10 Top Vitamin K Rich Foods (Fruits & Vegetables)

Vitamin K Rich Foods

Vitamin K is a very important vitamin and I wanted to share the list of top vitamin k rich foods so we can include it in our diet often. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting, helps build strong bones and it also may be useful for preventing osteoporosis.  Vitamin K deficiency is very rare in healthy people as our gut microbiome produces vitamin K. But impaired gut microbiome is getting more common due to unhealthy lifestyle habits and so does vitamin K deficiency.

What Is Vitamin K ?

In 1930 few researches noticed that baby chicks who were fed a fat free diet developed bleeding problems. The hemorrhage was apparently due to the fall in the levels of prothrombin which is the clotting agent in the blood. The researchers solved the problem by feeding the chicks with a compound extracted from alfalfa and the anti hemorrhagic compound was named vitamin K. Vitamin K is very essential for clotting and our gut microbiome produces most of the daily requirement of vitamin K and only about 20% of it comes from the food that we consume.

Forms Of Vitamin K

Vitamin K exists in nature in two forms. The first is vitamin K1, vitamin K1 is mainly found in green vegetables and in certain oils like olive oil and soybean oil. The second is vitamin K2 and it is found in small amounts in animal products like butter, egg yolks and cheese. Our gut microbiome also produces vitamin K2.

Vitamin K Deficiency

Vitamin K deficiency is very rare in healthy people as our body produces most of what it requires. Vitamin K deficiency is mostly found in people with liver disease or intestinal illnesses that interferes with fat absorption. People who consume antibiotics for long durations of time are also at risk for vitamin K deficiency as it it affects our gut microbiome.

Vitamin K Deficiency Symptoms

People with vitamin K deficiency tend to bruise easily. People with vitamin K deficiency can bleed to death during serious injury so they need immediate medical attention if they are faced with an injury.

foods high in vitamin k10 Top Vitamin K Rich Foods (Vegetables)

1. Kale

Green leafy vegetables especially kale is a good source of vitamin K. Kale contains around 730 mcg of vitamin K per 100 gram. Kale was not available commonly before in India but nowadays many departmental stores stock it all the time. You can add kale to smoothies and salads.

2. Turnip Greens

Turnip greens which is part of a cruciferous vegetable family is also a rich source of vitamin K. 100 gms of turnip greens contains around 650 mcg of vitamin K. Turnip greens refers to the stem and the leafy green part of the plant. It is very low in calories and high in nutrients and we can stir fry it just like other greens.

3. Spinach

The next green leafy vegetable that is rich in vitamin K is spinach, it is called palak in Hindi and Pasalai Keerai in Tamil. It belongs to the amaranth family and is full of nutrients and antioxidants. We should all try to include spinach in our diet on a regular basis. At home I use spinach to make certain curries like palak paneer and I also use it in certain continental dishes too.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli is another green vegetable that is rich in vitamin K, it looks like a miniature tree and is closely related to cabbage and cauliflower and they are together referred to as cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli was not available easily in India but now it is available even in very small towns throughout the year. We can stir-fry broccoli or add it to gravies along with other vegetables too.

5. Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts look like miniature cabbages and has been popular in many countries like Brussels and Belgium but now it is widely used in India too. Brussel sprouts are rich in vitamin K and we can easily roast them in oven along with salt, pepper, garlic and little bit of butter to make it taste good.

6. Cabbage

Cabbage is also an other vegetable which is rich in vitamin K. 100 gms of cabbage contains around 130 mcg of vitamin K. At home we regularly consume cabbage at least weekly once in the form of stir fry. If you don’t like to eat cabbage, try including them in cutlets and parathas to disguise the taste.

7. Parsley

Parsley which closely resembles coriander is another ingredient that is rich in vitamin K. It is native to the central and eastern Mediterranean region but now it is commonly found all over the world including India. We get parsley very commonly in our local town departmental store and I try to include it in our diet regularly.

8. Beetroot Greens

Like turnip greens, beetroot greens is also rich in vitamin K. Many of us buy the beetroot with the greens intact and usually discard the greens. Next time you buy beetroot with the greens don’t toss it away, it can be used as a substitute for other greens like spinach and swiss chard. You can stir fry it like other greens or even add it to dal and serve it along with rice.

9. Lettuce

Lettuce is also very rich in vitamin K. I love lettuce and usually add it to sandwiches. You can also add it to salads, soups and wraps too. It can also be grilled. We get lettuce very commonly in India so try to include it in your diet regularly. At home, I always include lettuce in burgers and sandwiches.

10. Mustard Greens

The peppery mustard greens also called as leaf mustard is one of the rich sources of vitamin K. It is not readily available in Indian markets but if you have access to it, make sure to include it regularly in your cooking. You can include it in stir fries and soups.

Fruits High In Vitamin K

Fruits usually does not contain high amounts of vitamin K like green leafy vegetables mentioned above. Fruits like prunes, kiwi, avocado, figs, grapes, pomegranate contain some amount of vitamin K. In berries, blueberries and black berries contain vitamin K.

Meat Products High In Vitamin K:

Some of the meat products that contain vitamin K are beef liver, chicken, pork, chicken liver, ground beef and beef kidneys. Egg yolk also contains vitamin K.

Other Sources:

Apart from the above mentioned ingredients, nuts and legumes like cashews, pine nuts, hazel nuts, walnuts, pecans, red kidney beans, peas, soy beans and sprouted mung beans contain vitamin K. Dairy products like milk, cheese, butter and cream also contain some amount of vitamin K.

Tips To Meet Vitamin K Requirements:

  • Consume green leafy vegetables on a regular basis as it is the richest source of vitamin K1.
  • Vitamin K2 is mostly found in animal products and certain fermented foods so have a balanced diet.
  • Focus on gut health as it produces most of the vitamin K.
  • Try to limit your intake of antibiotics and also try to reduce stress as they all affect out gut microbiome.

vit k rich foods

1 Comment

  1. Catherine
    May 15, 2020 / 6:27 pm

    If someone has non hereditary thrombosis is it with eating too much vitamin K?

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