Here’s What Vitamin K Does
Stopping to consider vitamins individually, and learning what they do for the human body can be an infinite source of health benefits. Let’s start with K, not the 11th letter of the alphabet, but the almighty Vitamin K, which affects everything from blood clotting to calcium absorption, can help destroy cancer cells, and has even been shown to help prevent osteoporosis.
Vitamin K is so important that labor and delivery nurses will recognize it as something that is given to babies at birth, as their digestive tracts are not producing it yet. Once you get to be an adult, the USDA recommends at least 120 micrograms of vitamin K per day for men and 90 micrograms for women. There is one caveat (about Vitamin K) that nurses and therapists may wish to pass along to peers and patients: people taking blood-thinners might need to monitor their vitamin K intake and consult their physicians first.
So, to break it down, there’s vitamin K1 found in plants, vitamin K2 that is created by bacteria in your intestines, and vitamins K3, K4, and K5, which are synthetic. For those who want to maintain their healthy careers by getting their Vitamin K on a plate, this post is for you!
10 Vitamin K-Rich Foods with Healthy Recipes that Feature Them!
The following is a shortlist of Vitamin K dense foods with links, where applicable, to healthy recipes that showcase them best:
- Basil is extremely well represented in this healthy recipe for Butterfly Pasta Caprese.
- Brussels sprouts are a prominent member of the crucifers family, and as such are loaded with Vitamin K.
- Kale is listed right under its cousin, Brussels sprouts; be sure to check in with Healthy Careers and look for a recipe for kale chips coming soon!
- Miso is a soybean paste that is used to flavor lots of Asian cuisine, and may best be recognized in a miso soup.
- Parsley is more than just a garnish! The Vitamin K juggernaut spices up just about every savory dish! Look for it in homemade chicken noodle soup.
- Prunes: Dried or in a juice, it’s all good!
- Soybeans and soy products, especially miso and natto, are very high in vitamin K. Natto is a traditional Japanese food product made from fermented soybeans; give it a try next time you’re in the right grocery aisle.
- Spinach: Try spinach feta turkey burgers to get your Vitamin K groove on.
- Spring onions or scallions—just look for the long green onions at the store—are loaded with Vitamin K.
- Swiss chard is a key ingredient in Super Stuffed Sweet Potatoes!
Healthy Careers Thinks You Are Special, ‘K?
So there you have it, a guide to get you started on adding a little more K to your life. We hope you enter your healthy kitchens with the know-how to make Vitamin K really work for you. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that it is better absorbed with fat - so drizzle your broccoli with a little olive oil—the health benefits of olive oil have been well documented by Healthy Careers. If you can’t cook it, swallow it in the form of a supplement of 150 to 500 mg of plant-derived vitamin K. Make sure you get every vitamin you need, from A to Z. A well-nourished health professional is the happiest one!