Tags: Vitamin | K | health | benefits | deficiency | bone | density

What Are the Best Sources of Vitamin K?

Monday, 31 Jan 2011 05:11 PM

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. The human body needs this vitamin to promote the process of blood clotting, to protect the bones,  as well as to prevent hardening of the arteries.

It belongs to a group of chemically similar compounds called napthoquinones. The best sources of vitamin K can be divided into two broad categories:  phyllo-quinones and metaquinones. The primary food source of vitamin K is plants, especially green leafy vegetables. Almost 90% of the dietary vitamin K is in the form of phyllo-quinones.  

The contribution of intestinal bacteria rests with the production of metaquinones. Arming our body with adequate food sources of vitamin K is crucial to maintain optimum protection against any oxidative stress and inflammatory response in the body.
 
Best dietary sources of Vitamin K:

1. The best natural sources of vitamin K include green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, kale, and asparagus. A couple of tablespoons of parsley contain approximately 150% of the daily recommended dietary intake of vitamin K. These vegetables may be added to the diet in the form of steamed vegetables, salads, soups, or vegetable dishes.
2. Soybean and soybean products, especially the fermented ones, are rich sources of vitamin K (metaquinones). The process of fermentation perks up the vitamin K content in any food. Tofu is one of the best sources of vitamin K.
3. Fermented cheese such as specific Swiss cheeses or Norwegian cheese is fermented by a strain of bacteria, which helps in building substantial amounts of metaquinones.
4. Lettuce is yet another rich dietary source of vitamin k. Romaine lettuce contains about four times more vitamin K than iceberg lettuce.
5. Brussels sprouts, steamed broccoli, and raw celery leaves are also good food sources of vitamin K.
6. Among grains, wheat bran, wheat germ, and oats are better loaded with vitamin K than rice and millets.
7. Sea kelp, yogurt, meats, and eggs have good amounts of menaquinones. Therefore, these are good dietary sources of vitamin K.
8. In addition to dietary sources, vitamin K supplements are recommended to meet the increased need in newborn babies or for specific deficiencies.

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