When green monsters make a decision to become more conscious about the planet and your body by choosing more plant-based foods, we become more aware of the importance of Omega’s, B Vitamins and calcium. But, what about vitamin K??? I don’t know about you green monsters, but to me, vitamin K almost sounds like it isn’t an actual vitamin. I guess it is because I’m so used to hearing about all of the other letters of the alphabet (A, B, C, D, E, etc). But indeed, vitamin K is an important vitamin, and it plays two major roles in the body.
Promotes Healthy Blood Clotting
Vitamin K is one of the key nutrients for keeping our bodies clotting ability at the exact level. For example, if you happen to nick your finger while slicing up some vegetables and it bleeds, we need our blood to clot to close the wound to prevent excessive bleeding. But, we also don’t want our blood to clot too much when we are not wounded. If it clots when we are not wounded it could mistakenly block a functioning blood vessel, so we definitely don’t want that! That’s why our body needs vitamin K!
Protects Your Bones
Vitamin K has been known to be an important nutrient to protect our bones from weakening and fractures. People who are vitamin K deficient have a greater risk of fractures, and for menopausal women, it has clearly shown to help prevent future fractures. So, calcium isn’t the only nutrient that helps with bone protection!
The amazing thing is vitamin K is found in abundance in nature. So it is really easy for us to keep our “blood flowing” and our “bones strong.”
Check out these vitamin K loaded foods with recipes:
1. Leafy Greens
There are many reasons why you should be eating leafy greens. Kale, Spinach, Collard Greens, Swiss Chard, Turnip Greens, Mustard Greens, Parsley, Romaine Lettuce are all extremely high in vitamin K, and other nutrients. The super stars are Kale, Spinach and Collard Greens; all 3 provide over 1100% of the daily value of vitamin K in one cooked cup. Here are some great recipes that include leafy greens: Vegan Kale Recipes , Vegan Spinach Dip, Spinach Quesadillas, and Portobella Patties Wrapped in Collard Greens.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Here’s another reason to start eating more brussels sprouts, not just at Christmas!!! Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cabbage are also excellent sources of vitamin K. Brussels sprouts and broccoli are the 2 ringers of the cruciferous vegetables; they provide over 100% of the daily value in one raw cup. Here are some great cruciferous recipes to increase your vitamin k intake: Roast Brussels Sprouts and Rosemary Soup ,Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sherry Maple Vinaigrette, Baked Broccoli Burgers, and Sesame Tofu Broccoli Salad.
We all know that blueberries are a superfood because of their antioxidant properties, but they are also an excellent source of vitamin K. One of the highest out of any fruit, one cup of blueberries will provide you with 35% of the daily value. Prunes, grapes and raspberries are also a very good source of vitamin K. Check out these yummy blueberry recipes to boost that vitamin K intake. Vegan Blueberry Recipes
Image Source: Lisa Brewster/Flickr