Imagine a tiny cut on your finger, an occurrence which is not rare. You just wipe it off, apply a band aid & forget about it. Now imagine this scenario, the cut is tiny, but the bleeding does not stop! The blood keeps flowing on & on. Well, who do you need right now but our own K- Man! Yes Vitamin K! Vitamin K is essential for the functioning of several proteins involved in blood clotting. It is derived from the German word “”koagulation” which refers to the process of blood clot formation. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is not a single chemical substance but rather a family of chemically related substances that go by the general name of “vitamin K.”
What our K Man does for you?
- Allows your blood to clot normally
- Helps protect your bones from fracture
- Helps prevent postmenopausal bone loss
- Helps prevent calcification of your arteries
- Provides possible protection against liver and prostate cancer
How does the lack of Vitamin K harm you?
As the primary function of the vitamin is in blood clotting, it is most affected in case of deficiency. This results in a longer bleeding time, in severe cases it can also lead to fatal anemia. Not just adults but even newborns are at an increased risk of deficiency as babies are born with sterile intestines which means they do not have any bacteria in the guts to produce vitamin K. Other symptoms of deficiency include heavy menstrual bleeding in women, brittle bones, anemia, bruising, and bleeding of the gums or nose.
Where do I find the K Man?
Vitamin K is easily found in the following vegetable sources in abundant quantities. Dark, green leafy vegetables like spinach, brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, kale, mustard greens, green peas & carrots. Cow milk is also considered as a good source of the vitamin. However you ought to keep in mind that hydrogenation of vegetable oils will decrease the absorption & biological effect of the vitamin.
How much do I need?
our daily requirement of vitamin k is around 80 ug. which can be easily fulfilled by a cup of spinach, or cabbage, or any green leafy vegetable.
Is too much too good?
There is no known toxicity associated with Vitamin K if taken via natural sources. However a synthetic form of the vitamin if taken in excess causes allergic reactions & hemolytic anemia.
It is important to understand the relevance of this K man in our daily meals. I hope this article has enlightened you enough to welcome him to your lunch & dinner every day!