Vitamins and minerals are crucial for the healthy functioning of our body. Different vitamins play different roles in maintaining optimal health. It is necessary to include them all in your diet to ward off diseases and ailments. Vitamin C promotes immunity, whereas vitamin D is responsible for strengthening bones, we all know that. But there are a few lesser-known types of vitamins that are equally necessary. Vitamin K is a type of vitamin which is rarely discussed but has tons of health benefits. Eating vitamin K-rich foods promotes bone health and accelerates wound healing, it is necessary for blood clotting. Before we reveal which foods are rich in vitamin K, let’s learn a bit more about this essential vitamin. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is a group of compounds categorised into two — vitamin K1 or phylloquinone and vitamin K2 or menaquinone.
Vitamin K1 is found in plant-based foods, mainly green leafy vegetables. Whereas vitamin K2 is found in animal-sourced foods. This means no matter what your food choices, you can obtain this vitamin from both sources. To make it further easy for you we have divided our list of vitamin K-rich foods into two categories, K1 and K2.
- 5 Vegetables high in vitamin K
- 5 Meat and dairy products high in vitamin K
- FAQs about vitamin k rich foods
5 Vegetables high in vitamin K
There are plenty of vegetables from which you can obtain your required intake of vitamin K. Note that these plant-sourced foods will provide your vitamin K1 or phylloquinone to your body. Here are the top five vitamin K-rich foods for vegetarians.
The health benefits of spinach are not unknown. Rich in iron, spinach is also a great source of vitamins A, C and K. It is good for bone health, this green leafy vegetable also ensures the proper functioning of red blood cells in the body. Did you know 100 grams of raw spinach gives you 483 mcg of vitamin K1? Vital vitamins and minerals can sometimes be lost during the cooking process, therefore it is best to eat spinach in raw form. You can add some to your smoothie in the morning or add it in your sandwich to have it in a delicious way!
One of the most popular and loved vegetables in India, cauliflower too offers a lot of health benefits. Right from maintaining a healthy digestive system to preventing obesity and arthritis, cauliflower is one vegetable with plenty of benefits. It is also a vitamin K-rich food. Did you know 1 cup of cauliflower contains about 19% of the daily recommended vitamin K intake? Add a bowl of cauliflower to your meals to get all the benefits mentioned above. There are plenty of ways in Indian cuisine to cook and eat this vegetable, try them all!
Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, broccoli can ward off many health problems when consumed regularly. It destroys free radicals and strengthens your immunity to maintain optimal health. Adding this vitamin K-rich food to your diet is pretty simple too, you can blanch or stir fry it and eat it as part of your salad or as a side dish. One cup of broccoli contains 110 mcg of vitamin K. However, you need to be careful with broccoli, make sure you don’t overcook it or it will lose its nutrition and flavour.
Kale is probably the most nutritious green leafy vegetable. Apart from being a rich source of fibre, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, kale also provides 50% of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin K. 100 grams of raw spinach gives you a whopping 817 mcg of vitamin K1 making it the highest source of vitamin K in plant-sourced foods. While kale is not widely used in Indian cuisine, you can surely add it to salads, smoothies or look for healthy and easy ways to add this vegetable into your diet. Because it really is the powerhouse of nutrients and minerals.
A salad staple and a delicious crunch factor in your burgers and sandwiches, lettuce too is rich in protein, vitamins A, K and potassium. This wonderful leafy vegetable can be consumed in so many different ways. One cup of lettuce contains 61 mcg of vitamin K, which may not be a lot, but is surely a simple way to add to your diet. On days when you can’t get your hands on one of the higher sources of vitamin K, you could do with a few fresh leaves of lettuce.
5 Meat and dairy products high in vitamin K
Vitamin K2 can be obtained from animal sources, too. Although lower in percentage, your body requires vitamin K2 also. Here are some of the ways to add it to your diet.
Eggs are the easiest to make and can be eaten for any meal of the day. This protein-rich food is also packed with vitamin K. One egg yolk contains anywhere in between 67 and 192 mcg of vitamin K2. So get your daily intake of this essential vitamin through some sunny side-ups or make egg curry, the options are endless. This versatile vitamin K-rich food can be consumed in so many different ways. If eggs aren’t already a part of your daily diet, then it's time you make them, because they offer so much more than just protein.
We are already aware of the many benefits of fish. A rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, fish is essential for the healthy functioning of our body and brain. The oils in fish are incredibly good for skin health too, right from warding off signs of ageing to protecting it from external damage, it can do it all. But did you know fish is also a vitamin K-rich food? Cooked salmon and shrimp have a small amount of vitamin K, but light canned tuna in oil is loaded with 37 micrograms per 3-ounce serving. We just gave you another reason to eat grilled fish for dinner tonight!
If bacon is something you enjoy eating, then here’s some good news, you are getting a good amount of vitamin K in your body. While it may not be the healthiest addition to your diet due to the high-fat content, you can surely balance it out and include this vitamin K-rich food once in a while. 100 gms of bacon contains 35 mcg of vitamin K.
Next on the list is chicken, one of the most preferred food options among non-vegetarians. It is also a great source of vitamin K2. Including just about 100 gms of chicken in your meal can give you 60 mcg of vitamin K! That’s not all, chicken liver is also a vitamin K-rich food. 100 gms of chicken liver can offer up to 13 mcg of vitamin K. However, make sure you don’t overcook it as you may end up losing essential nutrients. Pan-seared or grilled is the safest option.
Different types of cheese offer different percentages of vitamin K. For example 100 gms of blue cheese contains 36 mcg of vitamin K whereas 100 gms of hard cheese offers about 87 mcg of vitamin K. No matter what your preference, you're sure to get some amount of vitamin K by adding a small portion of cheese to your diet.
FAQs about vitamin k rich foods
Q. What fruits are high in vitamin K?
A. Other than vegetables and meat, you can also obtain vitamin K through fruits. Some vitamin K-rich foods include kiwi, prunes, blueberry, figs, pomegranate and more.
Q. What does vitamin K do?
A. One of the major functions of vitamin K is that it helps the body with blood clotting. This helps in wound healing. Some studies also show that a diet rich in vitamin K keeps bones healthy.