We've heard time and again about how beneficial vitamins are for the hair, skin and health. Vitamins A, C and E find themselves on the popular list for their clarifying and rejuvenating abilities they can deliver to the skin as well the bucketload of other health benefits they lend to the immune system, eyes etc. Have you ever considered vitamin K? Yes, there really is a vitamin K. Not many are aware it exists or the amount of advantages that it has. Let's introduce you to vitamin K's benefits, the ways in which you can use it, sources where it can be found and many more details to make it a part of your lifestyle.
What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins. Of them, K1 and K2 are said to be the most important of them. Its alphabet is derived from the Greek word 'koagulation' which leads us to its nick name. It is commonly known as the 'blood clotting vitamin' because of the vital role it plays in healing wounds. It is also important for bone health and regulating calcium levels.
(Also Read: Why It's More Important Than Ever To Take Vitamin D)
Health Benefits Of Vitamin K
Vitamin K has many great advantages for one's health, which is why it should be a part of your diet.
It plays a key role in blood clotting and helps produce 4 of the 13 proteins needed for it. This ability makes it useful to counteract the effect of certain blood thinners
It is integral for healthy bones. It has a positive effect on bone mineral density and decreases the risk of fractures
It may also increase protection against heart disease and Alzheimer's
Beauty Benefits Of Vitamin K
Besides one's health, you may be surprised to note that vitamin K can also extend its benefits to one's beauty routine in the following ways.
Vitamin K positively affects would healing. It fastens the process of repairing, making it essential for wounds and bruises
It works as an antioxidant to protect skin from the harmful effect of free radicals
It may protect the body's collagen and thus, aid in keep the skin elasticated and firm
It can reduce inflammation by improving circulation of blood and reducing redness
It may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks
Deficiency Of Vitamin K
When an individual's system lacks vitamin K and they suffer from a deficiency of it, here's what they are at risk of.
Having low levels of vitamin K in the body can increase the risk of uncontrolled bleeding. As it requires adequate supply of the vitamin to produce proteins that aid in clotting, lacking it can lead one to bleed excessively.
Low levels of vitamin K can lead to low bone mass density and an increase in fractures
People with gastrointestinal disorders like Celiac or Crohn's disease may be more susceptible as their systems may not be able to properly absorb the vitamin
How To Prevent Vitamin K Deficiency
There isn't a fixed number for how much vitamin K one requires as it is dependent on many factors. However, a diet rich in the fat soluble vitamin is essential. Additionally, one can also seek medical help if they are deficient of it.
Natural Food Sources Of Vitamin K
One can allow their body to work smoothly and prevent deficiency of it by eating a diet that is rich in it. There are many natural sources of vitamin K which are easily accessible to add to one's regular diet. K1 of the vitamin is mainly obtained from vegetables while K2 comes from dairy and poultry sources. Here are the natural food sources of vitamin K
1. Green Leafy Vegetables
Vegetables like kale, spinach, collard, Swiss chard, parsley, romaine and lettuce which are defined by their leafy, green appearance.
2. Other Vegetables
Vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, avocado, green peas and brussels sprouts are also a healthy source of the vitamin.
3. Meats And Poultry
Meats like pork chops, beef liver, chicken liver, eggs and chicken
Dairy sources include whole milk, cheddar cheese, blue cheese, butter and cream