OK, Vitamin K!

Cauliflower:  A great source of Vitamin KVitamin K plays an important role in the function of the body. It is a key player in blood flow and clotting. If you are deficient in Vitamin K when you are cut or injured your blood will not clot as easily. Some scientists and researchers also think that Vitamin K is important for maintaining your bone health–especially as you age. The best way to ensure you’re getting enough of this hardworking vitamin is through food sources. However, if you are still unable to fill the body with enough Vitamin K you should speak with your doctor about the available Vitamin K supplements.

There are thirteen different vitamins that your body needs to survive. Of these thirteen, four are fat-soluble and the rest are water-soluble. If the vitamin is water-soluble, it dissolves quickly and exits the body. Therefore, water-soluble vitamins must be consumed daily in order to keep your levels normal. However, if a vitamin is fat-soluble, it does not exit the body but is instead stored in your fat to be used at a later time. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it is not crucial for you to consume it every day. However, it is important for you to keep a careful eye on your levels of Vitamin K in the body in order to make sure that you are not becoming Vitamin K deficient. If this occurs, a vitamin supplement may be necessary.

Vitamin K is found in a variety of foods. It is also produced in the body by the bacteria found in the lining of your gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, your body helps regulate its own Vitamin K levels. As for foods that contain Vitamin K, you will more than likely get enough if you simply eat a healthy, balanced diet. Some foods that are especially high in Vitamin K include vegetables like cabbage, spinach and other leafy greens, soybeans, and cauliflower.

If you do not get enough Vitamin K in your diet, it is important to talk to your doctor about taking supplements. Signs of Vitamin K deficiency include easy bruising and bleeding. Extreme Vitamin K deficiency is very rare, but when it does occur it is usually due to a problem in the intestinal tract. Instead of absorbing Vitamin K like normal, the body simply allows the vitamin to pass through with the waste. In this case, vitamin supplements are necessary. However, because this is a fat-soluble vitamin, you should take vitamin supplements for Vitamin K under medical supervision. There may be another underlying condition that is affecting your vitamin absorption and must be looked into further by a medical professional.

Whether through diet or vitamin supplements it’s important to include Vitamin K in your diet along with all the other vitamins and minerals that are needed for a healthy, functioning body.

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Photo Credit:

Cauliflower at Farmer’s Market