The human organism requires nutrients that it cannot synthesize on its own, which is why its intake is necessary in the consumption of food in the daily diet.
One of these nutrients is vitamin K , a vital compound for the functioning of some biological and metabolic functions in the body.
In the following article, we give you information about foods rich in vitamin K that strengthen your health.
What is vitamin K?
Vitamin K is a micronutrient that comes mainly from vegetables and some foods from the animal kingdom.
There are two common presentations of vitamin K: one in the form of phylloquinone and phytomenadione known as vitamin K1, menaquinone-4 and menaquinone-7 known as vitamin K2.
Important: Vitamin K deficiency decreases levels of prothrombin and other coagulation factors, can cause defective clotting and potentially bleeding.
What is the function of vitamin K in the human body?
The main function of vitamin K is that it is involved in the formation of proteins that allow blood coagulation , a process by which this fluid loses its liquidity, becoming a gel, to form a clot and prevent bleeding.
This vitamin also helps build healthy bones , preventing osteoporosis and strengthening our bone mass.
The scientific literature indicates that between 90 mcg and 120 mcg of vitamin K per day are necessary to cover our daily requirements. (1)
To highlight: Some studies have associated the consumption of vitamin K with a lower risk of suffering fractures in the adult population. (two)
What foods are rich in vitamin K?
As previously mentioned, vitamin K plays an important role in the human body , hence the need for its consumption. For this reason, below we mention the foods that are natural sources of vitamin K:
Of the vegetables that provide vitamin K, broccoli undoubtedly has an outstanding representation. This food provides more than 100 mcg of vitamin K per 100 g of edible portion, that is, a single serving can meet the requirements of this nutrient. (3)
In addition, this vegetable provides other valuable micronutrients such as vitamin C , calcium and potassium, complementing many benefits for the circulatory system.
Note: The recommendation to consume this vegetable is at least 100 grams a day, since it does not cause any harm to the body and provides valuable nutrients.
Spinach is another of the vegetables considered to be an invaluable source of vitamin K. The leaf of this vegetable supplies the amount of 482.9 mcg per 100 g serving of edible portion, that is, consuming 25 g of this vegetable per day It is more than enough to meet the daily needs of this vitamin.
In addition to this goodness, spinach provides a good amount of other micronutrients such as ascorbic acid, tocopherol, folic acid, calcium, iron and magnesium among the most prominent. that complement interesting benefits to the body. (4)
Important: If you are consuming anticoagulants, you must be very careful when consuming this vegetable.
This vegetable is another of the foods that has not inconsiderable amounts of vitamin K in its nutritional content. Kale provides 69 mcg per 100 g serving of edible portion, or approximately 70% of the daily requirement.
This vegetable also contains retinol, ascorbic acid, vitamin B9, and in moderate amounts minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium, which are essential micronutrients for the body. (5)
To highlight: Vitamin K can mitigate the discomfort of menstruation, since another of its functions is to maintain estrogen and progesterone levels.
The green leaf of lettuce is another food source of vitamin K. This vegetable contains 102.3 mcg per 100 g edible portion. With this amount, it completely meets the daily needs of this nutrient in adults.
It also provides vitamins A, C, folic acid and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron, which are essential trace elements for organ function. (6)
Important: Vitamin K is essential for newborns in order to prevent hemorrhagic disease.
5. Soybean oil
Soybean oil is one of the foods that also provides vitamin K during its consumption in the diet. This oil stands out for its vitamin E content, but its contribution of vitamin K is also noteworthy. It provides 31% of the daily requirements in adults.
Important: In people under treatment with anticoagulant drugs, you should consult your doctor about the intake of vitamin K, since it can interfere with its effect.
6. Olive oil
Another of the foods rich in vitamin K is olive oil, since it provides approximately 50 mcg per 100-gram serving. Olive oil is outstanding in other micronutrients such as vitamin E, but low in mineral content.
Note: Olive oil contains a high caloric value due to its high total fat content, so it should be consumed in moderation.
Another natural way to consume vitamin K is through fruits. Kiwi is a viable option to consume this nutrient in the daily diet, since it contains 40.3 mcg of this vitamin per 100 g of this fruit.
In addition, this fruit is rich in ascorbic acid, minerals and antioxidant compounds that participate in improving the functioning of the circulatory system.
To highlight: The consumption of vitamin K in supplements can improve the elasticity of your arteries and therefore allows blood to circulate more easily. (7)
Another of the foods rich in vitamin K are blueberries , fruits that provide many benefits to the circulatory system.
Its vitamin K content is 19.3 mcg per 100 grams of edible fruit, which added to its content of ascorbic acid, folic acid and minerals such as potassium, help preserve the balance of the homeostatic mechanism (mechanism by which the body maintains vital signs stable. (8)
Note: Vitamin K1 is more present in foods of plant origin.
Dairy products such as milk contain moderate amounts of vitamin K2 , making it another option for consumption. On the other hand, butter and cheese are the products that provide the most this micronutrient.
To highlight: On average, dairy products provide approximately 3% to 10% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin K, depending on their nutritional quality.
Likewise, meats such as beef and chicken contain vitamin K2, in amounts less than 50 mcg per 100 grams of edible portion. For its part, fish provides less of this vitamin, with an average figure of less than 5 mcg/100 gr.
To highlight: The amount of vitamin K necessary depends on the age and sex of the people and the dose in the case of supplements will be at the discretion of the treating physician.
- Vitamin K is a fat- soluble compound that can occur in the form K1 from plant foods and K2 from foods of animal origin.
- Among its functions are to promote blood coagulation , prevent the health of bones and tissues.
- It is very important for newborns in the prevention of hemorrhagic disease.
- There have been no reported cases of side effects in the intake of vitamin k.
- Vitamin K has a greater presence in foods of plant origin such as green leafy vegetables, as well as fruits, dairy products, and meats.
University Professional in the area of Human Resources, Postgraduate in Occupational Health and Hygiene of the Work Environment, 14 years of experience in the area of health. Interested in topics of Psychology, Occupational Health, and General Medicine.