.
The presence of calcification in the coronary arteries is thought to be a major predictor of coronary heart disease. Therefore, increasing your vitamin K consumption will help you maintain your heart healthy and robust by preventing it from progressing.
5. Make Insulin Sensitivity Better
Insulin is a hormone that transports sugar from the circulation to the tissues, where it may be converted to energy.
When you eat a high-sugar, high-carbohydrate diet, your body attempts to keep up by producing more and more insulin. Unfortunately, maintaining high amounts of insulin may lead to insulin resistance, which reduces the hormone’s efficiency and leads to high blood sugar levels.
Increasing your vitamin K intake may help you maintain normal blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity. According to a research published in the journal Diabetes Care, 36 months of supplementation helped older men slow the evolution of insulin resistance.
In addition to eating a diet high in vitamin K-rich foods, increasing physical activity, controlling carb consumption, and eating a diet rich in protein and fiber-rich foods may all help to stabilize blood sugar levels and avoid insulin resistance.
6. Boost Brain Power
Vitamin K is crucial for nervous system health and is also thought to help with brain function. It is involved in the metabolism of sphingolipids, a kind of lipid present in brain cells membranes that regulate motor and cognitive activity.
It also has anti-inflammatory qualities and aids in preventing oxidative stress produced by free radical damage in the brain. Oxidative stress may harm your cells and potentially contribute to the development of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
You may also include additional vitamin K-rich vegetables like turnip greens, mustard greens, collards, and spinach in a meal.
Enjoy a leafy green salad, greens cooked with other vegetables, a raw spinach salad, kale cooked as a side dish, or any other recipes that will help you meet your daily nutritional requirements.
Dosage of Supplements
Although this essential component is prevalent in the food supply, it is also available in supplement form.
Vitamin K pills are accessible, and they’re often mixed with additional vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. It may also be found in most multivitamins.
Synthetic versions of vitamin K1 or vitamin K2 are often used in vitamin K supplements. According to studies, these are well-absorbed in the body, but MK-7, a synthetic version of vitamin K2, has a longer half-life and is active in the body for a longer period of time.
If you opt to take a vitamin K supplement, the quantity you need will be determined by your age and gender. According to the National Institutes of Health, the following are the current appropriate vitamin K intakes:
- 2 micrograms per day for 0–6 months
- 2.5 micrograms per day for 7–12 months
- 30 micrograms per day for 1–3 years
- 55 micrograms per day for children aged 4 to 8.
- 60 micrograms per day for children aged 9 to 13.
Adults and Adolescents
- 75 micrograms per day for 14–18 year olds
- Males aged 19 and above should consume 120 micrograms per day, while females should consume 90 micrograms per day.
Side Effects and Risks
Although vitamin K supplements are generally regarded as safe for most individuals, pregnant and nursing women should avoid vitamin K dietary supplements that contain more than the recommended daily dosage.
Also, see your doctor before using supplements if you have a history of stroke, cardiac arrest, or blood clot problems.
You should not take a vitamin K supplement if you are using blood thinners, and you should limit your vitamin K consumption. This is because warfarin and vitamin K may interact, causing your treatments to be less effective. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist if you have any questions or need to discuss any foods containing vitamin K that you should avoid while taking warfarin.
Supplement-related side effects are infrequent. However, they might include a loss of appetite, paleness, muscular stiffness, or trouble breathing. If you develop any of these unpleasant effects, stop using it immediately and see your doctor.
Finally, remember that too much vitamin K might be dangerous. To prevent negative health consequences, adhere to dietary sources of vitamin K and take supplementation only as prescribed.
- What precisely is vitamin K and what does it do? Vitamin K is a fat-soluble substance that is essential for a variety of bodily functions.
- This vital vitamin is divided into two types: Vitamin K1 is found in plants and leafy green vegetables, but vitamin K2 is found in animal products and fermented foods such as meat, dairy, and natto.
- You may easily achieve your vitamin K requirements by including a portion of vitamin K foods with each meal. Supplements are also available to help increase consumption if necessary.
- Depending on age and gender, different dosages and daily quantities of vitamin K are required.
- Vitamin K has a lot of possible advantages. In fact, this important element has been demonstrated to promote bone strength, prevent heart disease, improve blood sugar management, combat cancer, improve cognitive function, and assure healthy blood clot formation.
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