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Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that regulates numerous physiological processes in the body. These include blood clotting, bone metabolism and functioning of the heart. This fat-soluble vitamin is found in two compounds, namely vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is said to have better absorption ability than K1, which makes it last longer in the blood.
Both vitamin K1 and K2 are found in food supplement including leafy green vegetables, animal products, and fermented sources. Let’s take a look at some vitamin K rich foods as follows.
Sources of Vitamin K
Spinach is a vegetable that is filled with the goodness of nutrients like vitamin A, B, E and K. It is believed that cooked spinach is better than raw spinach since cooking can help absorb the components of spinach better. Half cup of cooked spinach offers 444 mcg of vitamin K. You can add raw spinach in your salads and sandwiches or boil it to make side dishes.
Spinach also contains other nutrients including manganese, folate, copper, calcium and more.
Natto is a Japanese staple dish that is made with fermented soybeans and is popular for its strong flavour and aroma. Natto is a rich source of vitamin K2, protein and fibre that help build your body’s structure, improve digestion and promote healthy weight loss. 100 mg of natto can deliver up to 1000 mcg of vitamin K. You can add rice to Nattos to create a full meal or make it a part of salads, pasta dishes, wraps, and sandwiches.
Other nutrients found in natto are calcium and minerals.
Mayonnaise is enriched with vitamin K2 and E to maintain a healthy heart and skin. This cholesterol-free ingredient also acts as an antioxidant to protect your body from oxidative stress. 1 cup of whole egg mayonnaise gives you 197 mcg of vitamin K. It is commonly chosen as a spread for breakfast.
Mayonnaise also offers benefits of other nutrients like sodium and protein.
Part of the daisy family, lettuce is one of the many leafy green vegetables that are infused with a high content of vitamin K. 100 gm of lettuce is enough to impart 102.3 mcg of vitamin K into your body. Lettuce is consumed across the globe as a part of salads, sandwiches, soups, and wraps. However, it can also be grilled and boiled to create side dishes.
Lettuce is also rich in other nutrients like fibre, manganese, potassium, biotin, copper and iron.
Broccoli can be used in diverse ways in your diet to reduce the effects of free radicals. It is not just rich in vitamin K but also contains a sufficient amount of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system. Half cup of boiled broccoli contains 110 mcg of vitamin K. Broccoli can be had boiled or cooked in canola or olive oil.
Fibre, vitamin A, potassium and protein are other nutrients in broccoli.
Pumpkin is a low-calorie fruit that is highly dense in various nutrients including vitamin K. These nutrients work together to boost the immune system and keep you healthy. Half cup of canned pumpkin can offer 20 mcg of vitamin K. You can add pumpkin dices to yoghurt, oatmeal, and pancake or squeeze out its juice to form paste sauces, smoothies, and bread batters.
Pumpkin also contains many other nutrients including vitamin E, riboflavin, potassium, manganese, folate, niacin, iron, phosphate, and pantothenic acid.
Beta-carotene and vitamin K are the most common nutrients found in carrots. This helps to improve your vision by protecting the surface of your eye and boost metabolism in the body. 6 ounces of carrots contain 28 mcg of vitamin K. The easiest way to reap the benefits of carrot is to have it raw or in the form of juice every morning with breakfast.
You can also find other nutrients present in vitamin K including potassium, thiamin and vitamin A, B6 and C.
Apart from being rich in antioxidants, pomegranates are also excellent sources of fibers and nutrients like vitamin K. One cup juice of this fruit can provide 32% of your daily requirement of vitamin K. Another way of consuming pomegranate is to incorporate it in salads for breakfast.
Protein, vitamin C, folate and potassium are other nutrients imbibed in pomegranates.
Rich in amino acids and vitamin K, lamb is a type of high protein meat that improves the functioning of your body while adding strength to it. 100 gm of lamb delivers 5.3 mcg of vitamin K. Eating lamb chops is the tastiest way to incorporate lamb in your meals.
You can also intake other nutrients while consuming lamb including amino acids, selenium, zinc, niacin, phosphorus, and iron.
How Much of Vitamin K Is Good?
How much of this vitamin you consume depends upon your age, gender and body type. Following are the suggested dosage of the same:
Up to 6 months: 2 mcg per day
7 to 12 months: 2.5 mcg per day
1 to 3 years: 30 mcg per day
4 to 8 years: 55 mcg per day
9 to 13 years: 60 mcg per day
14 to 18 years: 75 mcg per day
Adult women: 90 mcg per day
Adult men: 120 mcg per day
The deficiency of vitamin K is considered rather rare in humans. However, if the intake of vitamin K becomes much less than required, it can result in hampering your overall health. Prolonged vitamin K deficiencies can lead to conditions like celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, intestinal or biliary tract disorder.
Once the symptoms of insufficient vitamin K start to show up, you must immediately consult a doctor. Some common signs of vitamin K deficiency are as follows:
- Easy bruising
- Oozing from nose or gums
- Excessive bleeding from wounds
- Heavy menstrual period
- Blood in urine
Vitamin K is a functional nutrient that is vital for controlling blood clotting and maintaining bone strength. While leafy green vegetables are a great source of vitamin K1, K2 is found in fermented foods and animal products. A healthy diet is all you need to practice to stay nourished.