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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 October 23, 2018

                      Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

                      Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

                      My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

                      Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

                      The Neural Knitwork Project

                      In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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                      While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

                      The knitting and neural connection

                      The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

                      More mental health benefits from knitting

                      Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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                      “You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

                      Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

                      Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

                      She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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                      “People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

                      The dopamine effect on our happiness

                      Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

                      There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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                      “Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

                      If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

                      Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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