Vitamin K: Definition, Health Benefits, Uses, Food Sources, and More

Vitamin-K

According to Medical News Today vitamin K is an important nutrient that plays a vital role in blood clotting and bone and heart health. So in this article we’ll explore while vitamin K deficiency is rare, suboptimal intake may impair your health over time. Because inadequate intake may impair blood clotting, weaken your bones and increase your risk of heart diseases. Because for this reason you should make sure to obtain plenty of this vitamin from your diet. So getting the daily value (DV) of 120 mcg should prevent insufficiency in most people. Here are 20 foods that provide especially high amounts of vitamin K plus a few lists categorized by food group.

Table of Contents

What is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a type of vitamin that dissolves in fat. It comes in two forms. The main one, called phylloquinone, is in green leafy veggies like collard greens, kale, and spinach. The other form, called menaquinones, is found in some animal and fermented foods. Our bodies can also make menaquinones with the help of bacteria. 

What are the Uses of Vitamin K?

Phylloquinone, also known as Vitamin K1, is present in plants. When consumed, bacteria in the large intestine convert it into its storage form, vitamin K2. It gets absorbed in the small intestine and stored in fatty tissue and the liver. Vitamin K is essential for the body to produce prothrombin, a clotting factor necessary for blood clotting and bone health. Most Americans don’t usually lack vitamin K, but newborns and those with malabsorption issues, like short-bowel syndrome, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, or ulcerative colitis, are at high risk. Newborns typically get a vitamin K injection to prevent bleeding in the skull, which can be fatal. The recommended intake of vitamin K varies with age and gender. Women aged 19 years and over should aim for 90 micrograms (mcg) a day, while men should have 120 mcg.

What are the Health Benefits of Vitamin K?

Vitamin K benefits the body in various ways. Such as:

Bone Health:

There seems to be a connection between low vitamin K intake and osteoporosis. Some studies have hinted that vitamin K helps keep bones strong, increase bone density, and lowers the risk of fractures. However, more research is needed to confirm this.

Cognitive Health:

Higher blood levels of vitamin K have been associated with better episodic memory in older adults. In one study, older adults aged over 70 who had the highest blood levels of vitamin K1 showed the best performance in verbal episodic memory tests among healthy individuals.

Heart Health:

Vitamin K might help maintain lower blood pressure by preventing mineral buildup in the arteries. This allows the heart to pump blood freely throughout the body. As people age, mineral buildup naturally happens and increases the risk of heart disease. Having enough vitamin K intake has also been linked to a reduced risk of stroke.

Which Foods Contain Vitamin K?

So vitamin K is a group of compounds divided into two groups- K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone). Vitamin K1 the most common form is mainly found in plant foods especially dark leafy greens. Because K2 on the other hand is only found in animal foods and fermented plant foods such as natto. The following 20 foods are good sources of vitamin K.

Kale (cooked)-443% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 531 mcg (443% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 817 mcg (681% of the DV)

Mustard Greens (cooked)-346% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 415 mcg (346% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 593 mcg (494% of the DV)

Swiss Chard (raw)-332% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 leaf: 398 mcg (332% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 830 mcg (692% of the DV)

Collard Green (cooked)-332% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 386 mcg (322% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 407 mcg (339% of the DV)

Natto-261% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 ounce: 313 mcg (261% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 1103 mcg (920% of the DV)

Spinach (raw)-121% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 cup: 145 mcg (121%of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 483 mcg (402% of the DV)

Broccoli (cooked)-92% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 110 mcg (92% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 141 mcg (118% of the DV)

Brussels Sprouts (cooked)-91% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 109 mcg (91% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 140 mcg (117% of the DV)

Beef Liver- 60% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 slice: 72 mcg (60% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 106 mcg (88% of the DV)

Pork Chops- 49% of the DV per Serving:

  • 3 ounce: 59 mcg (49% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 69 mcg (57% of the DV)

Chicken-43% of the DV per Serving:

  • 3 ounces: 51 mcg (43% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 60 mcg (50% of the DV)

Goose Liver Paste- 40% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 tablespoon: 48 mcg (40% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 369 mcg (308% of the DV)

Green Beans (cooked)-25% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 30 mcg (25% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 48 mcg (40% of the DV)

Prunes- 24% of the DV per Serving:

  • 5 pieces: 28 mcg (24% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 60 mcg (50% of the DV)

KIWI-23% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 fruit: 28 mcg (23% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 40 mcg (34% of the DV)

Soybean Oil- 21% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 tablespoon: 25mcg (21% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 184 mcg (153% of the DV)

Hard Cheese- 20% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 ounce: 25 mcg (20% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 87 mcg (72% of the DV)

Avocado- 18% of the DV per Serving:

  • Half of a fruit, medium: 21 mcg (18% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 21 mcg (18% of the DV)

Green Peas (cooked) -17% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 21 mcg (17% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 26 mcg (22% of the DV)

Soft Cheese- 14% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 ounce: 17 mcg (14% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 59 mcg (49% of the DV)

Vegetables High in Vitamin K:

The best source of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) are dark leafy green vegetables. In fact the prefix phyllo in this vitamin’s name refers to leaves.

Beet Green (cooked)-290% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 349 mcg (290% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 484 mcg (403% of the DV)

Parsley (fresh)-137% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 spring: 164 mcg (137%of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 1640 mcg (1367% of the DV)

Cabbage (cooked)-68% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 82 mcg (68% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 109 mcg (91% of the DV)

Meat Products High In Vitamin K:

Because fatty meats and liver are excellent sources of vitamin K2 though the content varies by the animal’s diet and may differ between regions or producers. Because keep in mind that research on the vitamin K2 content of animal foods is incomplete.

Bacon-25% of the DV per Serving:

  • 3 ounce: 30 mcg (25% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 35 mcg (29% of the DV)

Ground Beef-7% of the DV per Serving:

  • 3 ounces: 8 mcg (7% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 9.4 mcg (8% of the DV)

Pork Liver-6% of the DV per Serving:

  • 3 ounces: 6.6 mcg (6% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 7.8 mcg (7% of the DV)

Duck Breast-4% of the DV per Serving:

  • 3 ounces: 4.7 mcg (4% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 5.5 mcg (5% of the DV)

Beef Kidney-4% of the DV per Serving:

  • 3 ounces: 4.9 mcg (4% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 5.7 mcg (5% of the DV)

Chicken Liver- 3% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 ounce: 3.6 mcg (3% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 13 mcg (11% of the DV)

Dairy Foods High in Vitamin K:

So dairy foods and eggs are a decent source of vitamin K2. Like meat, their vitamin content depends on the animal’s diet and specific values may vary by region or producer.

Jarlsberg Cheese-19% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 slice: 22 mcg (19% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 80 mcg (66% of the DV)

Soft Cheese-14% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 ounce: 17 mcg (14% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 59 mcg (49% of the DV)

Edam Cheese-11% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 slice: 13 mcg (11% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 49 mcg (41% of the DV)

Blue Cheese-9% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 ounce: 10 mcg (9% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 36 mcg (30% of the DV)

Egg Yolk-5% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 large: 5.8 mcg (5% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 34 mcg (29% of the DV)

Cheddar- 3% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 ounce: 3.7 mcg (3% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 13 mcg (11% of the DV)

Whole Milk-3% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 cup: 3.2 mcg (3% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 1.3 mcg (1% of the DV)

Peanut Butter -2% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 tablespoon: 3 mcg (2% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 21 mcg (18% of the DV)

Cream -2% of the DV per Serving:

  • 2 tablespoon: 2.7 mcg (2% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 9 mcg (8% of the DV)

Fruits High in Vitamin K:

So fruits generally don’t contain as much vitamin K1 as leafy green vegetables but a few provide decent amounts.

Blackberries -12% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 14 mcg (12% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 20 mcg (17% of the DV)

Blueberries -12% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 14 mcg (12% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 10 mcg (16% of the DV)

Pomegranate -12% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 14 mcg (12% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 16 mcg (14% of the DV)

Figs (dried) -6% of the DV per Serving:

  • 5 pieces: 6.6 mcg (6% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 16 mcg (13% of the DV)

Tomatoes (sun-dried) -4% of the DV per Serving:

  • 5 pieces: 4.3 mcg (4% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 43 mcg (36% of the DV)

Grapes -3% of the DV per Serving:

  • 10 grapes: 3.5 mcg (3% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 15 mcg (12% of the DV)

Red Currants -3% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 ounce: 3.1 mcg (3% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 11 mcg (9% of the DV)

Nuts and Legumes High in Vitamin K:

Because some legumes and nuts provide decent amounts of vitamin K1 but generally much less than leafy green.

Soybean (cooked) -13% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 16 mcg (13% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 33 mcg (28% of the DV)

Sprouted Mung Beans (cooked) -12% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 14 mcg (12% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 23 mcg (19% of the DV)

Cashews -8% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 ounce: 9.7 mcg (8% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 34 mcg (28% of the DV)

Red Kidney Beans (cooked) -6% of the DV per Serving:

  • ½ cup: 7.4 mcg (6% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 8.4 mcg (7% of the DV)

Hazelnuts -3% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 ounce: 4 mcg (3% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 14 mcg (12% of the DV)

Pine Nuts -1% of the DV per Serving:

  • 10 nuts: 0.9 mcg (1% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 54 mcg (45% of the DV)

Pecans -1% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 ounce: 1 mcg (1% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 3.5 mcg (3% of the DV)

Walnuts -1% of the DV per Serving:

  • 1 ounce: 0.8 mcg (1% of the DV)
  • 100 grams: 2.7 mcg (2% of the DV)

How do you Meet Your Vitamin K Requirements?

The richest sources of vitamin K1 are dark, leafy green vegetables. For example just ½ cup (65 grams) of cooked kale provides 443% of the DV. To get the most out of this vitamin in kale and other plant foods, consider eating them with butter or oil. So that’s because vitamin K is fat-soluble and may be better absorbed when combined with fat. Vitamin K2 is only found in animal foods and certain fermented dishes. Small amounts are also produced by your gut bacteria. Natto, a Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans, is one of the best sources of vitamin K2. Other good sources include meat, liver, and cheese. Evidence suggests that the metabolism and functions of vitamin K1 and K2 are slightly different though this isn’t fully understood. While dietary guidelines don’t currently distinguish between the two it’s probably a good idea to include both types in your diet.

Foods That Are high in Vitamin A:

Because vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in maintaining vision, body growth, and immune function and reproductive health. Getting adequate vitamin A from your diet should prevent the symptoms of deficiency, which include hair loss, skin problems, dry eyes, night blindness, and increased susceptibility to infections. Because deficiency is a leading cause of blindness in developing countries. In contrast most people in developed countries get enough vitamin A from their diet. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is 900 micrograms (MCG) for males 700 mcg for females and 300-600 mcg for children and adolescents. The RDA provides enough vitamin A for the vast majority of people. Put simply, a single daily value (DV) 0f 900 mcg is used as a reference on nutrition labels in the United States and Canada. Vitamin A1 also known as retinol is only found in animal-sourced foods such as oily fish, liver, cheese, and butter. So here are some of the best sources of vitamin A1. Such as:

  • Beef liver, cooked
  • Lamb liver, cooked
  • Liver sausage (liverwurst)
  • Cod liver oil
  • King mackerel, cooked
  • Salmon, cooked
  • Bluefin tuna, cooked
  • Goose liver pate, canned
  • Goat cheese
  • Butter
  • Limburger cheese
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Camembert cheese
  • Roquefort cheese
  • Eggs
  • Trout, cooked
  • Clams, canned
  • Cream cheese
  • Oysters, canned
  • Whole milk

Vegetables High in Vitamin A:

So your body can produce vitamin A from carotenoids found in plants. Because these carotenoids include beta-carotene and alpha-carotene which are collectively known as provitamin A. However, about 45% of people carry a genetic mutation that significantly reduces their ability to convert provitamin A into vitamin A. Depending on your genetics the following vegetables might provide considerably less vitamin A than indicated. Such as:

  • Sweet potato, baked
  • Butternut squash, baked
  • Kale, cooked
  • Collard greens, cooked
  • Turnip greens, cooked
  • Carrots, cooked
  • Sweet red pepper, raw
  • Swiss chard, cooked
  • Spinach, cooked
  • Romaine lettuce, raw

Fruits High in Vitamin A:

Provitamin A is generally more abundant in vegetables than fruits. However, a few types of fruit provide good amounts, as shown below.

  • Mango
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelon
  • Papaya
  • Apricot
  • Tangerine
  • Nectarine
  • Guava
  • Passion fruit

Foods That Are High in Vitamin E:

So vitamin E is a common nutrient found in most foods. Because a few foods, including cooking oils, seeds, and nuts, are exceptionally rich sources. Such as:

  • Wheat germ oil
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnut oil
  • Mamey sapote
  • Sunflower oil
  • Almond oil
  • Hazelnut oil
  • Abalone
  • Pine Nuts
  • Goose meat
  • Peanuts
  • Atlantic salmon
  • Avocado
  • Rainbow trout
  • Red sweet pepper
  • Brazil nuts
  • Mango
  • Turnip greens
  • Kiwifruit

Animal Products High in Vitamin E:

Because many animal-based foods are also good sources of vitamin E. Such as:

  • Abalone
  • Goose meat
  • Atlantic salmon
  • Rainbow trout
  • Snails
  • Crayfish
  • Fish roe
  • Octopus
  • Lobster
  • Cod (dried)

Seeds and Nuts High in Vitamin E:

Because seeds and nuts are among the best sources of vitamin E. Below are some of the richest sources of alpha-tocopherol. Many of these seeds and nuts are also high in other forms of vitamin E such as gamma-tocopherol.

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pine nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Pecans
  • Cashew nuts

Fruits High in Vitamin E:

While fruits are generally not the best source of vitamin E, many provide good amounts. Fruits are also rich in vitamin C, which cooperates with vitamin E as an antioxidant.

  • Mamey sapote
  • Avocado
  • Mango
  • Kiwifruit
  • Blackberries
  • Black currants
  • Cranberries
  • Olives (pickled)
  • Apricots
  • Raspberries

FAQs:

What food is highest in Vitamin K?

The most common foods with high vitamins K are green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, and lettuce.

Are eggs high in vitamin K?

An egg yolk can contain between 67 and 192 micrograms of vitamin K2. This amount depends on what the hen eats, however. Most chicken feed today is fortified with vitamin K, and this content passes onto the eggs. But chicken fed corn or soy-based diets are more at risk of vitamin K deficiencies.

What are 4 sources of vitamin K?

  • Green leafy vegetables including collard and turnip greens, kale, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage lettuces.
  • Soybean and canola oil
  • Salad dressing made with soybean or canola oil
  • Fortified meal replacement shakes

Does potato have vitamin K?

Foods such as potatoes (1.6 to 2.85 mcg/100g) and tomato products (2.74 to 9.87 mcg/100g) provide lesser amounts but may end up contributing more to the diets as they are much more frequently consumed than dark green leafy greens. Approximately 300 other foods have been analyzed for vitamin K content.

What fruit is vitamin K?

Some berries, such as blackberries and blueberries, green fruits such as kiwi, fruit and prunes may also contribute to increased dietary vitamin K intakes. In contrast, other nuts and fruits are not important dietary sources of vitamin K.

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