Vitamin K is an essential vitamin that helps build and maintain stronger bones. It has a vital role in the blood clot formation and support bone metabolism and cell growth. The “K” in vitamin K comes from the German word koagulation or coagulation, the process of blood clotting. Having sufficient vitamin K can help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis, among others. The average daily recommended intake of vitamin K is 120 micrograms (mcg or μg) for men and 90 mcg for women. See below list of foods that are good sources of vitamin K.
Cooked kale is the best leafy greens source of vitamin K giving 550 mcg in one-half cup. You can also enjoy it raw in the same half-cup serving as smoothie or salad. This will give you 274 mcg of vitamin K. Kale is also packed with folate, potassium, and calcium.
2. Collard Greens
Collard greens is not only loaded with nutrition but it’s tasty too. It belongs to the cabbage family that provides antioxidants, digestive and cardiovascular support, and anti-inflammatory benefits. Enjoy its natural flavor by simply sautéing or steaming the greens and it will give extra nutrition to your diet. One half of cooked collard greens provides 530 mcg of vitamin K.
3. Garden Cress
The high nutritional value and unique flavor of garden cress makes salads and sandwiches tastier and delicious. This salad vegetable that has a distinctive peppery taste originated from Persia. Its medical properties have been recognized in India and Europe for centuries. By adding only half ounce of this greens to your salad, your required daily value of vitamin K is nearly 100% covered.
Endive or escarole is a close relative of romaine lettuce. Its high concentration of vitamin A and vitamin K makes it one of the best sources of nutrients. It can help reduce the risk of cancer and osteoporosis, and is essential for proper blood clotting. Adding two cups of raw endive or escarole to your salad will provide you with 331 mcg of vitamin K. Endive also contains vitamin C and folate that can support immune and neurological processes.
5. Brussels Sprouts
Whichever method you choose in cooking Brussel sprouts – sautéed, roasted, shave, steamed – they are deliciously so good and healthy. They might be small but they are packed with special nutrients that have so many health benefits to your body system. One half cup of cooked sprouts can provide 150 mcg of vitamin K.
6. Natto (Fermented Soybeans)
Natto is a fermented soybean dish from Japan that is traditionally consumed during breakfast. It is low in calories and a good source of protein. Vitamin-rich natto is good for the bones, heart, and skin. Just give it a try and enjoy the benefits of fermented soybeans that can enhance your overall wellness and youthfulness. A cup of natto can provide 40 mcg of vitamin K or more than 50% of the daily requirement of vitamin K.
Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish that you can enjoy as a condiment, in your salad and in a hot dog or burger. You can make a variety of flavors which you can add to your meal to awaken your taste buds. It is very low in calorie and is a probiotic rich food with several health benefits to offer. You will get 56 mcg of your daily vitamin K needs with one half cup of this dish.
In a cup serving size of sweet cucumber pickles you will get 130 mcg of vitamin K. Most pickles are usually preserved with sodium or sugar with a lot of water. These pickles have almost no calorie and with very little fat, but the nutrients of the pickled vegetable are also preserved as well. Consuming fermented pickles will give the body good bacteria that can support immunity and digestive system. Other pickles high in vitamin K are dill pickle, sour pickle, and sweet pickle relish.
9. Olive Oil
One teaspoon of olive oil contains 8.4 mcg of vitamin K. Other vegetable oils that are high in vitamin K are soybean, canola, and sesame oil. We all know that fats also plays an important role in our health. Our body will not function properly if we do not have the right fats in place. You can limit your carbo intake below 60% of the diet to enjoy the greater benefits of good fats.
A one-half cup serving of prunes of about 9 pieces contains 51 mcg of vitamin K, or 65 percent of the daily value. Adding prunes to your meal will not only help you increase your vitamin K intake, but will also make your meal more nutritious and enjoyable.
Do not eat too much prunes at once, because it has a large amount of fructose, sorbitol and fiber that can have laxative effect to your digestive system. Prunes are also very high in calories. They contain 209 calories per one half cup serving. If you have some health condition, seek the advice of your doctor first to know if you can include prunes in your diet.
Vitamin K works better when taken along with vitamin D which also supports bone health. If consumed together, the effectiveness of each vitamin increases as they work synergistically. Those who are taking blood thinning medicines should reduce their intake of foods that are high in vitamin K. Vitamin K may interfere their medication with blood thinning substances.