The benefits of vitamin K have shown significant results from blood clotting to bone health. Vitamin K, like other vitamins, is essential to our overall health. One cannot say to be healthy when there is a deficiency.
The benefits of vitamin K play an essential role in maintaining other vitamins balance like vitamin D. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that links to bone mineralization and blood clotting. It also keeps proper cognitive function, healthy metabolism and reduces the risk of cancer. Many people seldom know the benefits of vitamin K, so as a result, it is always taken for granted.
Vitamin K, as an essential vitamin, is what our body needs to prevent unnecessary bleedings in our body. The initial letter ‘K’ comes from the German word “koagulation,´ which means ‘blood-clotting vitamin.’
One crucial situation that will prove the importance of vitamin K is in the conditions of newborn babies. Newborn babies have few amounts of vitamin K in their bodies. If the deficiency is not addressed as early as birth, it can lead to more severe bleeding problems. So, the consumption of vitamin K should not be overlooked.
According to researchers, the results of the benefits of vitamin K can be seen with adult men and women. With the help of the food source and following daily recommended allowance, the benefits of vitamin K are achievable.
Recommended Daily Allowance
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin K is based on gender and age. There are exceptions for those who are pregnant, lactating and taking medications or treatments.
For infants, the daily requirements for 6 months old and below are 2.0 mcg per day. Then, 2.5 mcg per day is the daily requirement for 7 – 12 months old.
On the other hand, for children 1 – 3 years old, the daily requirement is 30 mcg per day. You can give 55 mcg per day for 4 – 8 years old and, for 9 – 13 years, it is 60 mcg per day.
Further, adult males and females have the same RDA. For ages 14 – 18, you can have 75 mcg per day and 90 mcg per day for 19 and older.
The RDA for vitamin K is the guide you should know if you are deficient or over this vitamin.
Are you deficient or in excess?
How will you know if you are deficient or in excess of vitamin K?
Vitamin K deficiency is a hemorrhagic disease. It is a medical condition in which the body has difficulty in fat absorption or a liver disorder. It usually happens for infants or children who are not yet able to synthesize vitamin K on their own. The bleeding usually occurs in their brains after delivery. The reasons can be due to the lack of vitamin K content in breast milk or intestinal malabsorption.
When it comes to adults, vitamin K deficiency is an uncommon condition because of daily food consumption. Many are eating green leafy vegetables, which are a good source of vitamin K and other vitamins. Also, plenty of good bacteria are present in our intestines, which are responsible for synthesizing vitamin K.
Some treatments for vitamin K deficiency are made through injections or oral medications. If other medicines cause the defect, the solution is to decrease the dosage of these medications and to increase vitamin K consumption.
The last thing we need to do in knowing the benefits of vitamin K is to be familiar with vitamin k sources, aside from supplements. Most vitamin-K-rich foods are offered by green leafy vegetables, some meats and other healthy foods. To start our vitamin k foods list, we will begin with the green leafy vegetables.
Green Leafy Vegetables
To increase the amount of vitamin K in our body, prepare a cup of raw kale to have an astonishing 141% of vitamin K RDA. Also, you might want to try collards. With half a cup of boiled collards, you will be getting 662% of vitamin K daily requirements. Both kale and collards are also a good source of vitamins A and C.
Another fantastic food source of vitamin K is turnip greens. With a half cup of boiled turnips, your body will have 532% of vitamin K daily requirements.
Spinach is also a right choice, in which you can have 181% of vitamin K RDA. There are other vitamins and minerals present in spinach, so considering it in our diet is the right choice.
To satisfy your need for vitamin K foods, mustard greens can offer 524% what our body needs as a daily requirement. You can also have other vitamins and minerals.
Are you looking for the right amount of vitamin K? Well, you can have enough amount of vitamin K RDA by eating iceberg lettuce. A cup of raw iceberg lettuce offers 18% of vitamin K daily requirements. Consuming more than a cup of iceberg lettuce can go along with other healthy foods in your diet.
You can also choose a pumpkin. This vegetable has many health benefits, including vitamin K. Half a cup of pumpkin can give you 25% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K.
There are fruits rich in vitamin K. For starters, you can have kiwi; a fruit originated in New Zealand. One cup of kiwi can suffice the needed 89% recommended a daily value of this vitamin K.
Then you can have avocados. One cup of avocado in cubes covers 39% of vitamin K RDA.
Also, you can have pomegranate. Juicing pomegranate and drinking one cup will give you 32% of vitamin K daily requirement, while a cup of grapes can give you 14% of this vitamin RDA. It is high in antioxidants, so eating grapes can provide you with lots of vitamin C.
And you can never go wrong with prunes. Eating one cup of prunes can give you 129% of the RDA of vitamin K.
From fruits to vegetables, and now, some berries. To fulfill your body’s need for vitamin K, you can have blueberries and blackberries. These two berries can provide your daily requirement of vitamin K. Half a cup of blueberries can give you 18%, while one cup of blackberries can offer 36% of vitamin K RDA.
Spices do not limit their purposes with their aroma for cooking. Other spices like parsley can provide you with vitamins and minerals more than enough of your daily requirements. Parsley offers 574% of vitamin K RDA. You can also have other vitamins like A and C, and it is a good source of iron.
The benefits of vitamin K comes from the food we eat. Chicken breast and beef are some of the accessible vitamin K sources. Three ounces serving of chicken breast has 17% of the daily value needed by our body. While, three ounces of beef, broiled, can provide 8% of vitamin K recommended daily allowance.
Other food sources
Other than fruits, vegetables, and meat, vitamin K has some other food source. One of the food sources is soybean. Soybean in fermented form is a traditional dish in Japan. The dish is called ‘Natto.’ Three ounces of natto can provide your body with a sumptuous 1,062% of vitamin K daily recommended allowance.
Another form of soybean which you can enjoy to have vitamin K RDA is through roasting. Roasted soybean in half cup can serve you 54% of vitamin K daily requirements.
After soybean, you can have eggs. Eggs are vitamin-rich foods, including some minerals. You can have one large hard-boiled egg, and you can have 5% of vitamin K RDA. It is a small percentage of the total RDA. But still, you can enjoy your diet with eggs.
With these foods, the benefits of vitamin K are around the corner. But have you imagined the components of vitamin K?
Vitamin K has three types, and each type has functions that will benefit our body.
The first one is vitamin K1 or phylloquinone. Vitamin K1 is commonly found on green leafy vegetables. It plays a significant role in maintaining healthy blood clotting.
The second type is vitamin K2 or menaquinone. The bacteria synthesize vitamin K2 foods in our gastrointestinal tract; Common sources include cheese, fermented soy, goose liver, dark chicken meat, butter, egg yolks. Vitamin K2 foods contribute to the health of our liver, blood vessels’walls, bones and tissues.
The last type of vitamin K is Mendione (K3). It is the synthetic form of vitamin K. This type of vitamin K is not recommended because of the high level of toxicity it may give our blood.
Prevents Loss Bone Density
One of the benefits of vitamin K is making our bones strong until we reached the peak age where our bone mineral density reduces. If we have reduced our bone density, we are not far in experiencing osteoporosis. Therefore, adequate amounts of vitamin K can minimize the risk of osteoporosis and loss of bone mineral density. Include in your diet some foods rich in vitamin K like green leafy vegetables that will prevent bone density loss.
Regulate Blood Clotting
Another promising benefit of vitamin K in the regulation of blood clotting. Blood clotting is the transport of calcium around our body. It is essential during the amalgamation of prothrombin during injury because of the tear in our blood vessels. Also, vitamin K ensures proper blood circulation in our tissues, which links to correct blood clotting.
Promotes Better Heart Health
The benefits of vitamin K encourage better heart health. It acts as a potent inhibitor of arterial calcification. The deposition of calcium on heart walls will be prevented by an adequate amount of vitamin K in our body. Also, it reduces the risks of heart attacks. According to a study, vitamin K2 foods can lower calcium-related health risks. It means that it is essential for our body to increase the intake of vitamin-K-rich foods.
Promotes Normal Menstrual Cycle
Women understand the importance of regular menstrual cycle without pain. If you need the relief of the pain, you can start increasing the consumption of vitamin K. One of the benefits of vitamin K is to promote normal menstrual cycle, which includes balancing of hormones to reduce cramp or pain. Another thing that vitamin K provides is to reduce excessive menstrual bleeding. Too much blood during menstruation is not healthy. So, following the recommendations of vitamin K intake daily can ensure optimal health for women.
One sign of vitamin K deficiency can be seen in pregnant women who suffer from vomiting and nausea. To prevent this condition from happening until childbirth, you will need to take enough vitamin K. Another benefit of vitamin K is to relieve women from vomiting and nausea during pregnancy. A lack of vitamin K in our body can result in the hemorrhaging of the baby. If the baby has vitamin K deficiency, it should be treated right away. Another study also shows that asthmatic children usually have vitamin K deficiency. Including vitamin-k-rich foods on the plate will lessen your chances to accumulate vitamin K deficiency.
Vitamin K, in some ways, can prevent cancer as it prevents internal bleeding. Bleeding in the liver is a serious threat to our health. It has been observed that the bleeding in the liver is linked to gastrointestinal disorders. Therefore, adequate amounts of vitamin K can help reduce this kind of threat.
Helps in Brain Development
One of the essential benefits of vitamin K is brain development and improves cognitive function. It ensures that there are no degenerative conditions. Also, it prevents the requirements of people from memory loss.
Boost Immune System
By providing the necessary nutrients to the immune system, adequate intake of vitamin K foods will also boost our immunity from various germs and diseases.
Regulates Blood Sugar
One of the medical conditions we are avoiding is diabetes. Well, thanks to vitamin K. One of the benefits that vitamin K provides us is reducing blood sugar levels. Vitamin K sources offer nutrients that improve insulin sensitivity.
What we think of Vitamin K
Indeed, vitamin K offers a lot of health benefits to us. Following the daily recommended vitamin K intake can provide our optimal health. Like other vitamins, taking too much dosage of the recommended vitamin K can result in side effects. If you think you have a deficiency, self-medication is not advisable. Seek medical advice before taking supplements. But, including vitamin K foods in your diet will surely provide you with the best benefits of vitamin K.