Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning that you need to include healthy fats in your diet to effectively absorb it. It’s found naturally in plants, however vitamin K2 is produced in the gut by your healthy bacteria!
The following foods are the best sources of vitamin K, however looking after your gut health is also key to maintaining good levels:
- Dark green leafy vegetables; Spinach, kale, broccoli, watercress, Swiss chard, parsley
- Other vegetables; asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, carrots, green peas, cucumber, tomatoes
- Fruit; blueberries, grapes, kiwi
- Soya beans
- Fermented foods such as natto, sauerkraut, miso and tempeh are a good source of Vitamin K2
And this is why we need it!
1. Vital for blood clotting (this process is essential to stop bleeding). Vitamin K is required for some of the clotting factors in our blood to work effectively.
2. Crucial for building strong bones. Deficiencies in vitamin K are associated with a greater risk of fracture. This is particularly important for women going through the menopause to bear in mind.
3. Promotes healthy arteries and protects against cardio-vascular disease. Vitamin K has been shown in studies to protect the cells that line our veins and arteries.
4. Important for brain cell repair, hence helping to optimise our memory and concentration and prevent cognitive decline as we age!
5. Supports pancreatic beta cell function and therefore insulin production. Scientific studies have indicated that vitamin K can improve insulin resistance and therefore reduce the risk of diabetes.
6. Anti cancer properties; studies have found that vitamin K may be helpful in fighting a number of different cancers.
7. Reduces wrinkling of the skin and premature ageing. It’s believed that vitamin K prevents calcium from being deposited in your skin’s elastin fibres which can harden to cause wrinkles.
An easy vitamin K rich recipe idea...............
Combine the following ingredients in to a large salad bowl and serve (for approx 6-8 people)
1 cauliflower (stalk and leaves removed) grated or blitzed in a food processor until resembles cous cous)
4 medium tomatoes, 5 spring onions, 1 cucumber, 1 handful of mint leaves, 1 large bunch of flat leaf parsley all finely chopped
5 tablespoons of olive oil
Juice of 2-3 lemons
Ground black pepper and Himalayan rock salt to taste
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