We all know that vitamins are essential for our overall health. But one vitamin that often gets overlooked is vitamin K. It is found that about 50% of infants in the US have vitamin K deficiency. If the condition is not corrected, then the consequence can be fatal. If adults suffer from vitamin K deficiency, it may lead to hemorrhage and excessive bleeding. You should always ensure that you are getting adequate levels of vitamin K in order to avoid any serious health issues.
Vitamin K is good for your bone and heart health. It produces a protein called “Prothrombin” that aids in bone metabolism and blood clotting. It also helps to stop excessive bleeding in infants. There are 3 types of vitamin K (Vitamin K1: Phylloquinones, Vitamin K2 MK-4: Menaquinone-4, Vitamin K2 MK-7: Menaquinone-7) and each is beneficial for the health. You should also note that, on average, a woman needs 90 micrograms and a man needs 120 micrograms of daily dosage of vitamin K to stay healthy.
That’s enough explanation as you already understood the importance of Vitamin K in your diet. Here we are going to look at the best foods with vitamin K.
It is a Japanese staple that is made of fermented soybeans. It is known for its strong aroma and flavor and is very nutritious. Here are the benefits of having natto:
- It increases the vitamin K2 level in your body which is good for your bone health.
- It is rich in protein, so helps to keep you strong.
- It contains fiber that keeps you full and helps in losing weight.
- It has probiotics that help in digestion.
Just top your rice dishes with natto or add it to your pasta dishes, salads, wraps and sandwiches. Though the Japanese have it in their breakfast menu, you can have it as a side dish at dinner as well.
Misco is also a popular Japanese dish and is made of fermented beans. It helps to enhance the good gut bacteria and so helps in digestion. The good bacteria produce vitamin K2 and so increases the level of essential nutrients in your body. You can use it as a salad dressing and you won’t mind the taste.
You can have cholesterol-free mayonnaise to get vitamin K that is necessary for good health. It also contains vitamin E that is good for the skin and heart. Apart from that, it contains antioxidant that protects you from harmful free radicals. You can make a sandwich with mayonnaise and have it for breakfast.
Lamb is rich in protein and will give you a healthy body. It has vitamin K2 which helps to keep fat away from your arteries and so is good for the heart. It has other benefits as well which are mentioned below:
- It improves your bone health as it improves bone density.
- It also contains zinc and selenium that are needed for improving your immune system.
- It reduces oxidative stress and thus improves the cognitive function of the brain.
You can have lamb meat chops for your lunch or dinner. Lamb chops are delicious and contain lots of essential nutrients that your body needs.
Beef liver contains a high amount of vitamin K and iron. The iron in the beef liver will give you energy and will help in transporting oxygen throughout the body. It also contains vitamin A that is good for the skin and eyes. You should have it once or twice a week, as eating too much beef liver might lead to vitamin A toxicity.
Kale can be considered as the king of the foods that contain vitamin K. If you eat only half a cup of cooked kale, you will get 565 mcg (micrograms) of vitamin K. Here are the benefits you can get from kale:
- Kale helps the body to make the proteins needed for clotting blood and so prevents loss of too much blood during injury.
- It also contains calcium, potassium, and folate that are good for bone health.
Kale is extremely nutritious and you should have it on your lunch or dinner plate regularly. You can mix it with other vegetables and have it as a side dish at lunch or dinner.
Collard greens have very high quantities of vitamin K which helps to improve your bone health and can prevent osteoporosis. You can get about 530 mcg of vitamin K in just half a cup of boiled collard greens. It has other benefits also:
- It contains iron which helps in blood clotting.
- It has calcium and manganese that are good for the bones and teeth.
- It contains fiber that helps to reduce your weight.
- It lowers the bad cholesterol in the body and improves anti-inflammatory processes.
Collard greens can fulfill your daily requirement of vitamin E. So, you should include it in your everyday diet to get all the benefits from it.
Turnip Greens are rich in vitamin K and calcium which are good for stronger bones. Apart from improving bone density, it also has a number of other benefits:
- It has phytonutrients that help to lower inflammation.
- It lowers the risk of cancer as vitamin K acts as a tumor suppressor.
- It can also reduce anemia and keep you healthy.
- It helps to control blood sugar levels and so is good for people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
- It can improve your hair and skin conditions.
You will have less chance of suffering from Osteoporosis (a condition the bones become brittle and fragile due to the loss of tissues) if you have this vegetable regularly. Turnip greens are delicious to have as a side dish for your lunch.
Broccoli is not only rich in vitamin K but is also a good source of vitamin C. Here are the benefits you will get from adding broccoli in your diet:
- It improves your bone health so you have less chance of having Osteoporosis.
- It boosts your immune system and so keeps you healthier.
- It removes the toxins and free radicals from the body and keeps your body in good shape.
- It reduces the risk of heart disease as vitamin K present in broccoli prevents calcium from the blood to get deposited inside arteries.
- It is good for healthy skin too.
Broccoli is a delicious vegetable. You can simply boil it, sprinkle some salt and pepper on it and eat it during lunch or dinner.
Carrot is full of essential nutrients and that’s why the doctors recommend to include it in your everyday diet. It is rich in vitamin K and also contains beta carotene that is good for your vision. A glass of carrot juice can boost your metabolism and immune system. It can improve your skin as well.
Infants are at a higher risk of vitamin K deficiency and it may lead to fatal bleeding as their intestinal flora cannot synthesize vitamin K. So, many infants are given an oral dose of vitamin K1. Both adults and children require vitamin K in their body to keep their bones stronger and prevent many serious diseases. Though vitamin K deficiency is rare among adults and children, in the long run, it may impair your health. Therefore, it is essential to incorporate foods containing vitamin K in your regular diet.