Vitamin K is not always the first nutrient that comes to mind when considering a healthy diet, but it plays a critical role in many bodily functions. As Vitamin K helps the blood to clot, it is crucial for wound healing and preventing excessive bleeding. Additionally, maintaining healthy bones and reducing the risk of osteoporosis is attributed to vitamin K. This essential vitamin is found in various foods we consume, and in this article, we will explore which foods are high in vitamin K, plant-based sources, recipes, benefits, and expert advice on ensuring you consume the right amount of vitamin K.

Why Vitamin K is Critical for Your Health (And Which Foods Contain It)

Vitamin K is fat-soluble, which means it is absorbed by the body along with fats and requires bile for proper absorption. Benefits of this vitamin include regulating blood calcium levels, allowing normal blood clotting, and optimizing bone density. Further, research suggests vitamin K may hold a role in cardiovascular health. Vitamin K comes in two primary forms: K1 and K2. While K1 is predominantly found in leafy greens and fruits, dietary sources of K2 include fermented foods with bacteria, found in the human gut. Foods rich in vitamin K are encouraged in the diet, with the recommended daily intake ranging from 90 to 120 micrograms, varies based on age and gender (1).

The Ultimate List of Vitamin K-Rich Foods

When considering incorporating vitamin K-rich foods, a broad range of options is available. Here is a comprehensive list of foods containing vitamin K:

  • Kale (1 cup, cooked): 1062 micrograms
  • Spinach (1 cup, cooked): 888 micrograms
  • Collard greens (1 cup, cooked): 771 micrograms
  • Swiss chard (1 cup, cooked): 572 micrograms
  • Parsley (1 cup): 554 micrograms
  • Brussels sprouts (1 cup, cooked): 300 micrograms
  • Broccoli (1 cup, cooked): 220 micrograms
  • Green beans (1 cup, cooked): 14 micrograms
  • Scallions (1 cup, chopped): 207 micrograms
  • Asparagus (1 cup, cooked): 56 micrograms

Another way to increase your vitamin K intake is through fermented foods like sauerkraut or natto. These contain the vitamin K2 form, which can support healthy bone formation and cardiovascular health.

7 Surprising Foods That Are High in Vitamin K

While leafy greens and other vegetables are the most well-known sources of vitamin K, some other options should also be considered in your diet. Here are a few of our favorite vitamin K-rich foods that may surprise you:

1. Soybeans

One cup of cooked soybeans packs a whopping 73.5 micrograms of vitamin K.

2. Blueberries

A cup of blueberries contains 28.6 micrograms of vitamin K and is a tasty snack to incorporate into your diet.

3. Prunes

Dried, plump prunes contain 26.3 micrograms of vitamin K per half cup, making them a good option for snacks or incorporating into recipes, like oatmeal or baked goods.

4. Pistachios

Six pistachio nuts contain 3.7 micrograms of vitamin K. Pistachios make an excellent snack, and they are versatile ingredients in healthy meals.

5. Avocado

Half an avocado contains about 14 micrograms of vitamin K. Incorporating this tasty fruit into your diet is easy because of its versatility in smoothies, salads, and spreads.

6. Blackberries

One cup of fresh blackberries contains about 28 micrograms of vitamin K. Adding blackberries to a healthy diet can give a nutrient boost as they add flavor to smoothies, oatmeal, or enjoyed as a snack.

7. Green Peas

One cup of cooked green peas has 43 micrograms of vitamin K, also adding a boost of fiber. Peas easily integrate into meals that require an extra serving of vegetables.

Plant-Based Sources of Vitamin K to Add to Your Diet

Vitamin K is naturally accessible in several plant-based food options. Plant-based sources high in vitamin K include (2):

  • Green Vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli
  • Other greens like mustard, turnip, and collard greens
  • Herbs and Spices like basil, parsley, and thyme
  • Veggies like Brussels sprouts and asparagus
  • Fermented Foods like natto, tofu, and tempeh

However, it is essential to mention that some dark leafy greens, spinach mainly, contain high levels of oxalates, which can impede vitamin K absorption. Therefore, it’s recommended to rotate and diversify meals with other vitamin K sources to ensure you’re getting the most benefits possible (3).

Boost Your Vitamin K Intake with These Delicious Recipes

Incorporating vitamin K into your diet can be challenging, but trying out new recipes can make it a lot easier to reach your intake requirements. Here are a few simple, vitamin K-packed recipes to add to your routine:

Sun-dried tomato and spinach egg bites

Egg bites are a portable, protein-packed breakfast option that is easy to customize. This recipe incorporates spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, providing a full serving of vitamin K with around 15% of the recommended daily intake.

Kale and white bean soup

This hearty soup is an easy way to get multiple servings of vitamin K. One cup of kale delivers more than six times the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, while the white beans offer an extra punch of plant-based protein.

Gingered beet and greens smoothie

This smoothie is a tasty way to consume some essential leafy greens along with ginger and beets for an extra antioxidant boost. One serving contains approximately 110% of your recommended intake of vitamin K.

Spinach and cheese quesadilla

A tasty, easy, and quick option for a calcium and vitamin K-rich meal. Spinach provides a reasonably significant amount of vitamin K for a quesadilla filling, making it the perfect solution for a healthy lunch or dinner

Vitamin K Benefits and How to Incorporate It into Your Meal Plan

Benefits of consuming foods high in vitamin K extends beyond healthy blood clotting and strong bone structure. The vitamin K found in vegetables, notably spinach, also has anti-inflammatory properties. Furthermore, there is evidence that vitamin K can impact arterial calcification(4). Therefore, the following tips can help you incorporate this essential nutrient into your daily meals:

1. Budget your vitamin K intake

Vitamin K intake should be considered when selecting meals. Indeed leafy greens are a great source of vitamin K, but other nutrient-rich food options should also be included in your meal plans, like fermented foods and nuts.

2. Include vitamin K-rich foods that you like

Trying to eat food you don’t like will never last. Even if you are not particularly fond of the greens mentioned, try new recipes or methods of cooking to find a way to make them tasty.

3. Have a weekly food plan

Managing meals for the coming week, including snacks, breakfast, and lunch preferences, can be a big help in ensuring a nutrient-dense diet with a daily serving of vitamin K-rich foods.

Expert Tips: How to Ensure You’re Getting Enough Vitamin K Every Day

While several nutrients, including vitamins A and D, offer formulas with a more natural intake, vitamin K does not. However, meeting your daily vitamin K requirements can be achieved relatively easily. Here are some expert tips on hitting your vitamin K targets:

1. Consider Vitamin K3 supplementation

If your daily diet does not satisfy the necessary vitamin K intake, a daily vitamin K3 supplement may be necessary to meet your requirements. However, it is essential to consult your doctor or a dietitian first to avoid negative interactions with medications (5).

2. Manage Protein Consumption

High protein diets can interfere with vitamin K absorption, making it necessary to consume balanced ratios. By limiting protein intake to a recommended daily intake, you can improve vitamin K absorption naturally.

3. Cook Leafy Greens

When cooked, the oxalate content of spinach and other dark leafy greens decreases, making it easier for your body to absorb vitamin K from these vegetables. Sauteing or cooking in soup form are great ways to consume cooked greens.


Vitamin K may not be the most well-known essential vitamin, but it is vital to maintaining healthy blood clotting, strong bones, and might even offer additional benefits to heart health. Consuming vitamin K-rich foods is the most straightforward solution to enhancing your intake, and this comprehensive guide provides a diverse range of options to get started. From leafy greens to fermented foods, plant-based options, and creative recipes, fueling your body with vitamin K can be both delicious and beneficial.


(1). Healthline. (2021). The Ultimate Vitamin K Food List: From A to Z. [online] Available at:[Accessed 7 Oct. 2021].

(2). Examine. (2021). Vitamin K. [online] Available at:[Accessed 7 Oct. 2021].

(3). National Institutes of Health. (2021). Vitamin K. [online] Available at:[Accessed 7 Oct. 2021].

(4). Nutrients. (2021). Vitamin K and the Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases: A Literature Review. [online] Available at:[Accessed 8 Oct. 2021].

(5). The Nutrition Source. (2021). Vitamin K. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Oct. 2021].

By Riddle Reviewer

Hi, I'm Riddle Reviewer. I curate fascinating insights across fields in this blog, hoping to illuminate and inspire. Join me on this journey of discovery as we explore the wonders of the world together.

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