The Importance of Vitamin K for a Healthy Diet

The Importance of Vitamin K for a Healthy Diet

July 27, 20232 min read

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays important roles in blood clotting and in bone metabolism. Sharon Collison, a registered dietitian and instructor of Clinical Nutrition at the University of Delaware, has over 30 years of experience looking at nutrition, diets and diet culture. She has studied the affects of vitamin K and the impact it can have on one's overall health. 

She notes that vitamin K decreases bone turnover, protecting against fractures. Vitamin K is unique in that bacteria in the GI tract can synthesize vitamin K that can contribute to the body’s needs. People generally get about ½ their vitamin K from synthesis in the GI tract and ½ from food sources.

Here are some foods that Collison said are not only good sources of vitamin K, but are nutritional powerhouse foods that are nutrient dense.

Broccoli Raab: 241 mcg/100 grams of vitamin K. Also high in dietary fiber, potassium and vitamin C. 

Artichokes: 14.8 mcg/100 grams vitamin K. Also an excellent source of dietary fiber and potassium. 

Broccoli: 102 mcg/100 grams vitamin K. Also high in vitamin C, beta carotene, dietary fiber, potassium, iron and phytonutrients — which has great cancer fighting properties.

Spinach: Chopped frozen boiled spinach has 543 mcg/100 grams of vitamin K, making it one of the best sources. Also high in vitamin C, folate, potassium, vitamin A and magnesium. 

Green leaf lettuce: 126 mcg/100 grams vitamin K. Also a good source of vitamin A and potassium, folate and very low in calories. 

Canola oil: 10 mcg/1 Tbsp vitamin K. Also a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and vitamin E.

Canned tuna in oil: 37 mcg/3 ounces vitamin K. Also rich in protein and heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. 

Eggs: Vitamin K content varies between 67-192 mcg per egg yolk depending on the hen’s diet. Also an excellent source of protein. 

Arugula: 21 mcg/1 cup vitamin K. Also good source of potassium, vitamin C, folate, vitamin A and calcium. 

Collison is affiliated with the National Alliance on Eating Disorder Awareness and Prevention. She has been a board-certified sports dietitian since 2008, providing sports nutrition guidance to middle-school, high-school, collegiate, elite and amateur athletes.

Connect with:
  • Sharon Collison
    Sharon Collison Clinical Instructor, Health Behavior and Nutrition Science

    Sharon Collison provides medical nutrition therapy (MNT) in University of Delware's Nutrition Clinic.

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