Vitamin K plays a major role in our bodies. It is sometimes referred to as the “forgotten vitamin” because it does not get as much attention as other important vitamins like vitamins A, B, C, and D. Vitamin K enables the blood to coagulate, or clot, and is also vital to bone health. It works in close cooperation together with vitamin D, each boosting the effectiveness of the other.
The two types of vitamin K include vitamin K1, found mostly in vegetables, and vitamin K2, found in dairy products.
People with longstanding vitamin K deficiency are in danger of developing these health issues:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive decline, including dementia
- Tooth decay
- Prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, and leukemia
- Pneumonia and other infectious diseases
These foods high in vitamin K will keep your blood healthy and your bones strong. Incorporate them into your diet every day, and you probably won’t need to worry about vitamin K deficiency.
1. Kale (Leafy Greens)
This leafy green from the cruciferous family offers 684% of your daily recommended intake (DRI) of vitamin K in just one cup (raw). It also provides more than enough of your DRI of vitamins A and C. Kale contains important antioxidants that help fight free radical damage in our body. Lutein, one of such antioxidants, is vital for eye health, protecting the eyes from light damage.
Other leafy greens which provide over 100% of your DRI of vitamin K per cup include parsley (1230% DRI), beet greens (cooked) (871% DRI), mustard greens (cooked) (524% DRI), Swiss chard (374% DRI), spinach (181% DRI), and watercress (106% DRI).