Top 10 Vitamin K Foods & Benefits: Heart, Bone, and Skin Health

Vitamin K is essential to overall health but is often overlooked. Learn all about the many benefits of vitamin K for your health and foods rich in vitamin K that you should add to your diet. Leafy greens, like kale and spinach, aren’t the only ones.

7 minute read

Last Updated July 14, 2020

Top 10 Vitamin K Foods & Benefits: Heart, Bone, and Skin Health

Vitamin K can help with a wide range of health issues, and it offers loads of benefits. It might not be as well known or as popular as some of the other vitamins out there, like vitamin C, but vitamin K is just as essential as the other vitamins and minerals out there.

Because of that, it’s important to understand the role vitamin K plays in your body and how you can get more of it into your system.

How Vitamin K Helps You

There are quite a few benefits of vitamin K to go over. Vitamin K has been linked to better heart health and improved insulin sensitivity. That means your body is able to regulate your insulin levels more effectively, which is a huge boost for your heart health.

Vitamin K has also been shown to help keep bones strong, so you can see why this vitamin is so important to your body and overall health.

The Top Foods Rich in Vitamin K and Their Benefits

But how do you get vitamin K into your diet? Well, even though this vitamin is not the most well known, there is actually a good number of foods that are rich in vitamin K. Here are a few such foods you can add to your grocery list:

Broccoli

This cruciferous vegetable is loaded with vitamin K. Even better, broccoli is a delicious vegetable that pairs well with a variety of different foods. You can try mixing broccoli into a stir fry, eat it with a salad, or even enjoy it in a hearty soup.

But broccoli doesn’t just contain vitamin K. When it comes to health benefits, there aren’t many foods much better than broccoli. It contains a powerful amount of vitamin C, which can help form muscle tissue and cartilage. That makes broccoli a key ingredient if you’re looking to reduce joint pain or discomfort, as cartilage can be a huge help in that area.

Cabbage

Once considered a low-quality food that was meant for peasants and paupers, cabbage has seen a renaissance recently as a healthy “superfood.” That’s because cabbage is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including a strong dose of vitamin K.

But the benefits of cabbage don’t stop there. Cabbage is full of vitamin C, and it can also help keep inflammation in check. Inflammation has been linked to a wide range of health problems, including everything from low energy to uncomfortable digestion. So if you want to keep inflammation at bay, try adding some cabbage to your regular diet.

Scallions

Also known as spring onions, scallions are a great dietary addition because they’re very low in calories and they have no fat. That’s right, scallions are fat-free, and they also provide fiber, which can help ease digestion and reduce bloating.

Of course, they’re loaded with vitamin K, which is why they’re on this list, but they also contain other valuable vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. For example, scallions are a great source of iron and calcium, which can help maintain proper bone health.

Brussels Sprouts

Like scallions, brussels sprouts are a nice low-calorie option that can be added to a variety of meals. Brussels sprouts are hearty, and they can make you feel full and satisfied despite their low-calorie content.

That’s because brussels sprouts pack a potent nutritional punch that includes a high level of vitamin K, plus antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Kale and Other Green Leafy Vegetables

It’s no secret that leafy green vegetables are great for your health, but if you needed any more encouragement, you should know that kale is one of the most vitamin K-rich foods on the planet.

But in addition to vitamin K, kale is also a rich source of protein and fiber, which can give you energy and help you digest food, respectively. Kale is loaded with vitamin B too, which is essential for brain development.

Fermented Soy

This refers to soy that has undergone fermentation, a process that involves the cultivation of good bacteria. Unfortunately, many soy products available in America are made with unfermented soy, which has actually been linked to negative health effects.

Be careful when you buy a soy-based product, and stick to the fermented kind. This variety of soy is chock full of vitamin K, plus it contains magnesium, iron, and calcium.

Prunes

They often get a bad rap, but prunes are loaded with health benefits, so they’re worth a look the next time you’re at the grocery store. In addition to vitamin K, prunes are a great source of vitamin A, which can help with vision.

They’re also loaded with antioxidants, which can help protect your body from various diseases. And perhaps their most famous benefit, prunes are a powerful digestive booster.

Basil

We don’t always consider herbs when discussing nutrient-rich foods, but basil is a powerful source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K. It also has a good amount of antioxidants, which make it one of the healthiest herbs you can put on your food.

Basil can add flavor to a variety of dishes, including pizza and pasta, so give it a try the next time you prepare a nice Italian meal.

Cucumbers

Can food help you stay hydrated? Well, if it’s cucumbers, then the answer is yes. Not only can cucumbers help prevent dehydration and keep you stocked up on vitamin K, but cucumbers have also been shown to help fight inflammation.

Fermented Dairy

Like fermented soy, fermented dairy refers to dairy that has been exposed to good bacteria, i.e., probiotics. The benefits of fermented dairy are numerous, besides just vitamin K. Fermented dairy products can actually help maintain healthy blood pressure.

The Bottom Line

It might not be the first vitamin or mineral that comes to your mind, but keeping your vitamin K levels at the right amount is very important to your overall health. From improving how well your body stores fat and burns energy to improving bone health, vitamin K is a health imperative.

To avoid vitamin K deficiency, add a few of the foods on this list to your diet. You’ll be as happy as your taste buds.

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