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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 August 12, 2019

                      12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                      12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                      Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                      But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                      I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                      Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

                      1. Nuts

                      The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                      Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                      Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                      Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                      2. Blueberries

                      Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                      When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                      3. Tomatoes

                      Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                      4. Broccoli

                      While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                      Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                      Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                      5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                      Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                      The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                      Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                      6. Soy

                      Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                      Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                      Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                      7. Dark Chocolate

                      When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                      Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                      8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                      Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                      B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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                      Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                      Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                      To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                      9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                      Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                      Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                      Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                      10. Gingko Biloba

                      This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                      It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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                      However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                      11. Green and Black Tea

                      Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                      Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                      Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                      12. Sage and Rosemary

                      Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                      Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                      When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                      More About Boosting Brain Power

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Reference

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