Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in blood clotting. If you’re low in Vitamin K or deficient, you’ll usually be more prone to bleeding and getting bruised easily. Some research shows that low intake of this nutrient is associated with weaker bones and also increases your risk of getting heart disease.The daily recommended intake is set to 120 mcg which means if you manage to get this, you’ll be fine.
Here are some of the best sources of Vitamin K, both plant and animal-based. So stay tuned and keep reading.
Why Do You Need Vitamin K?
You need Vitamin K for strong and healthy bones, cardiovascular health, and to make sure you for normal blood clotting.
There’s another thing to note here. You can’t get Vitamin K exclusively from plant or animal-based foods. This is because Vitamin K is further classified into two types – Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2. For optimal health, you want to make sure you get enough of both. Vitamin K1 mostly comes from plant-based food sources while K2 is found exclusively in animal meats, dairy, and some fermented foods like natto.
Best Food Sources of Vitamin K
Keeping that in mind, here’s a list of the best foods high in Vitamin K out there.
First up on our list is natto. We love fermented foods like this one because not only does it contain 850 mcg of Vitamin K2 for every 3 ounces, but it’s also loaded with natural probiotics. It’s one of the best natural sources of Vitamin K2 besides meat and dairy.
Spinach is another excellent source of Vitamin K, specifically Vitamin K1. It is packed with beta-carotene which gives your immune system a boost and is even good for your vision. Besides Vitamin K, Spinach offers antioxidants such as Vitamins E and C too. For every 3.5 ounces of spinach, you get 483 mcg of Vitamin K.
A cup of shredded raw green cabbage gives you 53.2 micro grams of Vitamin K a day. That meets about 59% of your RDA and if you want to spice up your salads, add this veggie to them. Fermented cabbage or sauerkraut is a good source of probiotics as well.
4. Chicken Breast
We love chicken but when it comes to Vitamin K2 intake, it’s also one of the best Vitamin K2 rich foods. You get niacin, vitamin B6, selenium, and phosphorus with it too. A 3-ounce serving will supply you with up to 17% of your Vitamin K intake. Organ meats like pork and chicken liver are also good dietary sources of Vitamin K.
Love cauliflower? Good news is that it helps prevent stomach ulcers and other digestive disorders. It also prevents obesity, arthritis, fights inflammation too and is one of the best vegetables with Vitamin K.
You don’t need to ferment soybeans to reap the benefits of its Vitamin K content. Just half a cup of these roasted will give you 54% of your daily requirement. In addition, soybeans give you a host of other nutrients like thiamine, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese.
Kale is a super food in its own league and that’s because it’s one of the best plant-based sources of calcium out there. In just one cup of raw kale, you get about 141% of Vitamin K! There’s also high levels of Vitamin A and C in this vegetable.
8. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are a super food when it comes to Vitamin K. A cup of it boiled will supply you with up to 524% of Vitamin K. Other nutrients included with this vegetable are Vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, manganese, and protein.
9. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts contain up to 137% of the RDI for Vitamin K and are high in Vitamin C. They are loaded with antioxidants which boost your immunity. Besides being high in fibre, they also have various nutrients like potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium, and phosphorus.
10. Beef Liver
Beef liver has high levels of Vitamin B12 and folate which help your body convert food into energy. The copper content boosts collagen production which is beneficial for your hair and skin. In just a 3-ounce serving of this organ meat for Vitamin K, you get up to 106 mcg of Vitamin K2 which is more than sufficient to meeting very close to your RDA.
11. Spring Onions
Spring onions give you up to 207 mcg of Vitamin K in just three ounces. There are also a good source of nutrients like folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, manganese, calcium, copper, and iron.
12. Red Chilli Powder
It’s a lesser known fact but red chilli powder is actually a good source of Vitamin K. You get 106 mcg of the nutrient in a 3-ounce serving. Other nutrients like high levels of Vitamin E and C also make it a fantastic addition for boosting your overall nutrient intake.
13. Pickled Cucumber
Pickled cucumber is a good source of Vitamin K and packs 77 mcg in 3 ounces which is about 96% of your RDA. However, high sodium content is something to watch out for so make sure to get variants which are low in sodium.
Carrots aren’t just good for your eyes, they’re also good for your Vitamin K content! One medium carrot supplies up to 10% of your RDA. Although that’s lower compared to the other veggies, meats, and fruits on this list, we believe adding carrots is a good move since it gives you other beneficial nutrients like Vitamin A, C, calcium, iron, and a host of antioxidants.
15. Sun Dried Tomatoes
You can add sun dried tomatoes to your pizzas and salads if you’re worried you’re not getting enough Vitamin K. When you combine these with various fruits and veggies, you reap the benefits of a wide variety of nutrients. These tomatoes give you up to 54% of your RDA in just 3 ounces and they work well in various cuisines.
16. Ground Cloves
If you add a tablespoon of ground cloves to your salads, you’d be getting about 9.9 mcg of Vitamin K. Although that’s not much, they possess other nutrients which are anti-carcinogenic and boost your immune system.
Prunes are great because they have ample amounts of nutrients like zinc, fibre, and iron. In a 3-ounce serving, you’ll be getting Vitamin K worth 74% of your RDA and these are a lot healthier than processed snacks since they’re completely natural.
Who doesn’t love butter? Spread a spoonful of this on your toasts and in your salads and you’ll be bumping up your Vitamin K intake a bit. In a 100 g pack, there’s Vitamin K worth 18% of your daily requirements. But we don’t recommend taking large amounts of this because of the fat content, which is why you want to lean more towards fruits, organ meats, and veggies.
Pomegranates are one of our favourite fruits because they are very calorie-dense and chock full of nutrients. They give you up to 16 mcg of Vitamin K1 in 3 ounces which is literally 14% of your RDA. You can blend the pomegranates and mix with smoothies, eat them whole, or spruce up your salads by adding them in.
20. Cashew Nuts
Cashew nuts are our favourite nut simply because we’re nuts about nuts. They are one of the best Vitamin K-rich Indian foods and pack quite a bit of calories. You get up to 28% of your RDA in a 3-ounce serving and if you’re lactose intolerant, you can make plant-based milk out of them by throwing in a few bananas and dates into a blender.
21. Cooked Green Peas
Green peas are one of the few plant-based foods out there to be an almost complete source of protein. They have a wide variety of amino acids which aid in cell repair and tissue growth. Besides helping you build muscles, it can boost your bone density since 3 ounces of them give you up to 22% of your RDA.
22. Turnip Greens
Remember the green leaves you see growing on those fresh turnips? They’re packed with Vitamin K1. Next time you see them, remember that you get 426 mcg in just half a cup when boiled.
23. Canned Pumpkin
Forget pumpkin pie, go straight for the source. Canned pumpkin contains up to 20 mcg of Vitamin K per 1/2 cup and has enough fibre that’ll leave you feeling satiated.
24. Edamame Beans
Edamame beans are used in Japanese and Indian cuisines for making curries, sushi, salads, and various recipes. They have antioxidants which regulate your blood sugar levels and Vitamin K as well.
25. Hard Cheese
Hard cheese is also a good dietary source of Vitamin K when it comes to dairy products. 3 ounces gives you up to 87 mcg of Vitamin K1 which is close to 72% of your RDA.
26. Collard Greens
Gives you up to 339% of Vitamin K1 which is equal to roughly 407 mcg in a three-ounce serving! Plus, they go great with soups and salad bowls.
Here are some frequently asked questions about vitamin K intake in diets and their answers.
1. How Do I Incorporate Vitamin K in My Diet?
Make sure you vary your diet by including different Vitamin K rich foods every day. Don’t eat the same thing every day because that’s how you get deficient. If you eat a good balance of dairy products, animal meats, and green leafy veggies, you’ll be on your way to good health.
2. How Much Vitamin K Should I Have in a Day?
How much Vitamin K you should have in a day will depend on your age, gender, and the general state of health. You shouldn’t be taking any Vitamin K-rich foods if you’re on any blood thinning or clotting medications. So, make sure you consult your doctor before adding the different types of foods. Other than that, where recommended intakes are concerned, the Food and Nutrition Board has established some guidelines which are as follows-
- 2mcg/day from birth to six months
- 2.5 mcg/day from 7 to 12 months
- 30mcg/day from 1 to 3 years
- 55mcg/day from 4 to 8 years
- 60mcg/day from 9 to 13 years
- 75mcg/day from 14 to 18 years
- 120mcg and 90mcg/day for males and females above 19 years old, respectively
And that’s it! Just try out these foods and we’re sure you’re health will start improving soon. Make sure to go for variety since that is after all – the spice of life (and vitamin K!)