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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

                      More by this author

                      Rima Pundir

                      Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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                      Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                      1. Work on the small tasks.

                      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                      2. Take a break from your work desk.

                      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                      3. Upgrade yourself

                      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                      4. Talk to a friend.

                      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                      7. Read a book (or blog).

                      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                      8. Have a quick nap.

                      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                      9. Remember why you are doing this.

                      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                      10. Find some competition.

                      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                      11. Go exercise.

                      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                      12. Take a good break.

                      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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