Vitamin K is not a single compound but is a composition of Vitamin K, K1, K2 and K3 as well. These are fat soluble and are classified as naphthoquinones. These play an important role in the body in terms of blood clotting, bone health, blood cells production in the bone marrow and also building up of immunity by helping in the production of lymphocytes.
Deficiency of vitamin K is relatively rear. Some of its most common and major symptoms include slow or defective blood clotting, osteopenia and excessive bleeding. It can also show signs of easy bruise formation, blood in urine and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Some foods rich in Vitamin K are:
● Spinach and leafy vegetables
● Broccoli and cauliflower
● Sprouts and beans
● Dairy products such as milk, curd, butter, ghee and cheese
● Wheat bran, etc.
By ingesting foods that contain Vitamin K in moderation and on a frequent basis, many health benefits can be obtained. Some of them are listed as follows.
Bone health: there is a direct correlation between osteoporosis and lack of vitamin K. Vitamin K prevents the bones from losing their calcium content and becoming hollow or pored. It in fact increases the bone density and increases its strength. Fractures can be prevented most of the times.
Cognitive health: Based on a study conducted in the elderly age group, it was found that people who had more Vitamin K level in their body also had more memory power.
Health of the heart: Vitamin K regulates the blood pressure and prevents the mineralization or hardening or clotting of blood in blood vessels that could lead to a heart attack. Adequate amounts of Vitamin K in the body also lowers the risk of stroke.
Menstrual health: Vitamin K lowers the symptoms of PMS or premenstrual stress. It reduces the intensity and frequency of cramps and discomfort. It also regulates and maintains the menstruation related hormones.
Fights cancer: Vitamin K has been known to reduce the risk of cancer of the mouth, colon, intestine, prostrate, liver, etc.
Blood clotting and Healing: Vitamin K is responsible for the process of blood clotting. It plays a direct role in the production and action of thrombocynin and speeds up the process of healing by clotting of blood to cover the opening. Thus it heals cuts, bruises and wounds faster.
Oral health: Vitamin K takes care of the health of gums and teeth. It keeps the gums strong and healthy and prevents bleeding. It prevents the cavity formation in teeth and maintains its density.
These are some of the major health benefits of Vitamin K to our body. It must be consumed in moderation depending on the necessity as it varies with age, gender, physical activities and in children and pregnant women. Following a diet rich in the required nutrition is very important to maintain the overall health of a person.