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The Health Benefits of Vitamin K

You may have heard of vitamin K, but do you really understand what it’s about or its health benefits? The World’s Healthiest Foods breaks down vitamin K and reveals that it has some fascinating qualities.

The “K” in vitamin K actually comes from the German word coagulation. This refers to blood clotting. There are three kinds of vitamin K:  K1-K3. The nutrient is most commonly found in foods derived from plants. These include:

  • Kale
  • Mustard Greens
  • Spinach
  • Collard Greens
  • Turnip Greens
  • Swiss Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Parsley
  • Swiss Chard
  • Beet Greens

These foods all have more than enough of the recommended daily requirement of vitamin

  1. One cup of kale alone has 1,180% of recommended nutritional value. Foods with vitamin K do well with cooking and don’t significantly lose their nutritional benefit through storage.  However, oils that contain vitamin K are more sensitive to light should be kept sealed in containers that do not allow light.

Vitamin K has several health benefits. For example:

  • Blood clotting:  This is when red blood cells stick together to form clots. Too much clotting can be harmful and clog a blood vessel. However, you need some blood clotting in order to heal from a wound.

 

  • Healthy bones:  Research is showing that vitamin K helps with keeping bones healthy.  This could be important for those who are at a greater risk of breaking a bone, such as women who are post-menopause.

 

  • Insulin resistance:  Particularly for older men.

 

  • Blood vessels.  Protecting the walls of blood vessels and veins.

Even though vitamin K has so many benefits, many Americans are at risk of a vitamin K deficiency, especially among children and young adults. The nutrient is in many green vegetables, and Americans get between only 70 to at most 90% of the recommended daily amount. Another reason why some don’t get enough vitamin K is that of medications that block the body’s ability to absorb it.

Want to learn more about the health benefits of vitamin K? You can read the full article here:  vitamin K.