The Top 13 Food Sources of Vitamin K

Most people try to get enough calcium or vitamin C in their daily diet, but few people give any consideration to vitamin K. Perhaps that’s because most people haven’t even heard of this essential nutrient.

So What Exactly is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a vitamin, obviously. And what that means is that it is essential to life—it’s not optional. We need all vitamins for our survival. In the case of vitamin K, it is an antioxidant that helps to destroy harmful free radicals linked to aging or disease. This nutrient is also critical to building strong bones, so you’ll especially want to ensure you’re getting enough of the nutrient if you’re experiencing or at risk of experiencing osteoporosis.

Vitamin K is also involved in healthy blood clotting because it is required to make blood-clotting factors in your body. If you bleed excessively, you may be deficient in vitamin K. The nutrient is also involved in preventing heart disease—insufficient vitamin K may cause the blood vessels to become hard and narrowed with deposits.


This integral vitamin also has anti-cancer properties. It seems to work by preventing the growth of tumors either on its own, but also when it is used in conjunction with radiation. Vitamin K has also been found to prevent cancer from spreading throughout the body. Of course, it should only be used as part of a cancer treatment when under the guidance of a professional.

Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin K Deficiency

Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)

Bleeding Excessively

Bone Fractures and Breaks

Cancer

Heart Disease

Osteoporosis

Tooth Decay

Wounds Don’t Heal Well

Top Food Sources of Vitamin K

There are many excellent sources of vitamin K (vitamin K1), which include:

Kale (1 cup) 1062 micrograms

Spinach (1 cup) 888 micrograms

Mustard Greens (1 cup) 829 micrograms

Collard Greens (1 cup) 772 micrograms

Beet Greens (1 cup) 696 micrograms

Swiss Chard (1 cup) 572 micrograms

Turnip Greens (1 cup) 529 micrograms

Parsley (1/2 cup) 498 micrograms

Broccoli (1 cup) 220 micrograms

Brussels Sprouts (1 cup) 218 micrograms

Romaine Lettuce (2 cups) 96 micrograms

Asparagus (1 cup) 91 micrograms

Basil (1/2 cup) 88 micrograms

The primary sources of vitamin K2 include: fish, eggs, meat and fermented foods; however, if you boost your gut health, the beneficial bacteria found there can manufacture vitamin K2. Eating more fermented foods supplies the body with vitamin K2 while boosting beneficial bacteria that can manufacture the vitamin.

Eating more fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso, natto, yogurt, kimchi and others are the best way to boost beneficial bacteria and your gut health.

How Much Do You Need?

The recommended dietary intake (RDI) is around 80 micrograms for both women and men. Nutrition experts typically recommend between 80 and 100 micrograms. Some people are more at risk of a deficiency because of other health conditions that predispose them to vitamin K deficiencies. They include those with bowel obstructions, colitis or chronic liver disease. Of course, if you are on anticoagulant therapy you should consult your doctor prior to supplementing with the vitamin.

What is the Best Form of the Vitamin?

Food is always the best form of any vitamin so I encourage you to eat more of the foods mentioned above, but if you need to supplement you’ll want to get vitamin K or vitamin K2, but not K3, which is also known as menadione), since it is synthetic and has been linked to some side-effects. The natural forms of vitamin K are superior.

You can also boost your body’s ability to manufacture vitamin K by improving the health of your gut since some probiotics in the gut are able to manufacture vitamin K.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life.

Sources:

The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book by Shari Lieberman, PhD, CNS, FACN and Nancy Bruning, MPH

87 comments

Cindy S
Cindy S17 days ago

thanks

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Mona P
Mona P20 days ago

Noted

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Cindy M. Dutka
Cindy M. D20 days ago

I eat a lot of the foods mentioned above. Love knowing I'm doing something good for myself.

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Julie B
Julie B22 days ago

Thankyou lots of information ~always interesting and beneficial to look after ourbodies. It is true to say 'eat well to feel well' we owe it to ourselves to be in optimum health :)

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Debbie F
Debbie F23 days ago

Thanks!

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Emma Z
Emma Z23 days ago

thank you

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Justin M
Justin M24 days ago

Thanks

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Anna R
Anna R24 days ago

Thank you

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Monica C
Monica C25 days ago

I like all greens and Brussels sprouts. I try to enjoy most of the food on your list.

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Janis K
Janis K26 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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