Categories: General Health

The health benefits of Vitamin K & 10 foods rich in Vitamin K

The health benefits of Vitamin K

Vitamin K, is an essential vitamin for our body’s health, but this vitamin is mostly overlooked. So we thought it would be a good idea to look into the health benefits of Vitamin K. We have also listed 10 fantastic foods rich in Vitamin K to help you get this essential vitamin into your diet.

Studies into vitamin K

A review in 2014 shows that vitamin K can improve bone density and thereby minimize the risk of Osteoporosis and the incidents of fractures.

Studies into vitamin K have shown that this vitamin could possibly help protect against cancer like leukemia, prostate, lung and liver cancers although this claim needs more research.

However, Vitamin K does protect against heart disease and varicose veins by reducing arterial calcification.

Different types of Vitamin K

Vitamin K plays an important role in our body’s blood clotting ability and modifying the protein ingested.

There are two types of vitamin K that are essential for our body, Vitamin K1 and K2….

K1 – phylloquinone – Goes to the liver and this helps with the blood clotting function.

When we eat green vegetables this is where we get K1 from as it occurs naturally in plants.

Studies show that vitamin K1 has had some success in the treatment of liver cancer.

K2 – menaquinone – This goes to the bones, blood vessel walls and tissues in the body but not the liver.

K2 is produced by the bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract.

Research has shown that K2 and vitamin D helps to prevent the calcification in the coronary arteries, as it is a hardening of the arteries that is a common cause of coronary artery disease.

Trials into Vitamin K

There have been a number of trials carried out in Japan that show vitamin K2 can reverse bone loss. And in some people suffering with osteoporosis bone mass can be increased.

Evidence from the Japanese trials has shown that vitamin K2 can reduce vertebral fracture by 60% and also an 80 % reduction to hip and no-vertebral fractures.

Studies in the Netherlands have also shown that K2 controls the building of bone.

A German research group in 2008 found that K2 helped protect against prostate cancer

A list of 10 foods rich in Vitamin K

So it would seem that this mostly overlooked vitamin is not one you want to be deficient in!

To make sure you are keeping the vitamin K levels up in your body make sure you include these foods rich in Vitamin K below in your diet :

1. Spring onions

Also called scallions, these tender onion bulbs are rich in vitamins including vitamin K. They have been used in Chinese traditional medicine for many years.

2. Kale

One of the super healthy greens, an extremely nutritious plant and an excellent source of vitamin K as well as being packed full of other vitamins and minerals.

3. Broccoli

Another super vegetable which is related to cabbage, kale and brussels sprouts. It is packed with nutrients including vitamin K.

It is also high in protein and fibre and is delicious raw as well as cooked.

4. Spinach

Believed to be Persian in origin and by the 12th century Europeans were aware of its health benefits.

Also known as Goosefoot this leafy green vegetable is packed full of nutrients and antioxidants including vitamin K, this can be eaten raw or cooked on its own or included in other dishes.

5. Prunes

Dried prunes are a rich source of nutrients, one prune contains 5% of the daily intake of minerals and vitamins that is recommended.

They are rich in vitamin K and for bone health this fruit is exceptional.

Prunes work well in both sweet and savory recipes.

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6. Brussels sprouts

This small cabbage like vegetable is packed with nutrition.  A cup a day will give you your daily requirement of vitamins K and C.

Another vegetable full of protein and antioxidants.

Try roasting them as this brings out the sweet nutty flavor.

7. Cucumber

Belonging to the same family as the melon, cucumbers are rich in vitamin K.

Ongoing studies are showing that cucumber could help with blocking cancer cell development.

The anti-inflammatory that is contained in cucumber helps to protect the nerve cells from age related decline.

8. Cabbage

Like kale and broccoli, cabbage is packed full of nutrients and vitamin K. These cruciferous vegetables are being researched for their cancer delaying properties.

Try to eat cabbage raw as cooking does cause a loss of nutrients.

9. Dried basil

This aromatic herb that is part of the mint family is another that is high in vitamin K.

Basil is an important medicinal plant that has been used in Ayurvedic herbal treatments for thousands of years.

Phytochemicals contained in basil have in clinical studies shown a natural prevention to cancers.

10. Asparagus

One of the top 20 foods that have high vitamin and mineral content. It can be eaten raw or cooked it has a unique savory taste.

A cup of asparagus contains 70% of your daily need of vitamin K.

Add to an omelet or great with scrambled egg.

4 delicious recipes packed full of Vitamin K

To help get more of the vitamin K rich foods into your diet have a look at these 4 recipes below:

1. Soy Coleslaw with Cabbage

Image: Shaun Hill & Great British Chefs

Cabbage is best eaten raw to keep the highest value of nutrients, so why not try this lovely soy coleslaw recipe by Shaun Hill from the website Great British chefs.

2. Shaved Brussel Sprout & Carrot Salad

Image: Brooklyn Supper

This scrummy recipe from Brooklyn supper has shaved Brussels Sprouts in, allowing this not so popular vegetable to come into its own along with the Cara Cara, Avocado and orange tahini dressing.

3. Spinach and Kale Soup

Image courtesy of Green Kitchen Stories

Kale and Spinach are two foods rich in Vitamin K, so this recipe courtesy of Green Kitchen Stories seems like a no brainer if you’re looking to top up on Vit K!

4. Spring Onion Miso Soup with Quinoa & Radish Relish

Image: Whats Cooking Good Looking

This super delicious recipe from Whats cooking good looking has Spring onion, which contains really good levels of vitamin K, along with one of our fave superfoods Quinoa.

We’d love to know your thoughts….

If you know other foods rich in Vitamin K, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

We’d also love to know any recipes you cook and love that can help get this essential vitamin into your diet….

Calm Happy Healthy

We exist to do all we can to help make life a richer, more inspiring and enjoyable experience, for you our reader. By aiming to help you realise that you have the power and ability to change what needs to be changed to improve your health, state of mind, diet, energy levels, reduce stress and do your bit to help look after the environment. Live a Calmer, Happier and Healthier life.

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