Ways to Get Vitamin K
Ways to Get Vitamin K
Good for Bones & Blood
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that helps your blood clot and your bones grow the way they should. It also may help prevent the bone disease osteoporosis and protect you against heart disease. You can get vitamin K from certain foods, but up to two-thirds of Americans don’t meet the daily recommended goal (90 grams for women and 120 grams for men).
Eat More Leafy Greens
Mom was right: Spinach is good for you. This leafy green and others, like collard greens and kale, top the charts when it comes to vitamin K. Cooked kale is a vitamin K powerhouse, packing 550 grams in one-half cup. You’d rather have it raw in a salad or smoothie? You get 274 grams for the same half-cup serving.
Try Other Veggies
Vegetables are your best source of dietary vitamin K, but you don’t have to stick to leafy greens to fuel up on it. Roasted Brussels sprouts and broccoli are chock-full of K, giving you 110 to 150 grams per half-cup serving. Other good veggie choices are scallions, frozen asparagus, frozen okra, raw watercress, and green cabbage. One quick vitamin K booster: Add 10 sprigs of parsley to a meal.
Have an Apple
Fruit isn’t uber-rich in vitamin K, but certain ones can give you a quick burst of it. Snack on a small green apple and you just added 60 grams to your day. One-half cup of dried, pitted prunes nets you about 50 grams. Blueberries (14 gram/half-cup) and grapes (11 grams/half-cup) have lower amounts but are easy to add to a meal on the go.
They’re packed with protein, fiber, healthy oils, and other key nutrients that fight inflammation and keep your heart strong. Cashews, mixed nuts, and pine nuts, in particular, give you an extra shot of vitamin K. Grab a handful of cashews or mixed nuts for a midday snack. Every little bit helps.
Put Fish on the Menu
Eat fish, such as salmon, at least twice a week. It’s loaded with healthy oils, protein, and minerals that lower blood pressure and help ward off heart attacks and strokes. Cooked salmon and shrimp have a little vitamin K, but light canned tuna in oil is loaded with 37 grams per 3-ounce serving.
Have a Glass of Juice
In a hurry? Drink your fruits and veggies instead. Three-quarters of a cup of carrot juice gives you a quick serving of vitamin K — about 28 grams. Not keen on carrots? Try pomegranate juice instead. The same amount also comes in at 28 grams. And some beverages are fortified with vitamin K. Check the label to be sure.
Cook With Spinach Noodles
Craving pasta? Try spinach noodles. A half-cup gives you 81 micrograms of vitamin K. Add in an equal amount of tomato paste or marinara, and you bump that up a bit more. Eating out? Many tomato sauce entrees have healthy amounts of vitamin K. Even takeout pizza with tomato sauce gives you a small boost.
Try Fermented Soybeans
Boiled, fermented soybeans, called natto, have been a staple of the Japanese diet for more than a century. The traditional dish has large amounts of vitamin K.
How You Cook Counts
The amount of vitamin K you get from foods depends on how you prepare it. Frozen foods — that you cook — often have more than raw forms. This is probably because frozen vegetables lose some of their water, which concentrates the vitamins. For example, boiled frozen turnip greens net you more than 650 grams. But eating raw turnip greens gives you about one-fifth of that.
It Isn’t Safe for Everyone
If you take prescription drugs, be careful about the vitamin K in your diet. Talk to your doctor about how much you should be getting. It also can cause issues if you take certain antibiotics, cholesterol medicines, or the weight loss drug orlistat. And always check with your doctor before taking any supplements.