When it comes to your daily diet, you are probably aware of the importance of nutrients like vitamins B and C. But are you getting enough vitamin K?
If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone. But vitamin K is a key factor in keeping your heart and bones strong as you age. In fact, getting enough every day can help completely slow down the signs of aging.
What are the health benefits of vitamin K?
Vitamin K is essential for heart and bone health. It is most commonly known to aid in the blood clotting process – which can become more difficult with age – but recent research shows it is also vital in preventing arterial calcification.
This is when the arteries begin to show signs of calcium accumulation, which can harden over time and make it harder for oxygen-rich blood to get to the body. In some cases, this can lead to heart attacks and other potentially fatal cardiovascular problems.
If that were not enough reason to pay attention to your intake, scientists are currently studying the role of vitamin K in preventing osteoarthritis, which affects over 32 million American adults.
How can I get more vitamin K in my diet?
You can include vitamin K through many foods that you can eat regularly. But like some other nutrients, there are different forms of vitamin K and it is important to eat a variety of foods that contain different types for a well balanced diet.
Leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, Swiss pear and parsley all have more than the recommended daily allowance of what is called phylloquinone, or vitamin K1, in just one serving.
Furthermore, you can add vitamin K to your diet with beef, pork chops, and chicken, as well as various eggs and cheeses. These all contain vitamin K2, which is officially known as menakinon. Fruits like avocados, kiwis, berries and blueberries can also provide extra nutrients.
Researchers are still in the early stages of understanding how important vitamin K is for so many different bodily functions, but it does not hurt to make sure you are consuming enough each day, whether through diet or through a multivitamin. A little more health and heart and bone never hurts! /