Let’s start off with What is Vitamin K?
It’s nicknamed the “blood clotting” vitamin. Vitamin K is really a group of compounds but the most common are vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 is found mostly in leafy greens and a few other vegetables. Vitamin K2 is found in meat, cheese and eggs.
Our bodies store vitamin K so that makes it a fat-soluble vitamin vs a water soluble vitamin. Water soluble vitamins are carried to the tissues in our body but aren’t stored there. Vitamin K is stored in our liver, heart, brain, bone, and pancreas. There are 4 fat soluble vitamins and they are A, D, E and K.
What are the Benefits of Vitamin K.
Probably one of the most important benefits is how our bodies use vitamin K to help our blood clot. This is critical for wound healing and so we don’t lose too much blood if injured. ***Those on any blood thinning medications need to talk with their doctor about their vitamin K levels and limit their consumption of vitamin K rich foods as they will counteract with their medication!
Vitamin K1 teams up with vitamin D and calcium in our bodies to create stronger, healthier bones and teeth. A recent study showed that women who get at least 110 micrograms per day of vitamin K have a 30% decreased risk of breaking a hip as they age. Important to note: 1 in 3 adults, 50 years or older die within 12 months of breaking a hip! Taking vitamin K can seriously be lifesaving in older adults! You can read more about vitamin D here.
Vitamin K is believed to slow down bone density loss in post-menopausal woman which is common in almost all woman. It doesn’t seem to be as effective for men.
A recent study showed that older woman who took a vitamin K supplement had a 22% reduction in their risk of fractures and is showing promise in treating those with osteoporosis.
Vitamin K2 is also showing promise in protecting us from certain cancers. This is due to it’s antioxidant properties.
Bacteria in our gut can actually produce small amount of vitamin K2. Another reason to be sure you have good gut health.
How much Vitamin K do I need?
The recommended daily allowance is 90 micrograms for women and 120 micrograms for men, per day. Vitamin K deficiency is rare in adults. However, it is common in newborns and most receive a shot of vitamin K at birth.
Now that we know the benefits of Vitamin K, here’s a list of foods with Vitamin K.
Foods with Vitamin K
- Vitamin K1 rich foods include most leafy greens like kale, spinach, beet greens, Swiss chard, collard greens, turnip greens, parsley, romaine, and green leaf lettuce.
- Other vegetables include cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peas, avocados, tomatoes, green beans, and cabbage.
- Fruits with vitamin K include kiwi, blackberries, blueberries, pomegranate, prunes, figs and grapes.
- Vitamin K rich nuts and legumes include soybeans, sprouted mung beans, kidney beans, hazel nuts, cashews, pecans, pine nuts, and walnuts.
- Vitamin K2 rich foods come from animal-based sources like chicken, beef liver, bacon, ground beef, pork chops, hard cheeses, soft cheeses, egg yolk, butter and cream.
Did you learn more about the benefits of Vitamin K and will you be trying to consume more leafy greens? Let me know in the Veggie Obsessed Facebook group.
Each week I post a blog about the veggie of the week! Be sure to join my email list so you don’t miss out? We could be talking about your favorite veggie next! 😉
Hey there my friend! My name is Jodie Crandall and I’m a veggie loving certified health and nutrition coach on a journey to spread the word about how amazing veggies are for our health! I am a self-proclaimed “plant-based meat eater” who has recently lost almost 50 pounds by eating more veggies!