You may have noticed by now we're passionate about ensuring your diet is fully packed with the nutrients and vitamins our bodies need. When you eat organic, non-processed, GMO-free, 100% natural, and organic foods, your bodies begin to absorb what they need to start the process of change for the better.
When it comes to essential vitamins, vitamin K stands out as one of the crucial vitamins in your diet. Without enough vitamin K, our bodies cannot produce enough prothrombin, a protein and clotting factor vital for proper blood clotting and bone metabolism.
While deficiencies are rare, they can increase longer clotting time, leading to hemorrhage and excessive bleeding in severe cases. The primary dietary vitamin K, vitamin K1, or phylloquinone, comes from plants. A lesser source is vitamin K2, occurring in animal-based and fermented foods.
The Health Benefits of Vitamin K
Vitamin K helps make four of the 13 proteins needed for our blood to clot. Blood clotting is what halts wounds from continuously bleeding so that they can begin to heal. People who are prescribed anticoagulants (blood thinners) to prevent blood clots from forming in the heart, lungs, or legs are often cautioned about vitamin K due to the possibility of counteracting the effects of these medications. So, you must speak to your healthcare provider about vitamin K if you are on blood thinners. Ask your doctor if a non-vitamin K antagonist blood thinner would be right for you. (1)
Vitamin K produces proteins within the bone, including something called osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is needed to prevent the weakening of bones. In a systematic review of randomized controlled trials published by the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research in October 2021, strong evidence links that vitamin K and calcium positively affected lumbar BMD (Bone Mineral Density) and decreased the level of UcOC (Uncarboxylated osteocalcin). (2) UcOC is vital in evaluating vitamin K status and is inversely associated with bone mineral density.
Other studies have shown a strong link between low vitamin K levels and a lower bone density.
In research conducted by Edith Cowan University, published in Science Daily on August 9th, 2021, it was stated there's a growing body of evidence that vitamin K has benefits for the health of our hearts. (3)
Researchers examined the data from more than 50,000 people taking part in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health study for 23 years. The study found that those who had the highest intake of vitamin K1 were 21% less likely to be hospitalized with cardiovascular disease related to atherosclerosis (the thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by the build-up of plague.)
For those who took vitamin K2, the risk was 14% lower. This lower risk was found for all types of heart disease related to atherosclerosis, particularly for peripheral artery disease, at 34%! Vitamin K2 activates vitamin K dependent proteins, like matrix GLA protein, in arteries and cartilage to prevent the calcification of these soft tissues. More research is needed to see if vitamin K1 is effectively transformed into K2 within the body, or if vitamin K2 needs to be consumed directly. Until scientists figure it out, we recommend getting both vitamin K1 and K2.
Possible Prevention and Treatment for Alzheimer's
Published in The National Center for Biotechnology Information on June 27th, 2021, scientists and researchers state that vitamin K2 promises possible prevention and treatment for those with Alzheimer's. (4)
This study looked at neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, vascular disease, microbiome changes, non-genetic hallmarks of AD (Alzheimer's Disease.) Studies are beginning to show a connection that may prove vitamin K1 influences cognition. In a survey of low lifetime vitamin K1 on rats, scientists marked a high rise in cognitive deficits within the rats.
Scientists now state compelling evidence that vitamin K can impact health conditions beyond blood, bone, and heart. (5) Studies are being conducted on vitamin K and its benefits and effects with other forms of dementia outside of AD, with Parkinson's Disease, overall brain health, multiple sclerosis, migraines, and peripheral neuropathy.
The Best Natural Sources for Vitamin K
We never get tired of talking about one of the top, nutrient-packed, best sources for many vitamins—not just vitamin K. Can you guess what that is? Leafy greens!
Leafy greens are some of the best food sources high in vitamin K. The current recommended daily intake for vitamin K is 120 micrograms, and some of the best sources are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, pickled cucumber, asparagus, kiwifruit, okra, green beans, and leafy greens or salad greens.
More examples of food high in vitamin K:
- Kale. A single cup of raw kale contains 684% of the DV of vitamin K.
- One cup of raw spinach will net you about 145 micrograms of vitamin K.
- One cup of broccoli is 183% of the DV for vitamin K.
- Natto, a traditional Japanese dish of fermented soybeans, has 708% of the DV for vitamin K!
- You'll get 33% of the DV of vitamin K when eating 100 grams, or roughly 1 cup of raw fresh beet greens.
- Dandelion greens will give you 482% of your DV.
- One half-cup serving of cooked collard greens nets you 400%.
- 36 grams of raw Swiss chard provides 298 micrograms of vitamin K.
- Garnishing your food with just one tablespoon of fresh parsley will offer you 50% of your daily needs in vitamin K.
The best way to add vitamin K to your diet is by ensuring that The Hallelujah Diet is balanced and rich with the above, GMO-free, 100% organic and natural, pesticide-free vegetables. When you follow The Hallelujah Diet, you're following a science-backed diet that is bursting with nutrients and vitamins that your body needs and craves to perform its best.
We hope you've enjoyed our in-depth look at the health benefits of vitamin K. When it comes to getting the essential vitamins that are critical and ideal for your overall health, we're passionate about helping you obtain them! We want to help you know which foods contain the best sources of the vitamin so that you can choose which to eat to guarantee your body gets enough each day, as God intended.