Vitamin K is crucial for maintaining healthy blood vessels

Photo by Inigo De La Maza

There’s a reason why vitamin K deserves a place on your plate along with vitamins A, C and D. But before we tell you why, do you know what vitamin K is in the first place?

Vitamin K comes in two forms: Phylloquinone (vitamin K1) is mostly found in green leafy vegetables like kale, chard, spinach, broccoli and lettuce while menaquinones (vitamin K2) is found in fermented foods and animal products. Consuming your daily dose of vitamin K can help decrease your risk of heart disease, keep your bones strong, prevent calcification in your arteries and help your blood clot. 

Are you convinced yet? If not, well new research might just persuade you a little more. According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin K adds more years to your life and makes you feel better. The meta-analysis says that taking vitamin K on a regular basis provides protective health benefits that are critical to your heart and bone health. 

Researchers tested their study by studying over 4,000 participants aged 54 to 76 and found that those with the lowest vitamin K levels were 19 percent more at risk of a shorter life span compared to those who take the vitamin regularly. 

This is because vitamin K is vital to maintain healthy blood vessels. It allows protein to function in your vascular tissue and helps prevent calcium from taking over your artery walls. When calcium takes over your artery walls, it could lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and early mortality. Taking more vitamin K will not only help your heart and bones, it will also provide a wide range of benefits like more fiber and antioxidants to your system. 

This just goes to show the importance of loading up on more vegetables —especially the dark green variants rich in vitamin K—for healthier bones, heart and a longer life.