Saturday, 25 May 2019

12 Crucial Facts About Vitamin K

One of the least-known vitamins, it’s not surprising that there’s a lot of mystique and mistakes surrounding vitamin K. Everywhere I turn, another person is sharing misinformation about this critical nutrient. To help set the record straight, here are some essential facts you need to know about vitamin K:

Food is the Best Source

Food is always the best form of any vitamin and vitamin K is no different. While there may be a need to supplement with this nutrient, food is still the best way to get it.

Vitamin K is Actually a Group of Vitamins

Not just a standalone vitamin, vitamin K is actually a group of fat-soluble vitamins that have similar chemical structures.

Vitamin K1 and K2 are Not the Same

While there are several different kinds of vitamin K, vitamin K1 and K2 are the most common. While they have predominantly the same name, these different forms of the vitamin have different functions and food sources.

Vitamin K1 is Mainly Found in Greens

Also known as phylloquinone, vitamin K1 is primarily found in leafy greens so if you aren’t already loading up on greens, you’ll want to get started to reap the rewards of vitamin K1.

Vitamin K2 is Not Just Found in Animal Products

Most bloggers continue to perpetuate the myth that vitamin K2 is only found in meat. While animal products tend to be sources of this nutrient, they are not the only sources. Vitamin K2 is also found in many fermented foods.

Your Body Can Manufacture Vitamin K

You may not realize that by boosting the health of your gut, you can boost your body’s ability to manufacture vitamin K. The best way to boost your gut health is by eating more fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso, natto, yogurt, kimchi and fermented pickles. 

Vitamin K3 is Best Avoided

Vitamin K3, also known as menadione, is synthetic and is best avoided due to the potential for side-effects.

Vitamin K1 Makes Up the Bulk of Vitamin K

Between 75 and 90 percent of the vitamin K consumed by people is Vitamin K1, not the meat-sources of K2 which many well-meaning but misguided people recommend as a way to get more vitamin K.

Eat More of the Top 6 Sources of Vitamin K

The best way to get more vitamin K is to eat more of the top 6 sources, including (with the amount of vitamin K found in 1 cup): kale (1062 mcg), collard greens (1059 mcg), spinach (889 mcg), turnip greens (529 mcg), broccoli (220), Brussels sprouts (218 mcg).

Vitamin K is Not Just for Blood-Clotting

While it is most known for its ability to ensure healthy clotting of blood, vitamin K can help improve heart and bone health.

Vitamin K is Best Absorbed When Eaten With Fat

Because Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, it is best eaten alongside some fat to boost absorption. So, add some olive oil to your cooked or salad greens, throw some avocado slices in your vitamin K-rich meal, or add some nuts and seeds with them.

Keep Your Vitamin K Intake Consistent

If you take warfarin or another blood thinner, or have a blood clotting disorder, it is wise to keep your vitamin K intake consistent to avoid any issues with your medication or condition.

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