Vitamin K is a micronutrient that is involved in essential functions for the proper functioning of the body. It is a fat-soluble vitamin of which there are two variants: vitamin K1 or phylloquinone and K2 or menaquinone (in addition to K3, which is synthetic).
Vitamin K plays a fundamental role in the blood coagulation process and is also essential for maintaining good bone health, since it is involved in the necessary absorption of calcium. For all these reasons, it is important to include in an adequate diet, in its proper measure, foods that contain it. Luckily, you have many to choose from.
Leafy vegetables with more vitamin K
Green leafy vegetables, with high concentrations of chlorophyll, are one of the main sources of vitamin K, one more reason why they are not lacking in daily menus. Including them in the diet in salads, stews and side dishes is a good way to take the recommended doses of vitamin K, which vary depending on the age and sex of each person (between 90 and 120 micrograms in adults). The vegetables that provide the most vitamin K per 100 grams is:
- Kale: 817mcg/100 gr.
- Parsley: 1640mcg.
- Spinach: 483mcg.
- Chard: 380mcg.
- Lettuce: 315mcg (approximately according to varieties).
- Watercress: 540mcg.
Other greens and vegetables
Vitamin K is not only present in leafy foods. When preparing your menus, other important sources of the essential vitamin for proper blood circulation and the necessary coagulation in case of bleeding, are also:
- Broccoli: 102mcg.
- Cauliflower: 57mcg.
- Asparagus: 60 – 80mcg.
- Green beans: 33mcg.
- Cucumber: 20mcg.
Fruits rich in vitamin K
Fruits, especially those known as red fruits, are another important source from which to obtain the vitamin K that we need on a daily basis. In addition to their high-water content, fruits are rich in micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins. The richest in vitamin K are:
- Kiwi: 40mcg.
- Plums: 26mcg.
- Avocados: 21mcg.
- Pears: 20mcg.
- Blueberries: 15mcg.
- Figs: 15mcg.
As for nuts, although they are not especially rich in this vitamin, we can find it in small amounts in pine nuts (mainly), cashews and pistachios.
The way in which we cook or season different foods can also become an excellent supply route for vitamin K for the body. The vegetable fats that provide the most amounts are:
- Olive oil: 49 – 60mcg.
- Soybean oil: 138mcg.
- Rapeseed oil: 127mcg.
Do meat and fish provide vitamin K?
There are many nutrients provided by the different types of meat, from the essential protein to the B vitamins, such as B12, which are more difficult to find in plant-based foods. But meats in general do not have a high vitamin K content, although there are some exceptions such as:
- Beef liver: 5mcg.
- Poultry meat, mainly turkey (7mcg) and chicken (1mcg).
For their part, fish and shellfish do not include significant amounts of this vitamin in their composition. One option to include fish recipes with extra vitamin K on the menu is to season them with vegetable oils or resort to traditional canned fish in oil.
Other foods to get vitamin K from
As we have indicated, there are many foods that can provide us with good doses of vitamin K, some of which are commonly consumed and others that are less known because they are fermented products. Some that you can also include in your list of possible sources of vitamin K are:
- Cured cheeses with approximately 3mcg, depending on the variety, are one of the few dairy products that contain vitamin K, especially if we are talking about ‘old' cheeses (very cured) or in oil.
- The born. It is a food of Japanese origin made from fermented soybeans. It is, without a doubt, an extraordinary source of vitamin K with a contribution of 900 micrograms per 100 grams.
- Sauerkraut or traditional fermented cabbage typical of Germany is also a food that you should take into account if you need to increase your intake of vitamin K, since one serving (100 grams) is approximately 13 micrograms of this micronutrient.