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Articles Fitness Nutrition

Green Bean Nutrition: The Magic of Vitamin K

Feb 25, 2010

Bean nutrition can be incorporated into a person's daily diet in order to increase vitamin K consumption. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential in normal blood clotting, and is found in abundance in green beans. In fact, one cup of green beans has 25% of the recommended daily dosage of vitamin K. Aside from vitamin K, green beans have a host of other vitamins necessary to promote optimal health. Use Fitday to track your vitamin K consumption.

Benefits of Vitamin K

The vitamin K that is found in green beans has many important functions and benefits in the body. The most important is its role in blood clotting. When the body suffers a wound, vitamin K starts the healing process by slowing down the rate of bleeding, eventually bringing it to a stop. Other benefits of vitamin K include:

  • Protecting bones from fracture
  • Preventing calcification of arteries
  • Preventing menopausal bone density loss
  • Protecting against certain cancers, such as liver and prostate cancer
  • Protecting against oxidative damage to cells
  • Regulating the inflammatory response
  • Supporting the brain and nervous system structure

Sources of Vitamin K

Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin K. Just one cup of green beans contains 20 micrograms of vitamin K. Other excellent sources of vitamin K include:

  • Spinach
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Broccoli
  • Green peas
  • Carrots

Symptoms of a Diet Low in Vitamin K

A diet low in vitamin K can have many negative health effects, which can include excessive bleeding from a flesh wound, heavy menstrual bleeding and excessive gum bleeding. Nose bleeds tend to be prominent, and bleeding within the digestive tract is possible. Those who are vitamin K deficient tend to bruise easily. They may have problems with calcification of the blood vessels or heart valves, and problems with bone fractures and bone weakening.

Factors that May Affect the Function of Vitamin K

Certain health problems can affect the body's absorption of vitamin K. These health problems include:

  • Colitis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Digestive tract surgeries
  • Pancreatic problems
  • Liver problems
  • Gallbladder problems

The aging process may also contribute to deficiency of vitamin K in the body. This may be due in part to the changes in metabolism that occur during the aging process.

Drugs that Interfere with Vitamin K Absorption

In addition to health conditions, certain drugs can also impact the body's ability to properly absorb vitamin K. Antibiotics decrease the availability of it by killing the bacteria that synthesizes vitamin K. Anticoagulant medications decrease the risk of unwanted blood clotting by interfering with vitamin K metabolism. Cholesterol-lowering drugs tie up bile acids, which reduces the absorption of vitamin K. Other drugs that may affect vitamin K include aspirin, aluminum hydroxide antacids and anti-seizure medications.

Vitamin K has many important functions in the body to promote good health. It's important to know what sources it can be found in, and what hinders its absorption in the body.

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