What Is Vitamin-K?
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that plays a role in blood clotting. Vitamin K activates the protein that clots the blood.It is also needed for the synthesis of bone proteins. A vitamin K deficiency can lead to heart disease, weakened bones, tooth decay and cancer. Much of the vitamin K in our diets comes from the intestinal bacteria we already have, because of this, your vitamin K levels can depend greatly on the health of your gut.
There are two types of vitamin K we have in our diet, vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 is found in vegetables where vitamin K2 also called menaquinone is found in dairy products and produced by the bacteria in your gut. Whenlooking to supplement or add to your diet, vitamin K2 rich foods have been shown to have greater health benefits than K1.
Why is vitamin K necessary?
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient necessary for responding to injuries – it regulates normal blood clotting. In addition, by assisting the transport of calcium throughout the body, Vitamin K may also be helpful for bone health: it may reduce bone loss, and decrease risk of bone fractures. It also may help to prevent calcification of arteries and other soft tissue.
Can I take too much Vitamin K?
There is a lack of available evidence to know what the effects may be of taking high doses of vitamin K supplements each day. However, if you are concerned about vitamin K deficiency a healthcare professional will be able to advise.
Signs Of Vitamin-K Deficiency
1). Blood Thinning
As already mentioned above, vitamin K plays an essential role in the formation of blood clots. In case one has a deficiency of vitamin k, the body loses the ability to stop excessive flow of blood even in case of minor cuts.
A decrease in vitamin K levels causes anemia. Anemia is widely known to cause weakness in the body. One may feel lifeless, tired and appear to look pale.
3). Stomach Pain
A good amount of vitamin k in the body monitors our digestion and facilitates smooth digestion. However, sometimes, stomach pains are common due to a lack of this vitamin in the body.
4). Nose Bleeding
Those with low levels of vitamin K are highly susceptible to nose bleeding.
Always look out for these symptoms as an indicator that one is deficient in this essential vitamin.
High level of vitamin K results in great bone density, while low level of the same causes osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone disorder characterized by weak bones. This can lead to major problems like risk for fractures and falls. Vitamin K improves bone health and reduces risk of postmenopausal women.
6). Excessive Bleeding
Vitamin K is widely known as the clotting vitamin. Vitamin K helps in reducing the risk of bleeding in your liver. The deficiency of vitamin K can cause nose bleeding, blood in your urine or stool, tarry black stool and heavy menstrual bleeding.
7). Birth Defects
Vitamin K deficiency can lead to birth defects like shortened fingers, flat nasal bridges, cupped ears, underdeveloped nose, mouth and mid-face, mental retardation and neural tube defects.
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient for coagulation mechanisms. Vitamin K prevents continuous bleeding. This vitamin reverses the blood thinning process.
Vitamin K deficiency can also cause wrinkles in your laugh lines. Hence consumption of vitamin K is important to stay young.
10). Easy Bruising
A deficiency in vitamin K can cause bruising and swellings. This will further lead to excessive bleeding. Vitamin K can reduce bruising and swellings.
Foods High in Vitamin K
People who don’t usually take Vitamin K supplements unless recommended by a doctor, here are some healthy sources of it that you can include in your diet.
When eaten regularly, broccoli contributes to the health of the nervous system, eyes, heart, bones, blood pressure, and skin. Get more broccoli in your diet in order to help meet your zinc, calcium, potassium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K needs every day. Just a half a cup provides well over the recommended daily amount of Vitamin K.
One of the healthiest, most nutrient-rich foods you can add to your diet is spinach. Whether raw or cooked, spinach is a stellar source of several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and Vitamin K. If you’re not sure how to add more spinach to your diet, start by using it as the leafy base for your salads, sautéing it with olive oil and garlic, adding it as a topping on your pizza, or shredding and cooking in your favorite pasta sauce.
3). Okra (Lady Finger)
A half-cup serving of sliced okra contributes 34 micrograms of Vitamin K to your diet, or about 43% of the recommended total for the day. If you’re not sure how to get more of this Vitamin K rich vegetable into your diet, try serving it with tomato soup, corn, rice, or shrimp.
Cauliflower helps maintain a healthy digestive system, prevents arthritis, obesity and other anti-inflammatory mediated diseases. The presence of glucoraphanin in cauliflower helps prevent stomach cancer and ulcer.
The next time you make pasta, remember to season it with some dried basil. Just one teaspoon of dried basil powder can complete your Vitamin K requirement for the day.
A blackberry’s rich, dark color is indicative of the many antioxidants housed inside it. Blackberries are abundant in minerals such as copper and manganese, as well as vitamins such as Vitamin C and Vitamin K. One cup of these succulent berries contains 36% of the Vitamin K the average adult should consume per day.
Known as sarson in Hindi, mustard is a great source of Vitamin K. Depending on your preference, you can cook it as sarson da saag (a north Indian preparation of mustard) or experiment with other recipes.
8). Chilli Powder
A regular staple in many households, red chilli powder is also a great source of Vitamin K. Other hot spices like curry powder, cayenne peppers (red chillies) and paprika powder (crushed chilli flakes) are also good sources of Vitamin K.
Cloves are a spice with a distinct taste that can take getting used to, but if you like them they are an excellent source of Vitamin K.
Chop a few stems of fresh parsley and use it to garnish your food. Two teaspoons of parsley can more than fulfil your Vitamin K requirement for the entire day.
Asparagus is a rich source of Vitamin K. Even eating a few stalks of it can considerably boost your levels of the vitamin. Just steam it lightly, add some lemon juice, salt and pepper, and you’re good to go.
Cucumber is another excellent source of Vitamin K, and unlike some of these vegetables that need to be cooked, it can be eaten raw, making it an easy addition to your diet.
Apart from green leafy vegetables, there are a few other foods that are rich in Vitamin K. The next time you eat eggs, don’t leave out the yolks, because they contain plenty of Vitamin K.
14). Olive Oil
In addition to having several other health benefits, olive oil is also a good source of Vitamin K. Other oils rich in this nutrient include canola and sesame oil, which is known as til ka tel in hindi.
15). Dried Fruits
Dried fruits like prunes, blueberries, peaches, figs and currants are all rich sources of Vitamin K. Nibble on them as you go about your day.
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