What Vegetables Have Vitamin K? Vitamin K is a group of fat-soluble vitamins that is essential for good health. It’s also called phylloquinone because of its presence in plants, which makes it vitamin K1. There are also two other types of this vitamin: menaquinones (vitamin K2) and cobalt-containing vitamin K or vitamin K3. Vitamin K2 is produced by the beneficial bacteria found in the intestines and can be obtained from fermented food such as cheese. Some foods that contain a high percentage of vitamin K are dark leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts.
The Best 10 Foods for Vitamin K
It is essential to consume vitamin K. It supports the growth and upkeep of strong bones. The vitamin’s greatest claim to fame is its assistance with “coagulation,” the process of blood clotting. In actuality, the “K” is derived from koagulation, the German word for blood clotting.
The best sources of vitamin K are leafy green vegetables, but there are many more excellent options. Adult men require 120 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K daily, whereas adult women require 90 mcg.
Note: If you take blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin), the amount of your medicine may change depending on how much of this vitamin you consume. To determine the recommended daily intake of vitamin K for you, consult your doctor and a nutritionist.
The complete list of foods high in vitamin K is provided below:
- collard greens
- turnip greens
- Brussels sprouts
- pine nuts
565 mcg per 1/2 cup, cooked
Vitamin K helps in blood clotting by enabling your body to make proteins involved in the blood clotting process. Clotting is important because it helps prevent your body from bleeding too much.
Kale is the vitamin K king. It’s known as one of the superfoods. Rightfully so, because it’s also rich in calcium, potassium, and folate, among other vitamins and minerals.
2. Collard greens
530 mcg per 1/2 cup, boiled
Vitamin K aids in bone formation in addition to its function in blood clotting. Insufficient vitamin K intake has also been associated in several studies to osteoporosis, which causes brittle bones that are susceptible to breaking. Try this recipe for vegetarian collard greens to get your healthy dose.
444 mcg per 1/2 cup, cooked
Spinach is filled with all sorts of nutritional goodness, including vitamins A, B and E, plus magnesium, folate, and iron. A half cup of cooked spinach contains about three times as much vitamin K as a cup of raw spinach does, but one raw serving is still plenty for one day.
4. Turnip greens
425 mcg per 1/2 cup, cooked
Turnip greens are used in popular side dishes in the Southeastern United States. Turnip greens are also high in calcium, which helps strengthen bones. Mustard greens and beet greens also contain high levels of vitamin K. The bulbous part of the turnip that grows underground is nutritious, too.
5. Brussels sprouts
150 mcg per 1/2 cup, cooked
Even though Brussels sprouts may not be a favorite among children, there are numerous ways to make them taste fantastic. Try this recipe for crispy garlic Brussels sprouts with Sriracha aioli.
85 mcg per 1/2 cup, cooked
Broccoli can be prepared in a variety of ways. Any food you make should be cooked in olive or canola oil to add taste and increase the amount of vitamin K. About 10 mcg of vitamin K can be found in one tablespoon of either.
72 mcg per 1/2 cup, cooked
The amount of vitamin K in four stalks of asparagus is roughly 40 mcg. Add some olive oil, and you’ve reached nearly half of the recommended daily dose. Remember that consuming a lot of vitamin K-rich foods in one sitting won’t be beneficial over the long term. The body quickly eliminates vitamin K from meals since it is not very well absorbed by the body.
60 mcg per serving (1/2 head of iceberg or 1 cup of romaine)
Lettuce is probably the most popular source of vitamin K in American diets. It’s available at salad bars and grocery stores across the country in different varieties, including iceberg, romaine, green leaf, and bibb.
56 mcg per 1/2 cup
Sauerkraut should be piled high on your hot dog or sausage. You’ll also get a good protein punch. Many regional restaurants or national businesses have sauerkraut on hand.
43 mcg per 1/2 cup, roasted
Vitamin K-1 (phylloquinone) and K-2 are the two primary varieties of vitamin K. (menaquinones). K-1 originates from plants, but K-2 is found in smaller levels in meals derived from animals and those that have undergone fermentation, such as cheese. The K-2 type is also more prevalent in soybeans and soybean oil.
Vitamin K benefits go beyond supporting healthy blood clotting, study finds
Researchers call it an underappreciated nutrient.
It’s the first vitamin you received when you were born, and it turns out vitamin K may be a factor in healthy aging as well, helping to keep veins and arteries flexible as the body gets older.
In North America, every newborn is given a vitamin K injection to promote normal blood coagulation during infancy. However, the more well-known vitamins like A, B, C, D, and E quickly dominate the nutrient.
It was deemed underestimated by researchers.
Sarah Booth, director of the Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston and head of its vitamin K team, told TODAY, “I think very few people know very much about vitamin K and I would argue that a lot of what they do know is not driven by the scientific literature but more by organizations for profit benefiting from vitamin K supplementation.”
The main purpose of vitamin K is to promote healthy blood coagulation. Making proteins for healthy bones is another challenge.
Additionally, it plays a part in avoiding calcification, a process where calcium that should dissolve in the blood instead builds up in bodily tissue, hardening it and creating health issues.
Atherosclerosis, for instance, includes calcium deposits in the arteries. Additionally, the kidneys, lungs, and brain can all become calcified.
The issue is that this causes the veins and arteries to stiffen, which makes the blood pump less effectively.
However, some proteins that prevent calcification need vitamin K to work, according to Kyla Shea, a researcher on the Tufts vitamin K team.
However, the researchers found that two-thirds of men and nearly 40% of women over 70 are believed to be deficient in vitamin K at a time when they may be most in need of it.
Shea is the principal author of a new study that discovered vitamin K might have anti-aging health advantages.
The conclusions are based on information from about 4,000 individuals whose blood levels of vitamin K were assessed and who were tracked for approximately 13 years. The average age of the participants was 65, and 35% of them were non-White.
Although the study found no significant correlations between vitamin K levels and heart disease, those with the lowest levels of the vitamin had a 19% higher chance of dying young from any cause than those who had appropriate consumption of the vitamin.
“(Calcification) is associated with stiffer arteries and can occur in vessels throughout the body. Not necessarily a heart attack or cardiovascular illness per se, that appears to be the link with death, according to Shea.
One of the conclusions could be that older folks should pay closer attention to how much vitamin K they consume, particularly since most older people, particularly older men, don’t get the required amount.
According to the experts, normal doctor appointments do not include the measurement of vitamin K levels. There aren’t many obvious signs of a deficiency, but easy bruising could be a sign that someone isn’t getting enough of the vitamin.
How to get enough vitamin K:
Although there are various varieties of the nutrient, plants are where most individuals acquire it from.
Following general recommendations for a balanced diet will make it “very, very easy” to obtain enough vitamin K, according to Booth. The recommended daily servings of fruit and vegetables for Americans are 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of veggies.
Kale, lettuce, and collard greens are just a few examples of green leafy vegetables that are particularly strong providers of vitamin K. According to Booth, “we usually remind people that the more vitamin K a vegetable has, the greener it is.” Brussels sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, and green peas are also included. Another excellent source are dark berries.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the most popular sources of vitamin K in American diets are fats and oils, particularly soybean and canola oil, as well as spinach, broccoli, and iceberg lettuce.
Because vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that requires a small amount of oil or fat to be absorbed, doctors suggested that when individuals eat salads, there should be some fat in the dressing or some cheese on top. They did not recommend taking supplements.
5 Foods High In Vitamin K And Why You Need More Greens
What Is Vitamin K?
Plants contain vitamin K, commonly known as phylloquinone. When a human consumes a plant high in vitamin K, the body transforms the substance into vitamin K2. Additionally, vitamin K helps the body produce the prothrombin protein. Blood clotting and bone health depend on thrombin, which is essential. Additionally, the vitamin lowers blood pressure.
What foods have vitamin K?
Numerous green vegetables, meat, and dairy items contain vitamin K. All of these foods, especially green vegetables, should be a part of a balanced diet. Increasing the amount of greens consumed each day will boost the body’s ability to absorb vitamin K and enhance general health. What dishes include vitamin K?
Spinach is sometimes called a superfood. This leafy vegetable is packed with tons of nutrients like iron and vitamin K. Spinach can be eaten raw or cooked and still maintains nutrient levels when cooked.
Just a half a cup of cooked kale is enough to give patients the recommended daily allotment of vitamin K. Kale also has phytonutrients which are vital to brain health.
Chicken is known as a great source of protein, but the poultry is also a great way to get vitamin K. A small serving size of just 3 ounces is all patients need to get 51 micrograms of vitamin K.
Kiwi is actually a berry but is grouped together with other fruits. Despite the fruit’s small size and sweet texture, kiwi is packed with vitamin K.
Broccoli is the only vegetable you need to consider if you’re seeking for something high in vitamin K. As much as 92% of the daily necessary quantity of vitamin K can be found in only half a cup of broccoli.
Vitamin K Foods, Plus the Many Health Benefits
Are you ready for one more reason to eat your vegetables? Foods high in vitamin K, a crucial ingredient linked to better insulin sensitivity, a lower risk of cancer, and defense against heart disease, include leafy greens and vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. Additionally, meals high in vitamin K can boost one’s health by encouraging healthy blood clot formation.
Yes, they do assist in preventing vitamin K insufficiency.
However, this crucial vitamin is not only present in greens. Additionally, it can be found in some types of fruit, meat, and dairy products. Your beneficial gut flora can even produce it in your own body.
Dietary sources of vitamin K should be consumed in adequate amounts because deficiencies can lead to a wide range of health issues.
Learn more about foods that are high in vitamin K and how to make sure your diet has enough by continuing to read.
What Is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is a crucial component that affects a variety of processes, including bone metabolism and blood sugar regulation. Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 are the two primary kinds (menaquinone).
The most prevalent kind of vitamin K1, vitamin K1, is found mostly in plant-based foods like leafy greens.
On the other hand, fermented foods and animal products contain vitamin K2.
A few foods high in this vitamin are natto, dairy products, and beef. Additionally, the advantageous bacteria in your gut microbiome create it.
It is uncommon to have a vitamin K shortage on a balanced, healthy diet. This is due to the abundance of nutritious whole foods.
On the other side, foods containing little vitamin K are ultra-processed meals and refined sweets. If you consume a lot of these nutrient-deficient items, it’s possible that you’re not getting enough of this important vitamin from dietary sources.
A severe lack of vitamin K can lead to problems with bone health, tooth decay, easy bleeding, and easy bruises. For this reason, it’s essential to make sure you eat a serving or two of foods high in vitamin K with every meal.
Many individuals are unaware that there are various forms of vitamin K. Actually, the two primary types of vitamin K that our meals provide us with are vitamin K1 and vitamin K2.
Phytonadione is another name for vitamin K1, while menaquinone is another name for vitamin K2.
There is also menadione, a synthetic version of vitamin K3 that is readily available.
Here is a list of the several kinds of vitamin K and how to consume them through food or dietary supplements:
- Vitamin K1 is mostly found in vegetables, while vitamin K2 is found in fermented dairy products and is also produced by the bacteria in our guts.
- While vitamin K1 is found in plant foods that are very healthy for many reasons — such as leafy greens like spinach, kale, broccoli and cabbage — it’s vitamin K2 that seems to be most beneficial for protecting the heart.
- In fact, vitamin K2 seems to be more effective than vitamin K1 at preventing and reversing arterial calcifications that lead to heart-related problems.
- The best way to get the daily requirement of both types is by eating a variety of whole vitamin K foods, including green plant foods and raw, fermented dairy products (like yogurt or raw cheese), fish and eggs that provide vitamin K2.
- Additionally, there is a synthetic version known as vitamin K3. However, it’s best to eat plenty of whole foods that are high in vitamin K and other important nutrients instead of relying on dietary supplements.
Top Vitamin K Foods
Are you looking for a list of foods that are high in vitamin K? It is simple to meet your needs through a healthy, well-balanced diet because this crucial vitamin is predominantly present in green vegetables, fruits, probiotic foods, and animal products.
Here are a few of the top vitamin K food sources:
- Kale — ½ cup cooked: 531 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- Spinach — ½ cup cooked: 445 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- Turnip greens — ½ cup cooked: 265 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- Dandelion greens — ½ cup raw: 214 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- Mustard greens — ½ cup cooked: 210 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- Swiss chard — ½ cup raw: 150 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
- Brussels sprouts — ½ cup cooked: 109 micrograms (91 percent DV)
- Spring onions (scallions) — ½ cup raw: 103 micrograms (86 percent DV)
- Cabbage — ½ cup cooked: 81.5 micrograms (68 percent DV)
- Beef liver — 1 slice — 72 micrograms (60 percent DV)
1. Fight Cancer
According to some research, vitamins K1 and K2 may help destroy cancer cells and potentially lower the risk of developing cancer.
In one investigation, 440 postmenopausal women with weaker bones who received vitamin K1 supplements for two years were reviewed by the Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Toronto. It’s interesting to note that taking vitamin K1 was linked to a 75% decrease in the risk of developing cancer.
A higher intake of vitamin K2 was linked to a lower risk of cancer, according to another study involving 24,340 participants that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Many foods rich in vitamin K are also on the list of the best foods for antioxidants.
Foods high in vitamin K, such as leafy greens, are loaded with antioxidants that reduce free radical damage and lower the risk of cancer, making them some of the finest cancer-fighting foods.
2. Build Strong Bones
Dietary sources of vitamin K1 are essential for preserving bone health. The vitamin boosts the quantity of a certain protein needed to maintain the calcium in your bones and is involved in bone metabolism.
Increasing your consumption of this crucial fat-soluble vitamin has been linked to a lower risk of bone fractures, according to several studies.
A 2020 study discovered a synergistic impact between vitamin K and vitamin D, which has positive benefits on the health of bones and joints.
According to a study that appeared in the journal PLoS Medicine, postmenopausal women could avoid fractures by taking a daily vitamin K1 supplement of 5 milligrams for two to four years.
Another study from Tufts University in Boston’s Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging found that women’s lower bone mineral density was related to their intake of foods poor in vitamin K.
Because of this, many women who are at risk for osteoporosis frequently take supplements to be sure they are getting what they need. Other all-natural remedies for osteoporosis include consuming a lot of foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, doing weight training a few times each week, and receiving daily sun exposure.
3. Ensure Healthy Blood Clotting
The ability of vitamin K to facilitate blood clotting is arguably its most well-known activity.
The crucial process of blood clotting aids in reducing excessive bleeding after an injury. In fact, easy bruising and bleeding from the gums or nose are two of the early warning indications of a vitamin K shortage. As a result, it is advised that those taking blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin) limit their intake of this essential vitamin.
4. Promote Heart Health
Eating plenty of foods rich in vitamin K may help your heart operate in other ways than promoting healthy blood clotting.
Vitamin K1 was found to delay the development of coronary artery calcification in older persons in a 2009 trial with 388 participants that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The positive effects of vitamin K1 on vascular calcification, a condition in which calcium deposits accumulate in the arteries and cause blood vessels to lose flexibility, have been supported by several research.
It is thought that coronary calcification is a reliable indicator of coronary heart disease. Increasing your intake of foods high in vitamin K can help stop its progression and maintain the strength and health of your heart.
5. Improve Insulin Sensitivity
The hormone insulin is in charge of delivering sugar from the bloodstream to the tissues, where it can be converted to energy.
When you consume a lot of sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods, your body tries to keep up by producing more and more insulin. Unfortunately, prolonged high insulin levels can result in insulin resistance, which reduces the efficiency of the hormone and raises blood sugar levels.
Increasing your consumption of vitamin K from food sources may aid in maintaining normal blood sugar levels by improving your insulin sensitivity. According to a study that appeared in the journal Diabetes Care, older men who took supplements for 36 months saw a slower progression of insulin resistance.
Increasing physical exercise, reducing your carbohydrate intake, eating a diet high in protein and fiber-rich foods, and include lots of vitamin K-rich foods in your diet can all help to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent insulin resistance.
6. Boost Brain Function
Vitamin K plays an important role in the nervous system and is also believed to support healthy brain function. It is involved in the metabolism of sphingolipids, a class of compounds found in brain cell membranes that control motor and cognitive behavior.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps protect the brain against oxidative stress caused by free radical damage. Research suggests that oxidative stress can damage your cells and may even lead to the development of conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Ready to start incorporating more vitamin K-rich foods into your diet? Head over to the kitchen and give these delicious recipes a try:
- Kale Chips
- Crockpot Beef and Broccoli
- Cucumber Salad
- Baked Brussels Sprouts
- Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Lamb
You can also try a recipe with any number of other vitamin K food sources, such as turnip greens, mustard greens, collards and spinach.
Enjoy a leafy green salad, greens cooked with other veggies, a raw spinach salad, kale cooked as a side dish or any other types of dishes that help you reach your daily needs.