Vitamin K is an essential vitamin required for protein modification and blood clotting. Recent studies suggest that vitamin K may play a role in treating osteoporosis and Alzheimer's, and that consuming increased levels of vitamin K can help protect against cancer and heart disease. Unless you are taking medication to prevent blood clots, like Warfarin or Coumadin, there is no known risk of vitamin K toxicity, and no reason not to eat a lot of it. If you are on Warfarin (Coumadin), please check the article on low vitamin K foods for a Warfarin diet. Below is a list of foods high in vitamin K1. For more, see the extended list of vitamin K1 rich foods, and Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone-4) rich foods.The current daily value for Vitamin K is 80 micrograms (μg). Dihydrophylloquinone is an unhealthy form of Vitamin K1 found in trans-fats. Check the list of vitamin K1 (Dihydrophylloquinone) foods to avoid.
#1: Herbs (Dried Basil)
Vitamin K 100g
Per tablespoon (5g)
Per teaspoon (1g)
1714.5μg (2143% DV)
85.7μg (107% DV)
17.2μg (21% DV)
Other Herbs High in Vitamin K (%DV per tablespoon): Dried Sage & Dried Thyme (107%), Fresh Parsley (82%), Dried Coriander (Cilantro) & Dried Parsley (34%), Dried Marjoram (16%), Fresh Basil (13%), and Fresh Chives (8%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#2: Green Leafy Vegetables (Kale, cooked)
Vitamin K 100g
Per cup (130g)
Per 1/2 cup (65g)
817μg (1021% DV)
1062.1μg (1328% DV)
531.1μg (664% DV)
Other Green Leafy Vegetables High in Vitamin K (%DV per cup, cooked): Frozen Kale (1433%), Frozen Spinach (1284%), Mustard Greens (1037%), Spinach (1111%), Collards (966%), Beet Greens (871%), Swiss Chard (716%), Turnip Greens (662%), Dandelion Greens (471%), and Broccoli Raab (272%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
#3: Salad Vegetables (Spring Onions/Scallions)
Vitamin K 100g
Per cup (100g)
Per onion (15g)
207μg (259% DV)
207μg (259% DV)
31.1μg (39% DV)
Other Salad Vegetables High in Vitamin K (%DV per cup): Garden Cress (339%), Endive (144%), Radicchio (128%), Chicory Greens (108%), Watercress (106%), Cos (Romaine) Lettuce (60%), Green Lettuce (57%), Red Lettuce (49%), Celery (37%), Arugula (Rocket) (25%), Iceberg Lettuce & Cucumber (22%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
Other Brassica Vegetables High in Vitamin K (%DV per cup, cooked): Broccoli (276%), Cabbage (204%), Frozen Broccoli (203%), Chinese Broccoli (93%), Red Cabbage (90%), Pak Choi (72%), Savoy Cabbage, raw (60%), and Cauliflower (22%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
Bone Health and Osteoporosis - Vitamin K is necessary for creation of the protein: S. Osteocalcin, which in turnsynthesizes osteoblasts: bone forming cells. In short, vitamin K is necessary for the strength and maintenance of bones.2-4
Alzheimer's Protection (*Controversial) - Vitamin K has been shown to inhibit nerve cell death due to oxidative stress, thedegree to which supplementation prevents Alzheimer's still needs to be researched.5
A low INR means you have increased risk of clotting
A high INR means you have an increased risk of bleeding
Warfarin increases INR. Vitamin K decreases it
Most doctors aim to keep INR around 2-3, but can range to 2.5-3.5 for heart valves or other extreme cases
Regularly check your PT/INR levels
Take the same amount of Warfarin at the same time each day
Keep your intake of vitamin K consistent from day to day
When a doctor prescribes Warfarin, they are trying to balance it with how much vitamin K you eat
The amount of vitamin K you can eat depends on your dosage of Warfarin, but in general...
Eat no more than 1 serving of food that contains 200%-600% DV of vitamin K
Eat no more than 3 servings of foods that contain 60-200% DV of vitamin K
Eliminate alcohol if you can, or limit yourself to no more than 3 drinks a day
Take no more than 800IU of vitamin E supplements
Avoid cranberries and cranberry juice as they can raise INR and risk of bleeding
Limit or avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice
Avoid drinking green tea as it antagonizes Warfarin and lowers INR
Work with your doctor when taking CoQ10 as it can hamper the effectiveness of Warfarin
Many natural supplements affect PT/INR levels, so it is best to avoid them unless your doctor advises otherwise. The following supplements definitely affect PT/INR levels: arnica, bilberry, butchers broom, cat's claw, dong quai, feverfew, forskolin, garlic, ginger, gingko, horse chestnut, insositol hexaphosphate, licorice, melilot(sweet clover), pau d'arco, red clover, St. John's wort, sweet woodruff, turmeric, willow bark, and wheat grass.
People taking Warfarin (or Coumadin) in an attempt to reduce their risk of harmful blood clots should keep their intake vitamin K the same from day to day, and limit their intake of vitamin K in accordance with their dosage and doctor's instructions.6 See the article on Low Vitamin K Foods for more info.
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Data Sources and References
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20, 26.
Shearer MJ. The roles of vitamins D and K in bone health and osteoporosis prevention. Proc Nutr Soc. 1997;56(3):915-937.
Booth SL. Skeletal functions of vitamin K-dependent proteins: not just for clotting anymore. Nutr Rev. 1997;55(7):282-284.
Suttie JW. Vitamin K. In: Shils ME, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 10th ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006:412-425.
Allison (2001). The possible role of vitamin K deficiency in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease and in augmenting brain damage associated with cardiovascular disease. Medical hypotheses 57 (2): 151?5. doi:10.1054/mehy.2001.1307. PMID 11461163.
ODS Fact Sheet on Coumadin - https://ods.od.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/coumadin1.pdf