Vitamin K is an important nutrient that is required in any diet. It is essential for blood clotting, and the K in the name stands for the German word koagulation. Apart from this, it is also required for maintaining bone health. Due to these reasons, it is an essential nutrient, and its deficiency causes serious health disorders. It is found in plant-based food like leafy greens, as well as produced by intestinal bacteria. However, this is significantly reduced if you had a long course of antibiotics. What is the importance of vitamin K in a vegan diet? Let us see.
Vitamin K And Its Sources
There are two types of vitamin K: K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 is found in leafy greens like kale, collards, romaine lettuce, swiss chard, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and spinach; it is also found in kiwi fruit. These must be boiled, shredded, or both to increase the absorption of this nutrient. The bacteria present in the gut convert vitamin K1 into vitamin K2.
The Importance Of Vitamin K
Blood Clotting: Vitamin K, also referred to as menadione, is essential for blood clotting. It is difficult to induce its deficiency as vitamin K1 is found in leafy greens and vitamin K2 is found in animal-based foods.
Healthy Bones: The evidence of the impact of vitamin K on bone health is limited. This is because the results from studies vary for supplements and dietary intake of this nutrient. Some studies have shown that the deficiency of this nutrient increases the risk of loss in bone density, fracture, undercarboxylated osteocalcin, etc. That said, more studies are required to confirm the link between bone health and vitamin K.
The Intake Of Vitamin K
It is recommended that an adult must get 1 microgram of vitamin K per day for each Kg of body weight. So, a person with 70 Kg of body weight must get 70 micrograms of this nutrient.
Those who are following a vegan diet need not worry about vitamin K deficiency as they consume adequate amounts of leafy greens. Since it is a fat-soluble nutrient, dressing leafy green salads with olive, soya, or rapeseed oil will increase the bioavailability of this nutrient. Furthermore, those who follow a balanced vegan diet need not take vitamin K supplements.
We hope that this article clarified your doubt about the importance of vitamin K.