woman yoga pose
1 / 12

Good for Bones & Blood

Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that helps your blood clot and your bones grow the way they should. It also may help prevent the bone disease osteoporosis and protect you against heart disease. You can get vitamin K from certain foods, but up to two-thirds of Americans don’t meet the daily recommended goal (90 micrograms for women and 120 micrograms for men). 

Swipe to advance
Rinsing spinach
2 / 12

Eat More Leafy Greens

Mom was right: Spinach is good for you. This leafy green and others, like collard greens and kale, top the charts when it comes to vitamin K. Cooked kale is a vitamin K powerhouse, packing 550 micrograms in one-half cup. You’d rather have it raw in a salad or smoothie? You get 274 micrograms for the same half-cup serving.

Swipe to advance
Grilled asparagus
3 / 12

Try Other Veggies

Vegetables are your best source of dietary vitamin K, but you don’t have to stick to leafy greens to fuel up on it. Roasted Brussels sprouts and broccoli are chock-full of K, giving you 110 to 150 micrograms per half-cup serving. Other good veggie choices are scallions, frozen asparagus, frozen okra, raw watercress, and green cabbage. One quick vitamin K booster: Add 10 sprigs of parsley to a meal.

Swipe to advance
Green apple
4 / 12

Have an Apple

Fruit isn’t uber-rich in vitamin K, but certain ones can give you a quick burst of it. Snack on a small green apple and you just added 60 micrograms to your day. One-half cup of dried, pitted prunes nets you about 50 micrograms. Blueberries (14 microgram/half-cup) and grapes (11 micrograms/half-cup) have lower amounts but are easy to add to a meal on the go.

Swipe to advance
cooking oil
5 / 12

Cook With Soybean Oil

This oil -- and  canola, too -- are rich in the most common form of vitamin K, phylloquinone. Researchers asked some people to eat broccoli or use one of these oils for 5 days and discovered that all three offered the same vitamin K benefits. In fact, both groups raised their vitamin K count by 5 to 6 times the recommended amount.

Swipe to advance
Mixed nuts
6 / 12

Go Nuts

They’re packed with protein, fiber, healthy oils, and other key nutrients that fight inflammation and keep your heart strong. Cashews, mixed nuts, and pine nuts, in particular, give you an extra shot of vitamin K. Add pine nuts to a pasta dish, or grab a handful of cashews or mixed nuts for a midday snack. Every little bit helps.

Swipe to advance
Grilled salmon
7 / 12

Put Fish on the Menu

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish, such as salmon, at least twice a week. It’s loaded with healthy oils, protein, and minerals that lower blood pressure and help ward off heart attacks and strokes. Cooked salmon and shrimp have a little vitamin K, but light canned tuna in oil is loaded with 37 micrograms per 3-ounce serving. 

Swipe to advance
selecting juice
8 / 12

Have a Glass of Juice

In a hurry? Drink your fruits and veggies instead. Three-quarters of a cup of carrot juice gives you a quick serving of vitamin K -- about 28 micrograms. Not keen on carrots? Try pomegranate juice instead. The same amount also comes in at 28 micrograms. And some beverages are fortified with vitamin K. Check the label to be sure.

Swipe to advance
spinach pasta
9 / 12

Cook With Spinach Noodles

Craving pasta? Try spinach noodles. A half-cup gives you 81 micrograms of vitamin K. Add in an equal amount of tomato paste or marinara, and you bump that up a bit more. Eating out? Many tomato sauce entrees have healthy amounts of vitamin K. Even takeout pizza with tomato sauce gives you a small boost.

Swipe to advance
Fermented soybeans
10 / 12

Try Fermented Soybeans

Boiled, fermented soybeans, called natto, have been a staple of the Japanese diet for more than a century. The traditional dish has large amounts of vitamin K. Just 3 ounces give you 850 micrograms. Research also suggests that natto can slow down the loss of bone mass in women who have gone through menopause. That means it may help prevent osteoporosis.

Swipe to advance
Women cooking
11 / 12

How You Cook Counts

The amount of vitamin K you get from foods depends on how you prepare it. Frozen foods -- that you cook -- often have more than raw forms. This is probably because frozen vegetables lose some of their water, which concentrates the vitamins. For example, boiled frozen turnip greens net you more than 650 micrograms. But eating raw turnip greens gives you about one-fifth of that.

Swipe to advance
Doctor patient medication
12 / 12

It Isn’t Safe for Everyone

If you take warfarin (Coumadin), be careful about the vitamin K in your diet. Talk to your doctor about how much you should be getting. It also can cause issues if you take certain antobiotics, cholesterol medicines, or the weight loss drug orlistat. And always check with your doctor before taking any mulitvitamins or supplements.

Swipe to advance

Up Next

Next Slideshow Title

Sources | Medically Reviewed on 10/20/2016 Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 20, 2016

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

Thinkstock Photos

 

SOURCES:

USDA: “Vitamin K: Another Reason To Eat Your Greens.”

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: “Vitamin K,” “Vitamin K: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.”

USDA: “Nutrient Lists.”

VA Nutrition and Food Services: “Vitamin K Content of Foods.”

UNC School of Medicine: “Vitamin K Content of Common Foods.”

Nutrients: “Health Benefits of Nut Consumption.”

Oregon State University Extension Service: “Does freezing kill vitamin K?”

Washington State Department of Health: “Health Benefits of Fish.”

Journal of Nutrition: "Intake of Fermented Soybeans, Natto, Is Associated with Reduced Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Women: Japanese Population-Based Osteoporosis (JPOS) Study."

Nattokinase Research Organization: “What is Natto?”

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Medicine: “Vitamin K.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on October 20, 2016

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.