Well Being

The Best Food Sources Of Vitamin K

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vitamin K rich foods include asparagus, tomatoes and parsley

This post is brought to you by an office kitchen conversation I just had with Ashley Cardiff. We were discussing the merits of soy-free Earth Balance Spread versus regular Earth Balance (yup), and I mentioned that I try to avoid soybean oil because of its high omega-6 fatty acid content. Omega-6s are basically the ying to omega-3s' yang—though we need both, balance is key, as omega-6s thicken the blood while omega-3s  thin it. Ashely then mentioned vitamin K—also a “blood-thinning” nutrient.

Blood-thinning isn't exactly the correct term: What vitamin K actually does is interfere with blod clotting activity. It also helps build strong bones.

While having a vitamin K deficiency is rare, getting more of this vitamin is never a bad idea. But where does one get vitamin K? Ashley said seaweed (which she eats like candy), but it turns out most green vegetables are good sources. In fact, vitamin K1 (one of two metabolically active forms of the vitamin) is directly involved in photosynthesis.

To get more vitamin K in your diet, make sure you're eating plenty of …

1. Leafy greens. Be it kale, collards or something more exotic, you're pretty much guaranteed a good dose of vitamin K when you eat your leafy greens. One-half cup of cooked kale contains 531 micrograms of the vitamin—that's 1,327% of your required daily value! Half a cup of cooked spinach contains 444 micrograms of vitamin K, and Collard and dandelion greens are similarly high. Turnip greens, mustard greens, romaine lettuce and cabbage will also do.

2. Brussels sprouts. One serving of sprouts contains nearly twice the required daily value of vitamin K.

3. Parsley. Not just a fine dining decoration! Parsley is full of nutrients, including 125 micrograms of vitamin K per two-tablespoon serving.

4. Broccoli. Like their relative, Brussels sprouts, these cruciferous green veggies are packed with K; one cup of raw broccoli contains 92 micrograms of the vitamin.

 5. Asparagus. One cup of raw asparagus will give you 56 micrograms vitamin K.

6. Basil. Just two tablespoons of basil pack nearly 50 micrograms vitamin K. Thyme boasts similar K content.

7. Peas. One cup of raw peas will net you 44% of the recommended amount of vitamin K.

8. Blueberries. A cup of fresh blueberries contains about 29 micrograms vitamin K, over a third of the recommended daily value.

9. Prunes. Just a quarter cup of prunes has 26 micrograms of vitamin K, or about a third of the recommended daily value.

10. Sage. Herbs are just vitamin K powerhouses, aren't they? Two tablespoons of sage comes with 24 micrograms vitamin K (30% DV).

Other good food sources of vitamin K include: Oregano, cucumber, cauliflower, green beans, tomatoes, sea vegetables, carrots, raspberries, grapes, black pepper, cloves, bell peppers, kidney beans and avocado.

Source: World's Healthiest Foods

Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Liz Nolan Brown, Elizabeth Brown, Elizabeth N Brown, health writer, nutritionist, food, diet tips, vitamin K, nutrition
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