K is for Vitamin K

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Nutrition Tip Thursday

Randi Karlinsky MS, RDN, LDN, CHC

Vitamin K is a unique nutrient found mostly in leafy green vegetables. The vitamin was named after the German word, coagulation, because of its powerful role in the formation of blood clots. It is also a part of the fat-soluble group of vitamins, which means we need to consume the nutrient with a fat source in order to maximize its benefits (think: spinach salad with olive oil based dressing).

Health Benefits of Vitamin K:

  1. Plays a key role in coagulation...aka blood clotting. Many often think of blood clotting from the negative side however, it is necessary to stop us from bleeding. A simple scrape would continue to bleed without the vitamin K to form the clot.
  2. Supports bone health by regulating the very cells that breakdown our bones to prevent unnecessary bone loss. Low levels of vitamin K are often linked to osteoporosis.
  3. Other roles and potential health benefits, still undergoing research, include its role in photosynthesis to produce energy, potential antioxidant function, cell protection, and might help older men improve insulin resistance.

Excellent food sources:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Mustard & Collard Greens
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomato

Looking for a delicious dish packed with vitamin K? Stay tuned for Saturday’s recipe post!