Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin K
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.
Foods high in vitamin K include leafy green vegetables (cooked and raw), broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, pickled cucumber, asparagus, kiwifruit, okra, green beans, and salad greens like lettuce. The current daily value for Vitamin K is 80 micrograms (μg).
Below is a list of foods high in vitamin K. For more, see the extended list of less common foods rich in vitamin K, or view, sort, and filter vitamin K foods using the nutrient ranking tool which lists over 200 foods high in vitamin K.
Foods High in Vitamin K
- 1328% DV (1062μg) Vitamin K per cup cooked
- 7295% DV (5836μg) per 200 calorie serving
- 1021% DV (817μg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
More dark leafy greens high in vitamin K (%DV per cup cooked)Spinach (1111% DV), Mustard Greens (1037%), Collards (966%), Beet Greens (871%), Swiss Chard (716%), and Turnip Greens (662%).
Note: Cooking only concentrates the vitamin K in these greens. The raw uncooked forms are also high in vitamin K.
Nutrition Facts for Cooked Kale.
- 275% DV (220μg) Vitamin K per cup cooked
- 1008% DV (806μg) per 200 calorie serving
- 176% DV (141μg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
- 274% DV (219μg) Vitamin K per cup cooked
- 974% DV (779μg) per 200 calorie serving
- 175% DV (140μg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
- 204% DV (163μg) Vitamin K per cup cooked
- 1182% DV (945μg) per 200 calorie serving
- 136% DV (109μg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Nutrition Facts for Cooked Cabbage.
- 163% DV (130μg) Vitamin K per cup
- 157% DV (126μg) per 200 calorie serving
- 96% DV (77μg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Sauerkraut contains 23% DV per cup.
Nutrition Facts for Low Sodium Sweet Pickles.
- 114% DV (91μg) Vitamin K per cup cooked
- 575% DV (460μg) per 200 calorie serving
- 63% DV (51μg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
- 91% DV (73μg) Vitamin K per cup
- 165% DV (132μg) per 200 calorie serving
- 50% DV (40μg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
- 80% DV (64μg) Vitamin K per cup cooked
- 455% DV (364μg) per 200 calorie serving
- 50% DV (40μg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
- 75% DV (60μg) Vitamin K per cup cooked
- 342% DV (274μg) per 200 calorie serving
- 60% DV (48μg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
- 70% DV (56μg) Vitamin K per cup
- 1967% DV (1574μg) per 200 calorie serving
- 128% DV (102μg) per 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Other salad greens high in vitamin K (%DV per cup)Parsley (1230% DV), Garden Cress (339%), Endive (144%), Radicchio (128%), Chicory Greens (108%), and Watercress (106%).
Nutrition Facts for Butterhead Lettuce.
Health Benefits of Vitamin K
- Bone Health and Osteoporosis - Vitamin K is necessary for creation of the protein: S. Osteocalcin, which in turn synthesizes 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, the degree to which supplementation prevents Alzheimer's still needs to be researched.5
Vitamin K Guidelines when taking Warfarin (Coumadin)
- 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
- 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.
- Use the Nutrient Ranking Tool to find foods low in vitamin K, and see the article on low vitamin K foods. Want to check on just one food? Try the nutrition facts tool.
Less Common Foods Rich in Vitamin K
|#1 Dandelion Greens||724% DV (579μg) in per cup cooked|
|#2 Pesto||119% DV (95μg) in per 1/4 cup|
|#3 Jute Potherb (Molokhiya)||117% DV (94μg) in per cup cooked|
|#4 Broccoli Raab (Rapini)||112% DV (90μg) in per cup|
|#5 Chinese Broccoli (Gai Lan)||93% DV (75μg) in per cup cooked|
|#6 Soybean Sprouts||83% DV (66μg) in per cup cooked|
|#7 Kimchi||82% DV (65μg) in per cup|
|#8 Celeriac||80% DV (64μg) in per cup|
|#9 Fennel||68% DV (55μg) in per cup|
|#10 Edamame||52% DV (41μg) in per cup|
|#11 Natto||51% DV (40μg) in per cup|
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Data Sources and References
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
- 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