The primary function of vitamin K is to act as a coenzyme for proteins that regulate blood clotting. Vitamin K has an adequate intake (AI) of 120 mcg for adult males and 90 mcg for adult females. Fortunately, most Americans consume an adequate amount of vitamin K from food. Newborns are the greatest population at risk for vitamin K deficiency and the bleeding (VKDB) that goes along with it. To avoid this complication of early life malabsorption, it is important for babies to receive a vitamin K shot at birth.
Other malabsorption conditions for vitamin K are cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, short bowel syndrome, other gastrointestinal disorders. Studies have shown a link between high vitamin K intake and lower risk of hip fractures, higher bone mineral density, and possibly a lower risk of coronary heart disease mortality.
Vitamin K Rich Food #1: Mustard Greens
One great source of vitamin K1 are mustard greens. 100 grams have 593 mcg of vitamin K. Adding some mustard greens to your diet will provide you with fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C. This vegetable has a rich peppery flavor that packs a punch.
One benefit of mustard greens is the antioxidative properties of vitamins A and C. Together, the nutrients protect your body from free radical damage and inflammation. Vitamin A contributes to eye health and proper vision. Vitamin C contributes to collagen production for skin health and beauty.