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Vitamin K

Monday, 08 April 2019 14:00

Poor vitamin K: it doesn't get nearly the respect it deserves. It's like the poor, overlooked middle child of the vitamin family. Seldom talked about, vitamin K plays an important role in your diet. Most people would benefit from a little bit more of it in their diet. These top ten foods with vitamin k will help. But first, more about vitamin K and its role.

What is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a micronutrient which actually occurs in two forms: K1 and K2. K1 is found only in plant sources. K2 is found largely in animal sources,  although, surprisingly, it is also present in fermented foods (even veggies… think sauerkraut) and is one of the reasons the fermented foods movement is gaining momentum.

What Does Vitamin K Do?

Vitamin K is probably best known (to those who know it at all anyway) for its role as a blood clotting agent. It is needed for the body to produce prothombin, which causes blood to clot, preventing excess bleeding.

However,  it is also linked to the formation of strong bones and the prevention osteoporosis. It is even thought to help improve memory and cognitive function in older adults.

So if you're looking to add more vitamin K to your diet (or avoid it because you are taking blood thinners), check out these ten foods high in vitamin k:₩

1)Kale (472.2 micrograms per one cup, chopped): Love it or hate it, kale is the new everything when it comes to health food, and for good reason. Kale has more nutrients per ounce/gram than just about any other food on the planet. Besides being absolutely loaded with Vitamin K, kale is also high in vitamin A (133% RDA), vitamin C (134% RDA), vitamin B6 (10% RDA), magnesium (7% RDA), iron (5% RDA) plus 2.9 grams of protein.

2) Swiss chard (298 micrograms per cup raw): Here is a vegetable that deserves to get a lot more plate time than it does. Swiss chard is a cruciferous, rich dark green leafy plant. Some varieties have surprisingly bright red stems. It has a texture that is similar to that of kale but tastes more like spinach than kale. Swiss chard also contains vitamin A (122% RDA), vitamin C (50% RDA), magnesium (20% RDA), potassium (10% RDA), iron (9% RDA), vitamin B6 (5% RDA) and 1.6 grams of fiber.

3) Mustard greens (270 mcg per one cup raw): Chances are good that you may not be familiar with mustard greens. They aren't commonly used in American cooking, though they are gaining a stronger following. This is partly due to their notable nutrient content. Mustard greens rock vitamin C (65% RDA), vitamin A (33% RDA), calcium (6% RDA), vitamin B6 (5% RDA) and magnesium and iron (4% RDA) as well as 1.8 grams of fiber.

4) Broccoli (220 mcg per cup cooked): Besides vitamin K, broccoli also boasts a high content of vitamin C (135% RDA) plus vitamin A (11% RDA), vitamin B6 (10% RDA), potassium (8% RDA), calcium and magnesium (both 4% RDA), iron (3% RDA), protein (2.6 grams) and fiber (2.4%).

5) Brussels sprouts (219 mcg per one cup cooked): You either love them or hate them; there's no in-between with Brussels sprouts! However, there is no denying that they are nutritious. In addition to vitamin K, they also contain vitamin C (124% RDA), vitamin A (13% RDA), vitamin B6 (10% RDA), potassium (9% RDA) iron (6% RDA), magnesium (5% RDA) plus 3.3 grams of fiber.

6) Collard greens (144 mcg per cup raw): If you were raised in the South, you may have been brought up eating this leafy, cruciferous green. It's harder to find in the northern half of the country and less common in cooking. However, it's gaining popularity all over the country for its nutritional value. Besides its K content,  you'll also find vitamin A (36% RDA), vitamin C (21% RDA), vitamin B6 (5% RDA) and magnesium (2% RDA).

7) Spinach (144 mcg per cup raw): If cruciferous greens like kale and mustard greens aren't you're taste, there's always spinach to fall back on. It's mild, slightly sweet taste has broader appeal that other vitamin K-loaded leafy greens, and it's rife with other goodies too: vitamin A (105% RDA), manganese (77% RDA), folate (66% RDA), magnesium (37% RDA), iron (36% RDA), copper (34% RDA), vitamin B2 (32% RDA), vitamin B6 (26% RDA),E calcium C potassium fiber B1 phosphorus  zinc protein B3 selenium  (% RDA),

8) Beef liver (92 micrograms per 100 gram serving, braised): This is another food that appeals to a smaller percentage of people, but if you are a fan, it's a great source of vitamin K as well as protein.

9) Soybeans (87 mcg per one cup raw): Soybeans are an extremely versatile food (technically a legume, not a vegetable). They can be consumed raw, cooked, by themselves or added to other dishes. They are also the basis for a whole bunch of other foods, including tofu, soy milk and more. Soybeans are also pack a whopping amount of iron (162% RDA), iron (136%), magnesium (130% RDA), fiber (68% RDA) and vitamin B6 (30% RDA).

10) Cabbage (147 mcg per cup raw, chopped): Cabbage is another good old standby for those who aren't crazy about kale or swiss chard. Plus, it's super cheap, plentiful and readily available! Along with vitamin K, cabbage also has vitamin C (54% RDA) and vitamin B6 (5% RDA).

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