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High vitamin K foods

53 foods that are high in vitamin K

Vitamin K plays a vital role in blood clotting and bone and heart health. This article lists 53 foods that are exceptionally high in vitamin K.

Evidence-based
This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts, and fact-checked by experts.
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Last updated on August 3, 2022, and last reviewed by an expert on July 28, 2022.

Vitamin K is an important nutrient that plays a vital role in blood clotting and bone and heart health.

While vitamin K deficiency is rare, suboptimal intake may impair your health over time. Inadequate intake may impair blood clotting, weaken bones, and increase your risk of heart disease.

For this reason, you should obtain plenty of this vitamin from your diet. Getting the daily value of 120 mcg should prevent insufficiency in most people.

Here are 53 foods that provide exceptionally high amounts of vitamin K.

Which foods contain vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a group of compounds divided into two groups — K1 (phylloquinone) and K2.

Vitamin K1, the most common form, is mainly found in plant foods, especially dark leafy greens. K2, on the other hand, is only found in animal foods and fermented plant foods, such as natto.

The following 53 foods are good sources of vitamin K.

23 vegetables that contain vitamin K

The best sources of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) are dark, leafy green vegetables. The prefix “phyllo” in this vitamin’s name refers to leaves.

1. Kale (cooked)

2. Mustard greens (cooked)

3. Swiss chard (raw)

4. Collard greens (cooked)

5. Natto

6. Spinach (raw)

7. Broccoli (cooked)

8. Brussels sprouts (cooked)

9. Beef liver

10. Pork chops

11. Chicken

12. Goose liver paste

13. Green beans (cooked)

14. Prunes

15. Kiwi

16. Soybean oil

17. Hard cheeses

18. Avocado

19. Green peas (cooked)

20. Soft cheeses

21. Beet greens (cooked)

22. Parsley (fresh)

23. Cabbage (cooked)

6 meat products high in vitamin K

Fatty meats and liver are excellent sources of vitamin K2, though the content varies by the animal’s diet and may differ between regions or producers. Keep in mind that research on the vitamin K2 content of animal foods is incomplete.

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1. Bacon

2. Ground beef

3. Pork liver

4. Duck breast

5. Beef kidneys

6. Chicken liver

9 dairy foods and eggs high in vitamin K

Dairy foods and eggs are decent sources of vitamin K2.

Like meat, their vitamin content depends on the animal’s diet, and specific values may vary by region or producer.

1. Jarlsberg cheese

2. Soft cheeses

3. Edam cheese

4. Blue cheese

5. Egg yolk

6. Cheddar

7. Whole milk

8. Butter

9. Cream

7 fruits loaded with vitamin K

Fruits generally don’t contain as much vitamin K1 as leafy green vegetables, but a few provide decent amounts.

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1. Blackberries

2. Blueberries

3. Pomegranate

4. Figs (dried)

5. Tomatoes (sun-dried)

6. Grapes

7. Red currants

8 nuts and legumes high in vitamin K

Some legumes and nuts provide decent amounts of vitamin K1 but much less than leafy greens.

1. Soybeans (cooked)

2. Sprouted mung beans (cooked)

3. Cashews

4. Red kidney beans (cooked)

5. Hazelnuts

6. Pine nuts

7. Pecans

8. Walnuts

Health benefits of vitamin K

Adding more vitamin K-rich foods to the diet may have some protective benefits. One study noted that people with a higher vitamin K-2 had a reduced risk of cancer.

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Vitamin K-2 also appears to improve bone quality, which could lead to a reduction in broken bones. As a recent review noted, bone density is not always affected by vitamin K-2 intake, but people who took vitamin supplements that included calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K-2 were 25 percent less likely to have a bone fracture in their lifetime.

The same review also noted the importance of vitamin K for keeping insulin levels balanced. Participants who took vitamin K-1 supplements showed improved insulin resistance in one study. Another study indicated that an increased vitamin K-1 led to a decreased risk of diabetes.

While consuming more vitamin K may help improve glycemic control in some people, it should not replace any medications for diabetes.

Vitamin K may also play a role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease, as older adults taking vitamin K were found to have improved cognitive abilities and less difficulty recalling memories.

How do you meet your vitamin K requirements?

The richest sources of vitamin K1 are dark, leafy green vegetables. For example, just 1/2 cup (65 grams) of cooked kale provides 443% of the daily value.

To get the most out of this vitamin in kale and other plant foods, consider eating them with butter or oil. That’s because vitamin K is fat-soluble and may be better absorbed when combined with fat.

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Vitamin K2 is only found in animal foods and certain fermented dishes. Your gut bacteria also produce small amounts.

Natto, a Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans, is one of the best sources of vitamin K2. Other good sources include meat, liver, and cheese.

Evidence suggests that the metabolism and functions of vitamin K1 and K2 are slightly different, though this isn’t fully understood. While dietary guidelines don’t currently distinguish between the two, it’s probably a good idea to include both types in your diet.

Summary

Vitamin K can be found in numerous plant and animal foods. Although deficiencies are rare, it’s important to ensure you get enough of this essential vitamin through your diet.

Dark leafy greens are especially rich in this vitamin, with numerous types providing over 100% of the daily value in a single serving. Certain types of liver are good sources as well.

If you’re looking to up your vitamin K intake, look no further than the foods on this list.

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