Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Foods that are High in Vitamin K

Vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C…there’s a whole alphabet of vitamins out there, and we don’t always know what each of them does but we do know that vitamins are good for us. One of these important vitamins is vitamin K, which helps blood clotting and bone formation. It’s important that our blood clots when we’re injured or else we could bleed to death, which is a possible consequence of hemophilia, a condition made famous by the royal Romonov family of Russia. Whenever the skin breaks, like from a cut, blood comes out of it and it eventually results in a scab. This scab is a result of blood clotting—after you get a cut, blood cells come together in a clot to prevent more blood coming out and keep out germs. Under the scab, your immune system is working to heal the skin. Now that you know how important scabs are, you might refrain from picking them the next time you injure yourself!

Vitamin K promotes this healing process, so it’s important that we get enough of it in our diet. A healthy diet includes foods high in vitamin K that aid the blood clotting process. Without enough vitamin K in our bodies we can become endangered from even minor injuries, because as little as it seems it’s essential to our health for that scab to form and stop the bleeding. Vitamin K also makes our bones strong, so a vitamin K deficiency can weaken them.

Foods high in vitamin K are many green leafy vegetables. Vegetables high in vitamin K include spinach, broccoli, okra, kale, brussels sprouts, collard greens, mustard greens, alfalfa, turnip greens, beet greens, chards, and kelp. But vegetables aren’t the only foods that have a lot of vitamin K in them. You can also get vitamin K from spices: basil, coriander, parsley, sage, thyme (but not rosemary), and miscellaneous foods high in vitamin K like bread crumbs, fish oil, plums and soy beans.

However, there are cases in which eating foods high in Vitamin K can actually be detrimental. People who are at risk for excessive blood clotting should stay away from vitamin K because it’ll make blood clot even more. It will also work against blood thinners that people might be taking to reduce their clots. It might seem counterintuitive to cut a lot of vitamin K rich vegetables out of your diet, but by talking with your doctor you can figure out a balanced diet to monitor your blood clotting levels.

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