Benefits And Food Sources Of Vitamin K

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Did you know that vitamin K is the major element in the process of blood clotting? Well, this is not a piece of news, but there are several benefits of Vitamin K and deficiency in this vitamin can lead to various health complications. Increasing your vitamin and nutrient content can be sometimes difficult, as you cannot get your hands on the right food sources. 

And if you are a vegan or follow a specific diet routine, then the right vitamins and nutrients are hard to find that you can include in your diet. But don’t worry, we are here to rescue you from the hours of research and planning. 

In this blog, we are going to explore the top foods that are rich in vitamin K and discover their benefits. So, if you are someone who is looking for ways to improve your joint health and coagulation of blood, then this blog is for you. 

Vitamin K Benefits

Food Sources Of Vitamin K

Vitamin K is renowned for improving bone health, absorption of protein, and promotes overall health. Apart from that vitamin K also helps in the following aspects.

  • It helps in keeping your heart away from arterial stiffness and cardiovascular conditions by calcification of the blood vessels. In simple terms, it regulates the calcium content in the blood vessels to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Vitamin K supports cell growth and maintenance of the tissue for various organs.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties which help to hinder the progress of chronic diseases and infections.
  • Both Vitamin K1 and K2 are responsible for the synthesis of osteocalcin. This means providing calcium for the bone matrix for density and strength.
  • It also helps in improving cognitive function.
  • During pregnancy, Vitamin K is responsible for the formation of the baby’s bones and prevents excessive bleeding during childbirth.
  • Vitamin K also stimulates the production of cytokines which helps in improving the immune response for the body.

Sources Of Vitamin K

 Here is a list of food sources that are not only rich in Vitamin K but also can be included in any diet without any difficulty.

1. Kale

Kale is considered to be the king of Vitamin K as it has the highest content of Vitamin K which is 565 mcg per half a bowl. You can make kale salad with lemon vinaigrette, smoothies, soup, quiches, wraps, and fruit bowls for regular meals.

This fruit is also rich in calcium, folate, and potassium which makes it a superfood. Stir-fry veggies with kale is a popular choice for vegans and health enthusiasts.

2. Collard Greens

Next up, we have this leafy green vegetable that has a vitamin K content of 500 mcg per half bowl. With its low-calorie and high protein content, it can be mixed with meat, seafood, and regular vegetables. Sauteed collard greens with garlic is a great lunch idea that can increase your antioxidant levels.

You can also try making collard greens with sweet potato hash, southern-style collard greens which include chicken broth and smoked ham hocks. 

3. Spinach

Just like Popeye, spinach holds the power to provide you with vitamins A, B, E, and K. With 444 mcg of vitamin K content spinach also offers a handful of folate, magnesium, and iron to the body.

You can prepare spinach and feta stuffed chicken breast for a main course or spinach and goat cheese stuffed mushrooms with fresh bread for an evening snack. Spinach is a fulfilling dish that gives you both energy and reduces the pangs of hunger for a long time.

4. Kiwi

Kiwi fruit is a sweet and juicy delight for breakfast, evening, and supper. If you are looking for a healthy and tasty way to increase your vitamin K then you should try including kiwi into your diet. Eat them as fresh fruits or add them to your oatmeal, cereals, salad, or smoothies. 

5. Broccoli

Broccoli may not taste good, but it has a healthy quotient to it. With 85 mcg of vitamin K content in a half cup of cooked broccoli, you are set to boost your immunity. For a delicious taste, you can go for a bowl of broccoli soup, salad, or stir-fried veggies with pasta. 

6. Green Peas

Green peas are available season-wise and can be incorporated into every dish of your choice. Apart from vitamin K, it also has calcium, magnesium, and potassium which are good for your heart health.

The famous Indian dish Mattar Paneer is one of the popular choices to have green peas that call for your soul-filling food. You can also opt for pea and mint risotto and pasta primavera for dinner ideas.

7. Brussel Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are again one of the green healthy foods that are rich in Vitamin K with 150 mcg of vitamin K in a half bowl. You can go for Brussels sprouts and bacon for the main course, or roasted Brussels sprouts for the side dishes. Adding protein to this side dish will serve the purpose of a healthy and delicious meal.

8. Chicken

To all the chicken lovers, here is good news for you, increase your vitamin K levels in your body. With 60 mcg of vitamin K content in just 100 grams of chicken, you can not only build your bones but also lean muscles. Go for grilled chicken salad, chicken alfredo pasta, Baked lemon garlic chicken, or Chicken stir fry for your meal ideas. The best thing about chicken meals is that you do not need any side dish for it is fulfilling and delicious on its own.

Conclusion

Vitamin K is certainly an important nutrient for the body, but the portion of vitamin K to be consumed daily is also important. Most of the food sources mentioned here are easily available in your home for a complete meal, and some are even vegan-friendly. So make use of them and try to include them in your diet for a healthy and fulfilling life. Add more greens to your meals for nutrition.

References

  • Willems B.A.G., Vermeer C., Chris P., Reutelingsperger M., Schurgers L.J. The realm of vitamin K dependent proteins: Shifting from coagulation toward calcification. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2014;58:1620–1635. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201300743. [PubMed]
  • Dam B.Y.H., Schnheyder F. The occurence and chemical nature of vitamin k. Biochem. J. 1936;30:897–901. [PMC free article]

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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