We need various vitamins to maintain our health and improve our quality of life. One of these is vitamin K. Although we rarely hear its name, it is an essential vitamin. In this article, I would like to discuss the importance of vitamin K and foods containing vitamin K.
What does vitamin K do?
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that regulates our body’s clotting process and supports bone health. This vitamin appears in 3 forms: K1 (phytomenadione), K2 (menaquinone) and K3. Each type has different biological functions.
While the K1 form is abundant in green leafy vegetables, the K2 form is found mostly in foods obtained from the fermentation process. Vitamin K3 is the synthetic form.
Vitamin K and blood clotting
Blood clotting is the body’s natural response to stop bleeding. Vitamin K plays a critical role in this process by activating clotting factors. This helps us control bleeding that occurs as a result of injuries.
Suppose there is a vitamin K deficiency; normal blood clotting may be prevented. As a result, bleeding problems may occur.
Vitamin K and bone health
Vitamin K plays a role in activating a protein called osteocalcin, which supports bone health. This protein helps calcium settle into the bones.
Vitamin K deficiency can cause bones to weaken and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone density decreases, and bones become weak. Paying attention to vitamin K intake, especially during aging, is important for bone health.
Foods containing vitamin K
Foods containing vitamin K can be consumed to meet the body’s need for this important vitamin. Here are some food sources rich in vitamin K:
• Kale: 100 grams of kale contains an average of 407 mcg of vitamin K.
• Spinach: We can meet most of our daily vitamin K needs with spinach. 100 grams of raw spinach contains approximately 480 mcg of vitamin K. It is among the foods containing the most vitamin K.
• Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts: Half a glass of cooked or Brussels sprouts contains approximately 110 micrograms of vitamin K.
• Cabbage: 100 grams of cooked cabbage contains approximately 109 micrograms of vitamin K.
• Parsley: 100 grams of raw parsley contains an average of 1,640 mcg of vitamin K.
• Vegetable Oils: Vegetable oils are essential for vitamin K intake and absorption.
• Cheese: The amount of vitamin K2 in cheese varies depending on the type of cheese. Generally, soft cheeses contain more vitamin K than hard cheeses.
• Egg Yolk: One large egg yolk contains approximately 6 micrograms of vitamin K.
• Red Meat and Offal: Red meat and offal are rich sources of vitamin K2, but the amount of vitamin K may vary depending on the animal’s diet.
• Chicken: Rich in vitamin K2. 100 grams of chicken meat can meet 40% of the daily vitamin K requirement.
Vitamin K deficiency can manifest with symptoms such as bleeding tendency, easy bruising, and bone pain. An unbalanced diet, digestive problems, or certain medications may increase the risk of vitamin K deficiency. A balanced diet and consuming various food sources are essential to meet vitamin K needs.
I hope this article helped you learn more about foods containing vitamin K. You can also read my other articles about vitamins and minerals that are important for our body: