- Dark leafy green veggies are a rich source of Vitamin K
- Vitamin K is required for strong bones and blod clotting
- Deficiency of Vitamin K is rare
Vitamin K is a nutrient which primarily plays the role of blood clotting, and taking care of bone and heart health. The nutrient helps in preventing excessive bleeding. Vitamin K is actually a group of compounds. The most important of these compounds appears to be Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 is obtained from leafy greens and some other veggies. Vitamin K2 is a group of compounds that can be obtained from meats, cheese and eggs. Deficiency of Vitamin K can lead to uncontrolled bleeding.
It is quite rare for someone to have deficiency of Vitamin K. It can occur if you have the likes of Crohn's disease or active celiac disease, which affect absorption in the digestive tract. It can also occur in case of intake of drugs which can interfere with absorption of Vitamin. Heavy alcohol intake can also lead to Vitamin K deficiency.
Health benefits of Vitamin K
Vitamin K can benefit the body in various ways.
1. Heart health
Vitamin K helps in preventing build up of minerals in the arteries. Mineralisation, as it is called, occurs with age. It is considered to be a risk factor for heart disease. No mineralisation in arteries helps the heart pump blood efficiently throughout the body and keeps blood pressure under control.
2. Cognitive health
Sufficient amount of Vitamin K in blood has been found to improve episodic memory in older adults.
3. Bone health
Low intake of Vitamin K may increase risk of osteoporosis. This vitamin helps in maintaining strong bones, improve bone density and reduces the risk of fractures.
Food sources of Vitamin K
- Mustard greens
- Swiss chard
- Brussel sprouts
- Green beans
- Soyabean oil
- Egg yolk
- Pine nuts
All in all, consuming a balanced diet including all food groups can sufficiently meet your daily requirement of Vitamin K. Dark leafy green veggies are definitely the best source of this Vitamin K and it is the best you include them in your daily diet.
An important point to note is that Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. The nutrient can be absorbed in the body in the presence of good fat sources like olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, mustard oil, etc. So consider eating these foods with some source of fat or oil.
Do not take supplements of Vitamin K unless it has been recommended by your health care expert.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.