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What You Need To Know About Vitamin K

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vitamin K

Vitamin K has many important functions in the body including helping your blood to clot. Here's some information about vitamin K and a list of foods that are sources of vitamin K.


What's The Difference Between Vitamin K, K1 and K2?

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. There are 2 forms of vitamin K: K1, or phylloquinone, and K2, or menaquinone. The main type is K1 and comes from plants and green leafy vegetables. K2 can be found in some animal-based and fermented foods. It is also made by our body from the vitamin K1 in the food we eat.


Vitamin K Benefits

Vitamin K plays a key role in helping your blood clot when you are bleeding. People who take Warfarin (also known as Coumadin), a blood thinning medication, should aim to eat the same amount of vitamin K each day for the drug to work well.

Vitamin K also helps create the proteins that are needed for the building of bones and helps your body heal wounds.

How much vitamin K do adults need per day? The amount you need depends on your age, sex and life stage:

  • Women aged 19 and older: 90 mcg
  • Men aged 19 and older: 120 mcg
  • Pregnant women 19 years and older: 90 mcg
  • Breastfeeding women 19 years and older: 90 mcg

Common Foods Sources of Vitamin K

Our bodies can make vitamin K but we get most of our vitamin K from foods. Dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are the best sources of vitamin K.

See the table below for the vitamin K content of some common foods:

Common Foods Sources of Vitamin K
Food GroupeFoodServing sizeVitamin K (mcg)
Vegetables and Fruit
Kale, cooked125 mL (½ cup)561
Parsley, raw 125 mL (½ cup)520
Spinach, cooked125 mL (½ cup)469
Dandelion greens, raw250 mL (1 cup)452
Mustard greens, cooked125 mL (½ cup)438
Collards, cooked125 mL (½ cup)408
Beet greens, cooked125 mL (½ cup)368
Swiss chard, cooked125 mL (½ cup)303
Turnip greens, cooked250 mL (1 cup)280
Spinach, raw250 mL (1 cup)153
Endive, rew250 mL (1 cup)122
Brussels sprouts, cooked4 sprouts118
Broccoli, cooked125 mL (½ cup)116
Green onions/scallions, raw250 mL (1 cup)109
Cabbage, cooked125 mL (½ cup)86
Lettuce, green leaf, raw250 mL (1 cup)75
Lettuce, romaine or butter, raw250 mL (1 cup)60
Cabbage, raw250 mL (1 cup)56
Asparagus, cooked125 mL (½ cup)48
Broccoli, raw125 mL (½ cup)47
Kiwifruit1 large37
Seaweed125 mL (½ cup)28
Rhubarb, cooked125 mL (½ cup)27
Blueberries, frozen125 mL (½ cup)27
Green peas, cooked125 mL (½ cup)22
Avocado½ fruit21
Grain Products
Spinach egg noodles, cooked125 mL (½ cup)86
Milk and Alternatives This food group contains very little of this nutrient
Meat and Alternatives
Tuna, light, canned with oil75 g (2.5 oz)33
Soybeans, boiled 175 mL (¾ cup)24

The information in this resource is for general information purposes only and is not intended to replace informed medical advice. Consume foods according to any dietary guidelines you have been provided from a health care professional. Metro Ontario Pharmacies Limited assumes no legal liability for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of the information.


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