Often (or, truthfully, not that often) cited as the forgotten vitamin, Vitamin K plays crucial roles in bodily functions such as blood clotting, bone strengthening and brain bolstering. It works well with and is vitally needed by others, specifically calcium and Vitamin D, and it is fat-soluble, which means, in order to get the benefits, it should be consumed alongside some fat. (Thanks for that excuse!) Vitamin K comes in three varieties. K1 resides in green veggies and works hard to keep our blood healthy. K2 is made by bacteria, found in fermented foods, and works with the bones, blood vessels and bodily tissues. K3 is synthetic and should be treated as such: It has been linked to toxicity in infants. K2 is the most powerful form of Vitamin K, and the current goal—still being researched—is to have about 150-200 micrograms a day.
Where is Vitamin K Found?
There are plenty of plant-based foods that provide Vitamin K. The dark and delicious greens—kale, chard, spinach, and Romaine lettuce, as well as collard, mustard and turnip greens—are often packing some K1. The cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts and broccoli in particular, are also K1 contributors. And, let us not forget the renowned blueberry, titan of healthy eating. Other fruit sources of Vitamin K1 include prunes, grapes and raspberries. As for K2, the wonder version of Vitamin K, it can be found in fermented foods, which come with loads of other health benefits. Common sources are sauerkraut, and kombucha.
1. Leafy Greens
There are many reasons why you should be eating leafy greens. Kale, Spinach, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard, Turnip Greens, Mustard Greens, Parsley, Romaine Lettuce are all extremely high in vitamin K, and other nutrients. The super stars are Kale, Spinach and Collard Greens; all 3 provide over 1100% of the daily value of vitamin K in one cooked cup.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Here’s another reason to start eating more brussels sprouts, not just at Christmas! Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cabbage are also excellent sources of vitamin K. Brussels sprouts and broccoli are the 2 ringers of the cruciferous vegetables; they provide over 100% of the daily value in one raw cup.
We all know that blueberries are a superfood because of their antioxidant properties, but they are also an excellent source of vitamin K. One of the highest out of any fruit, one cup of blueberries will provide you with 35% of the daily value. Prunes, grapes and raspberries are also a very good source of vitamin K.