Vitamin K is one of those unsung heroes we tend to overlook but which our body can’t do without. This nutrient plays a critical role in blood clotting and helps keep up bone health in seniors. A deficiency of vitamin K has also been linked to a range of medical conditions such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.1 2 So how do you make sure you get enough vitamin K? While vegetables like collards, spinach, kale, turnip greens, and broccoli are particularly rich sources of vitamin K, many fruits can also pitch in and help you meet your daily quota for this vitamin.3
You Need Between 90 And 120 Mcg Of Vitamin K Depending On Gender
Data on vitamin K recommended daily intake levels is limited, but the Food and Nutrition Board has established the adequate intake (AI) levels. This is another way to gauge how much of the nutrient you need. Adult men need 120 mcg of vitamin K and women need 90 mcg a day, even when they are pregnant or lactating.4 The updated daily value (DV) for vitamin K, set by the United States Food and Drug Administration, is 120 mcg for all adults and 90 mcg for pregnant/lactating women, going up from the 80 mcg for adults prescribed earlier.5 And here are the top fruit contenders you should load up on for a healthy dose of K power.
[pullquote]1 cup of sliced kiwifruits: 72.5 mcg of vitamin K (60.4% DV)[/pullquote]
Juicy kiwifruits have a sweet-sour taste that appeals to many. They sure can amp up your vitamin K quota – 1 cup will deliver 72.5 mcg or a whopping 60.4% of your DV for this vitamin.6 Eat them whole sans skin or add them to fruit salads or pavlovas for that extra zing of flavor. It’s best to avoid pureeing or juicing kiwis, though. The calcium oxalate crystals in them may irritate your stomach or throat when you have it pureed or juiced.7
[pullquote]Half a cup of prunes: 51.75 mcg of vitamin K (43.1% DV)[/pullquote]
Prunes are essentially dried plums and if you’re looking to up your vitamin K intake, they’re a really good bet. Just half a cup of prunes will give you 51.75 mcg of this important vitamin – that’s a whopping 43.1% of your DV. Add prunes to a cup of yogurt for a delectable but nutritious snack or have them with your breakfast cereal. You can also use them in compotes or stews as well as fruit cakes, breads, or tarts.8
- 1 cup of cubed avocados: 31.5 mcg of vitamin K (26.2% DV)
- 1 cup of mashed avocados: 48.3 mcg of vitamin K (40.2% DV)
This rich, buttery fruit is full of goodness you should savor. A cup of avocados cubed will give you 31.5 mcg of vitamin K, meeting 26.2% of your DV. If you are pureeing avocados for a dip, you’ll get 48.3 mcg or 40.2% DV from a cup.9 Not only do avocados deliver a healthy dose of vitamin K, they’re also known to have one of the highest protein and fat contents among fruits. Their heart-healthy monosaturated fats especially make them an option worth exploring. So go ahead and jazz up plain chips with some refreshing guacamole. Or keep it simple and try avocado with a little salt, pepper, and lime on toast. And don’t forget this useful tip – to prevent them from going brown, simply dip avocado slices in lemon juice.
4. Blackberries And Blueberries
- 1 cup of blueberries: 28.6 mcg of vitamin K (23.8% DV)
- 1 cup of blackberries: 28.5 mcg of vitamin K (23.7% DV)
Both blueberries and blackberries deliver almost the same amount of vitamin K and can pack quite a punch when it comes to flavor and nutrition. A cup of blueberries will give you 28.6 mcg of vitamin K, meeting 23.8% of the DV for the vitamin.10 A cup of blackberries follows right behind, with 28.5 mcg of vitamin K – that’s 23.7% DV.11 You can enjoy these berries whole and fresh or add them to pancakes, cakes, muffins, and pies. Or how about whipping up a warm berry sticky pudding? Puree them and you’ve got a great ingredient for sorbets and ice cream as well.
[pullquote]1 cup of pomegranate seeds: 28.6 mcg of vitamin K (23.8% DV)[/pullquote]
The nutritionally dense pomegranate has always been a palate pleaser. Scoop out the juicy, ruby red kernels and eat them as is if you want to keep it simple. A cup of the seeds will help you meet 23.8% of your DV with 28.6 mcg. One whole pomegranate can give you 38.5% of your DV for vitamin K with 46.2 mcg of the nutrient. Pomegranates also pair well with olives, nuts, and oranges. They can jazz up any salad, especially working with bitter salad leaves you might have trouble chowing down otherwise. Or simply juice or blitz them into a smoothie for a refreshing and nutritious all-day drink.
[pullquote]1 cup of grapes: 22 mcg of vitamin K (18.3% DV)[/pullquote]
There’s nothing quite like the burst of flavor that comes from chomping down grapes! And luckily, these sweet treats, whether red or green, are chock-full of nutrition too. 1 cup of grapes delivers 22 mcg of vitamin K – that’s 18.3% of your DV right there.12 Enjoy grapes in salads or fancy it up with a grand pavlova or summery tart. Or simply pair them with cheese. And you’d be surprised how well they work in savory dishes too – try a grape and breadcrumb stuffing for your chicken dish if you don’t believe us!
[pullquote]1 cup of chopped tomatoes: 14.2 mcg of vitamin K (11.8% DV)[/pullquote]
Yes, this savory dish staple is technically a fruit. You can roast them, grill them, fry them, or use them in stews, soups, curries, sauces, and salads – there’s no limit to their versatility! A cup of chopped tomatoes will provide 14.2 mcg or 11.8% of the daily value of vitamin K.13 Tomatoes also work well in a sweet and savory jam or relish. Or whip up a fragrant sticky glaze for your meat dishes by pairing them with thyme and garlic.
8. Dried Figs
[pullquote]Half a cup of dried figs: 11.6 mcg of vitamin K (9.6% DV)[/pullquote]
Dried figs are available throughout the year and can incorporated into cereal or yogurt for a boost of flavor and nutrition. Soak them in boiling water or lightly steam them to restore moisture. Chop them up and use them along with spices and nuts to make a more-ish cake or tea bread. They also make a succulent addition to stews. Half a cup of dried figs accounts for 9.6% of your DV for vitamin K with 11.6 mcg.14
[pullquote]1 cup of sliced pears: 6.2 mcg of vitamin K (5.1% DV)[/pullquote]
1 cup of sliced pears gives you 6.2 mcg of vitamin K – that’s 5.1% DV. Bite into a medium pear and you get 7.8 mcg of vitamin K, which means 6.5% DV under your belt.15 These succulent fruits are just perfect for savory salads with bitter leafy greens, nuts, or sharp cheeses. Work them into a pie along with some blueberries and you’ve got a double dose of vitamin K. Or cook and puree them and use in ice creams and soufflés. Of course, nothing beats the ease and simple pleasure of biting into a ripe pear right there and then!
[pullquote]1 cup of sliced apricots: 5.4 mcg of vitamin K (4.5% DV)[/pullquote]
We round off the list with juicy apricots! A cup of apricot slices will deliver 4.5% of your DV with 5.4 mcg of vitamin K.16 Eat these beauties whole or work them into a delectable pie or cobbler. Cook them with lemon juice and sugar for a gooey relish or make a fragrant pilaf, pairing rice or couscous with apricots and almonds. These summery wonders will never cease to delight you!
|↑1||Ibarrola-Jurado, Núria, Jordi Salas-Salvadó, Miguel A. Martínez-González, and Mònica Bulló. “Dietary phylloquinone intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in elderly subjects at high risk of cardiovascular disease–.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 96, no. 5 (2012): 1113-1118.|
|↑2||Misra, Devyani, Sarah L. Booth, Irina Tolstykh, David T. Felson, Michael C. Nevitt, Cora E. Lewis, James Torner, and Tuhina Neogi. “Vitamin K deficiency is associated with incident knee osteoarthritis.” The American journal of medicine 126, no. 3 (2013): 243-248.|
|↑3||Vitamin K. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑4||Vitamin K. Office of Dietary Supplements.|
|↑5||Labeling Daily Values. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑6||Basic Report: 09148, Kiwifruit, green, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑8||Basic Report: 09291, Plums, dried (prunes), uncooked. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑9||Basic Report: 09037, Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties a. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑10||Basic Report: 09050, Blueberries, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑11||Basic Report: 09042, Blackberries, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑12||Basic Report: 09132, Grapes, red or green (European type, such as Thompson seedless), raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑13||Basic Report: 11529, Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑14||Basic Report: 09094, Figs, dried, uncooked a. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑15||Basic Report: 09252, Pears, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑16||Basic Report: 09021, Apricots, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|