The key role of vitamin K is to clot the blood. Since a vitamin K deficiency can contribute to such medical conditions as osteoporosis and hardened arteries, ensuring that you're getting the proper dose of this essential vitamin is necessary. Here are a few ways to incorporate more foods rich in vitamin K into your daily diet:
Kale is the number one source for vitamin K. This leafy green veggie is a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Just one cup of cooked kale offers over ten times the DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) for vitamin K.
Kale is great in soups. It can also be steamed, sautéd or boiled to be transformed into a tasty side dish.
2. Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals, and provides 8738mcg of vitamin K per 200-calorie serving. Though it doesn't show up on America's dinner tables often, this often-ignored veggie is a great alternative to spinach, as it is comparable in taste (only more intense and delicious!). Swiss chard is also an excellent source of vitamin A, and antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin (known vision protectors).
Try Swiss chard in place of your favorite spinach dish.
3. Collard Greens
This traditional southern comfort food is also rich in vitamin K, with 1059 μg per cup. Sauté, boil or steam this tasty soul food, and you can rest assured you've met your DRI for the blood clotting vitamin.
Spinach is a very well-known health food. Low in calories and brimming with essential nutrients, spinach is perhaps one of the healthiest foods on the planet. The vitamins and minerals in spinach help the fight against cancer, heart disease, obesity, stroke and osteoporosis. One cup of the veggie provides 1027 μg of vitamin K.
Spinach can be cooked in a wide variety of ways, and in innumerable delicious dishes. Try it in an egg white omelette, or simply sauté it with a little olive oil, salt, and garlic as a great side dish for a healthy meal.
5. Brussels Sprouts
Although Brussels sprouts aren't the most kid-friendly alternative, these veggies are full of vitamin K. Also low in calories, the sprouts serve up 300 μg of the vitamin per serving.
Roast them with other vegetables, or simply steam them to accompany the rest of your meal.
Just like spinach, broccoli is a known source of many vitamins and minerals. In just one serving, you get 220 μg of vitamin K. Broccoli is also high in vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and fiber.
The ways to cook this low-calorie, nutrient-dense veggie are endless. Roast them with other veggies with a splash of olive oil, or steam them in the microwave for a quick and easy side.
Leafy green vegetables can easily be considered the unrivaled masters of nutrition, with loads of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals. These veggies are relatively inexpensive, plentiful, low-calorie and extremely versatile. Get your daily fill, and you can close the kitchen knowing you've met your DRI for vitamin K.