Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that is vital for your overall health and wellness. Along with many other benefits, It is involved in keeping your bones and teeth strong, as well as helping to support your cardiovascular health.
Below we’ll dig into what vitamin K is, it’s benefits, and how to get more of it in your diet.
What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is fat soluble vitamin. It is part of a family of fatty compounds called naphthoquinones. Believe it or not, this group includes a few different types of Vitamin K; including K1, K2, and K3. Each of these variations have different benefits and uses in your body.
Forms of Vitamin K
Vitamin K1, which also known as phytonadione, is found in fruits and vegetables. It is the primary source of vitamin K that we get through diet.
Vitamin K2, known as menaquinone, is an animal sourced form of Vitamin K. Your body cannot make vitamin K2, but you can turn vitamin K1 into vitamin K2 via an internal process in your gut. K2 is especially important for bone health.
Vitamin K3, also called menadione, is the third form of vitamin K. It is lesser known, but still provides benefits to your body. Vitamin K3 is converted into K2 by your liver. K3 is not considered as a natural form of vitamin K as it is a synthetic analogue.
Why You Should Take Vitamin K
Vitamin K has many potential health benefits. Vitamin K is needed to produce prothrombin, a protein that is crucial for proper blood clotting. Since it helps to support normal blood clotting, vitamin K is an important nutrient for those with injuries (source).
Additionally, by helping the transport of calcium through the body, Vitamin K may also be helpful for bone health: it may reduce overall bone loss, and decrease risk of bone fractures. It also may help to prevent calcification of arteries and other soft tissue (source).
Vitamin K also may also benefit heart health by helping to reduce the amount of minerals in your blood. An overabundance of minerals in your bloodstream (such as calcium) can lead to a potentially dangerous buildup. Vitamin K works to remove these minerals from your blood and deposits them into your bones, where they are needed (source).
How Much Vitamin K Should You Take?
The current recommendation for vitamin K2 is 120 mcg for men and 90 mcg for women. If you eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of the foods listed below, then you should have a limited risk of deficiency. If not, you might consider taking a vitamin K supplement.
If supplementing with vitamin K, make sure to look for one in the MenaQ7® form, this is the premier form of vitamin K2 and is easily absorbed by your body.
Best Food Sources of Vitamin K
Getting Vitamin K through your diet is relatively easy. Many common foods contain vitamin K. Below are the best sources of vitamin K – as a side note, you’ll notice that fermented dairy-based foods tend to be high in vitamin K.
- Natto (a traditional Japanese dish of fermented soybeans) – 850mcg per serving
- Collard Greens – 530 mcg per serving
- Spinach – 145mcg per cup
- Grapes – 22 mcg per cup
- Cottage Cheese – 8mcg per serving
- Sour Cream – 5 mcg per serving
- Egg – 6 mcg per egg
- Yogurt – 2 mcg per serving
Vitamin K has so many different benefits. It’s an easy choice to make sure that you get enough of this important vitamin. Make sure to eat healthy, vitamin K rich foods and you can reap the many benefits of this nutrient!
Daniel Powers, is the co-founder of Utzy Naturals. He is a health fanatic, writer, and entrepreneur. Obsessed with optimizing every aspect of life, he is passionate about teaching others how to live a healthier, happier life.