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Top 10 Vitamin K Rich Foods That You Need To Know (and Include in Your Diet!)

Top 10 Vitamin K Rich Foods That You Need To Know (and Include in Your Diet!)

Experienced any recent nose bleeds? Or have you suddenly started bruising a tad too easy? Or is that brushing ritual making you gums bleed like nobody’s business? If you’ve been nodding all the way, there’s news we have for you: you might be vitamin K deficient.

How To Tell If You Have Vitamin K Deficiency?

Simply speaking, if you have less of vitamin K, you tend to bleed a lot more than a normal person [1].

  1. Risk of uncontrolled bleeding: A simple wound can put you at a significant risk of losing too much blood since vitamin K is what our body needs to clot the blood and begin the process of healing, after first sealing off the wound to prevent blood loss or exposure of the body’s internal tissues to bacteria and such.
  2. Hematomas: The blue, green or yellow spots that form on the skin often as a result of a bruise – basically due to blood pooling underneath the skin.
  3. Petechiae: Purple spots on the skin due to broken capillaries, often after a forceful event such as excessive coughing, sneezing, childbirth or even a hickey.
  4. Steady bleeding: Oozing of blood at surgical or puncture sites, wounds or even minor cuts and even unexplained stomach pains with blood in the urine or stool. Even very heavy periods could be a symptom.
  5. Hardened cartilage: Cartilage calcification where the body starts depositing excess calcium onto the bones and cartilages, hardening them beyond human need.
  6. Birth defects: In infants, a vitamin K deficiency can cause some birth defects such as underdeveloped face, nose, bones, and fingers and even intracranial bleeding and hemorrhage.

Why is Vitamin K so important to us?

Vitamin K is not a vitamin the body can synthesize so we need to ingest it from other sources, the healthiest being vitamin K foods. But let’s first understand all the good things that this vitamin does in our bodies. [2]

  • Blood Clotting: So obviously, the most important role that vitamin K plays in our bodies is by restricting blood flow from outside the capillaries, be it from external wounds or internal ones as it is used by the liver to make prothrombin aka the clotting factor.
  • Prevents Arterial Hardening: Vitamin K, rather vitamin K2 is known for its ability to prevent the buildup of calcium on artery walls and thus helps protect your blood pressure and heart as well [3].
  • Is Kind To Your Bones: Vitamin K acts like a glue of sorts and helps calcium stick to the bones by aiding the prevention of osteoporosis and also raising levels of osteocalcin, the bone building chemical in our bodies [4]
  • May Prevent Cancer: Certain studies have shown that vitamin K is also helpful in preventing cancer cell growth and may later become a vital aid in cancer cure. [5]
  • Vitamin K plays an essential role in anti-ageing by keeping our brain active and agile, and may also have Alzheimer’s fighting properties. [6]

Studies are on to also prove the role of vitamin K in insulin sensitivity and to see if it can aid in diabetes prevention. So basically, vitamin K is a very important nutrient for the body, with many uses of it other than blood clotting.

Vitamin K Foods That You Must Include In Your Diet

The first thing to note is that vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin which means a little healthy fat, along with the vitamin K foods you eat, is essential for its absorption. According to experts, men need at least 120 mcgs (micrograms) of vitamin K per day, and women need at least 90 mcgs. So here are the ten vitamin K foods you can include in your diet that contain good amounts of this essential nutrient.

Also remember that if you are on warfarin therapy, clear these foods with your doctor as warfarin and vitamin K often collide [7].

1. Leafy Greens

Leafy green veggies are known for being a rich source of antioxidants, iron as well as fiber, but they are also high in vitamin K. [8]. Think kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, turnip greens, spinach and leaf lettuce.

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    Dark leafy greens such as kale, mustard greens and spinach contain about 250 to 450 mcg of vitamin K per 1/2 cup of cooked greens.

      Lighter leafy greens such as salad leaves contain 100-300 mcg per cup of raw leaves .Here are some exciting recipes to get in those leafy greens.

      2. Cruciferous Vegetables

      Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and even cabbage and cauliflower are high in vitamin K, other than providing antioxidants, fiber, minerals and other vitamins needed to support good health. [9]

        Half a cup of cooked broccoli or Brussels sprouts has about 220 mcg of vitamin K each.

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          The same serving of cabbage has about 80mcg. Here are some interesting recipes for you to try cokking at home.

          3. Prunes and Berries

          Fruits are bursting with fiber and all the goodness of phytonutrients – plus they are a good source of carbohydrates as well. [10].

            A 1/4 cup of prunes has 26 mcg, along with tons of fiber.

              A cup of blueberries or blackberries has 29 mcgs.

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              All you have to do is to eat them raw, or even sprinkle some over your daily breakfast cereal fix.

              4. Healthy Oils & Fats

                Canola and soybean oil contain 20-27 micrograms of vitamin K per tablespoon while other vegetable oils, have just two to four mcgs. Mayonnaise and margarine contain moderate levels of vitamin K as well.

                5. Green Herbs

                Green herbs that burst with antioxidant properties that help keep our internal ageing in check also contain plenty of vitamin K. [11].

                  100 gms of parsley contains 164mcg, coriander contains 310 mcg and basil 410mcg. Time to take out those pestles and make some delicious chutneys. Here’s a good coriander and parsley pesto, and here are some good basil recipes as well.

                  6. Natto

                  For the natto virgins here, it is a Japanese fermented soy dish, mostly had as breakfast. [12] Known to be acquired taste, natto is made by soaking whole soybeans, then steaming or boiling them, and afterwards adding the bacteria Bacillus subtilis to the mixture; after which it is fermented over time.

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                    3.5 ounces of natto contains 1000mcg of vitamin K!

                      Miso soups, yet another dish made from fermented soy, contains about 15-30mcg per serving.

                      Here’s a video on how to make natto…

                      As Hippocrates put it, food is medicine so make sure you include these vitamin K foods in your diet to ensure good health.

                      Featured photo credit: Healthy Protocols via healthyprotocols.com

                      Reference

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                      Rima Pundir

                      Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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                      Last Updated on December 13, 2018

                      12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

                      12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

                      Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

                      A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

                      1. Eat Before Heading Out

                      First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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                      2. Select The Treats

                      Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

                      3. Avoid Skipping Meals

                      Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

                      4. Drink With Moderation

                      It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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                      5. Be Active

                      You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

                      6. Get Out Of The House

                      Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

                      7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

                      Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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                      8. Set Realistic Goals

                      You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

                      9. Enjoy Yourself

                      Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

                      10. Drink A Lot Of Water

                      This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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                      11. Eat Less And More Often

                      Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

                      12. Prioritize Your Workouts

                      Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

                      So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

                      Happy Holidays everyone!

                      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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