Vitamin K, often referred to as the “forgotten” vitamin, is a fat-soluble nutrient that promotes proper blood clotting, which is necessary to prevent bleeding. But did you know that this vitamin has other benefits essential to your health?
Here are five of the best health benefits of vitamin K.
Top 5 Health Benefits Of Vitamin K
1. Healthy Bones
Several studies authenticate the role of vitamin K in promoting healthy bones. Clinical studies show that K2, a type of vitamin K, improves bone density. Public health experts at Harvard found a deficiency in vitamin K leads to low bone density and increases hip fracture risk in men and women.
Vitamin K2 or menaquinone works as a nutrient adhesive. It glues nutrients, including calcium, which promotes bone strength and health. Understand that other minerals are as important as calcium in strengthening the bones. The combination of nutrients protects you against bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
ALSO READ: Discover the Best Foods for Strong Bones
2. Improved Heart Health
Vitamin K helps promote heart health. It prevents the accumulation of unnecessary calcium in the coronary arteries. Studies show that calcium deposits in the arteries can lead to heart attacks.
The balance of vitamin K and D in the body works to stop and inhibit calcium buildup. Thus, it protects your heart from atherosclerosis, a condition where your arteries harden due to plaques. Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of heart attacks.
3. Lower Diabetes Risk
Type 2 diabetes is a prevalent condition. To reduce your risk, meet your vitamin K requirement. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) studied the link between vitamin K and diabetes and found out that vitamin K reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
It improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin, which is important in regulating blood sugar (glucose). Blood sugar is an indicator of diabetes, and type 2 diabetes develops from high blood sugar or hyperglycemia. The primary trigger is insulin resistance.
4. Cancer Prevention
Multiple studies reveal how vitamin K can help prevent cancer. Specifically, menaquinone or vitamin K2 contains anti-cancer properties, meaning it inhibits the formation and growth of certain types of tumors.
Vitamin K2 or menaquinone can help stop the formation of hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC — but it is important to note that vitamin K2 alone cannot prevent cancer growth. Eating a clean whole food diet is your best chance to get all the nutrients you need to prevent cancer and other diseases.
5. Delay in Skin Aging
You can keep your youthful appearance with the help of vitamin K. This vitamin improves the elasticity of your skin, making you look younger, and helps in maintaining healthy skin.
Thus, with sufficient intake of vitamin K, you can prevent skin problems such as wrinkles, dark spots, and acne breakouts. The first two are signs of skin aging. Untreated acne, meanwhile, can speed up the aging process.
How To Up Your Intake Of Vitamin K
While some plant foods can contain vitamin K2 naturally, most of it is found in fermented foods where microorganisms have converted the natural vitamin K or K1 to K2.
K3 is a synthetic form and should be avoided at all cost. It has been linked to toxicity in infants.
ALSO READ: Top 5 Health Benefits of Fermented Foods
Sources of Vitamin K:
- Mustard greens
- Collard greens
- Swiss chard
- Brussels sprouts
- Beet or turnip greens
- Fermented foods (such as soy sauce or tamari, sauerkraut, tempeh, cultured tonics or yogurt, and kombucha)
Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.