Home Healthy Eating Vitamin K – foods with a high content

Vitamin K – foods with a high content

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 372 views

Vitamin K is an important vitamin for blood clotting . Foods of plant origin are very good sources, especially green vegetables. They supply the variant vitamin K1. There is also vitamin K2, which is produced by intestinal bacteria. Find out more about the vitamin K content in food and how to prepare it properly.

What foods contain vitamin K?

Foods with vitamin K are mainly of plant origin. Vegetables such as green lettuce and green cabbage are among the foods rich in vitamin K. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale. Herbs such as chives, algae and vegetable oils are also good sources of vitamin K1.

In addition, the variant vitamin K2 occurs in nature. It can be better absorbed by the human body than vitamin K1. However, the foods that we eat contain only small amounts of K2, such as meat, eggs and dairy products. Natto, a soybean product from Japan, is a rich source with a high vitamin K2 content that is hardly known in this country.

Here is a table of selected foods with vitamin K.

Vitamin K Foods Vitamin K content in micrograms per 100 grams
fruit/vegetables (raw)
Apfelsine 3,8
Avocado 19
pear 4,9
cauliflower 57
Broccoli 270
Chinakohl 80
strawberries 5,0
Kale 817
Celery 41
lettuce 109
Natto 70
Parsely 360-790
plums 8,3
Cauliflower 236
chives 380
Spinach 305
Spirulina-Algae 70
grapes 15
Dairy products
Chester/Cheddar, 50% Fett i.Tr. 2,3
Emmental, 45% fat in dry matter 2,6
lowfat quark 1,0
herbal cream cheese 30
Edible quark, 40% fat in dry matter 50
Drinking milk, 3.5% / 1.5% fat 0,5 / 0,1
fish, marine animals
Flunder 3
Herring (Atlantic) 25
cod 1,3
plaice 1,2
Seelachs 1,6
Sprotte 21
Meat, poultry, sausage
chicken liver 80
calf liver 88
beef (muscle) 12
pork (muscle) 18
fats and oils
Butter 7
pumpkin seed oil 112
olive oil 33
rapeseed oil 150
grapeseed oil 280
How to meet your vitamin K needs

A balanced diet is important to meet vitamin K needs. How much vitamin K a person needs every day varies from person to person. The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) recommends a daily dose of between 60 and 80 micrograms for young people from the age of 15 and adults, depending on gender.

We supply our body with around 400 micrograms of vitamin K per day with food – that is significantly more than the recommended amount. We use about half of that. However, since around 90 percent of it is vitamin K1, which is more difficult to absorb, it is important to regularly include vitamin K foods in your diet. Then vitamin K deficiency in healthy adults is easy to avoid.

The recommended amount of around 60 to 80 micrograms per day can be found in:

  • 100 grams of celeriac and an avocado
  • 50 grams of Brussels sprouts
  • 200 grams of pollock with approx. 40 grams of Brussels sprouts
  • 150 grams of edible quark

Vitamin K: Food Storage and Preparation

Vitamin K is very sensitive to light. You should therefore store foods containing vitamin K in the dark. Oxygen and heat, on the other hand, do not affect the vitamin. The losses during cooking are small.

Are vitamin K supplements necessary and useful?

Healthy people generally do not develop a vitamin K deficiency. Foods that contain relevant amounts of vitamin K are usually eaten regularly in this country, so that meeting requirements is not a problem.

However, a vitamin K deficiency can develop if someone suffers from an absorption disorder. This occurs, for example, in chronic diseases of the digestive tract or when taking antibiotics for a long time. Then it can make sense to take preparations with vitamin K to prevent a blood clotting disorder.

Newborns also receive vitamin K on the first day as part of the preventive medical check-up U1 and the two follow-up examinations (U2, U3) – as drops in the mouth. The reason: Babies are undersupplied in the first few months – they do not yet have sufficient vitamin K storage and breast milk only contains small amounts of the vitamin.

However, a deficiency can increase the risk of bleeding in the brain, skin and intestines. That is why the vitamin K drops for infants are very important.

Vitamin K: why is it important for the body?

Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting. Without the vitamin, the body would not be able to stop bleeding. It also prevents calcium deposits in soft tissues such as blood vessels and cartilage. Women after menopause also benefit from vitamin K: it inhibits bone loss.

The fat-soluble vitamin K has a special feature: some intestinal bacteria can produce it and pass it on to the body. The role played by this in-house production has not yet been conclusively clarified. The bacteria in question are found in a part of the intestine from which less fat-soluble vitamins normally enter the body. Experts therefore assume that the vitamin K produced by intestinal bacteria plays hardly any role in supplying the human body

For this reason, as well as because of the limited storage capacity of vitamin K in the body, you should consume enough of it every day through food.

You may also like

Leave a Comment