150,000-199,999 SparkPoints 183,076

Vitamin K, The Vitamin of the Week

Sunday, January 16, 2011

When one thinks of vitamins, Vitamin K usually does not come to mind. In fact, I bet most do even know there is such a vitamin. Vitamin K is a fat soluable vitamin meaning it needs to be eaten with some form of fat to be properly absorbed by the body. Fat soluable vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissues, and are eliminated much more slowly than water-soluble vitamins. It may not be a well known vitamin by the general public but it is a most important one.

Vitamin K plays a key role in normal clotting of the blood and helps promote bone health. Additional Health Benefits are:

Vitamin K prevents severe blood loss due to injury, by slowing and stopping the bleeding.

It assists the absorption of an essential mineral - calcium.

It helps prevent the loss of bone density and helps treat osteoporosis.

It prevents the hardening of arteries, thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases.

It has preventive and treatment benefits for cancer.

It is beneficial for women who experience excessive menstrual bleeding.

It prevents the risk of hemorrhagic disease in newborns.

Recent studies show that vitamin K is effective in treating dark circles under the eyes and bruising on the face.


Vegetables High in Vitamin K

Amaranth leaves
Beet greens
Brussels sprouts
Mustard greens
Sea kelp
Turnip greens

To read up on a more detailed list:

Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens

1 bunch beets with greens
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped onion (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C). Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the skins on, and remove the greens. Rinse greens, removing any large stems, and set aside. Place the beets in a small baking dish or roasting pan, and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. If you wish to peel the beets, it is easier to do so once they have been roasted.

Cover, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a knife can slide easily through the largest beet.

When the roasted beets are almost done, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion, and cook for a minute. Tear the beet greens into 2 to 3 inch pieces, and add them to the skillet. Cook and stir until greens are wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the greens as is, and the roasted beets sliced with either red-wine vinegar, or butter and salt and pepper.

Don’t want to go through the process of roasting your beets even though you will miss a yummy treat, then just saute the beet greens.

1 pound beet greens (2 large or 3 small bunches)
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
Freshly ground pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem the greens and wash the leaves in 2 rinses of water. When the water comes to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the greens. Blanch for 2 minutes, until tender. Transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water, then drain and squeeze the water out from its leaves. Chop coarsely.
2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and hot red pepper flakes (if using) and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant and translucent, 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in the greens. Stir for a couple of minutes, until the greens are nicely seasoned with garlic and oil. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and serve.

Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens

10 ounces mustard greens
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
4-6 tablespoons vegetable broth, divided
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar
1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Remove any large stems from the greens and discard. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.

In a deep pot or wok, sauté the onion in a tablespoon or two of vegetable broth until mostly faded to pink, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and red pepper and another tablespoon of broth and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the mustard greens, 2 tablespoons of broth, and cook, stirring, until greens are wilted but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the salt, if using. Remove greens and onions from pan with a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish, leaving any liquid in pan.

Add the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and agave or sugar to the liquid in the pan (if there is no liquid, add 2 tablespoons of broth). Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by about half. Spoon the chickpeas over the greens and drizzle the sauce over all.

Serve warm, with additional balsamic vinegar at the table.
Servings: 2

Turnip Green Soup

16 ounces frozen chopped turnip greens
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans great northern beans or white cannelloni beans
1 1/2 ounces Knorr vegetable soup mix
1 lb smoked turkey sausage
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes (I use the tomatoes with green chilis for a little zest)
4 cups water

Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil. The reduce heat and simmer for up to 3 hours. Cooking time depends on what consistency you prefer your greens


1 clove garlic, grated
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
½ avocado
Bragg's to taste, tamari, or soy sauce
2 cups greens (spring mix, spinach, or lettuce)
3 ounces sea vegetable mix
Salt and pepper, to taste

Grate the ginger and garlic. In a small bowl, mash the avocado, ginger, garlic, and Bragg's together. Toss all ingredients thoroughly

For my Raw Foodists Buddies try Kelp Noodles From Sea Tangle Noodle Company - only 6 calories for 4 oz.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    thanks for the info
    1985 days ago
    Good information. I plan to try the Turnip Green Soup...sounds really good and has the ingredients that are in my cupboard.

    Thanks! emoticon emoticon
    2618 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    wow.....such great information..........
    thanks for sharing.....
    blessings and hugs.........lita
    2618 days ago
    I only knew about Vitamin K 'cause that is the viamin dogs lack that makes them eat poo...or so I was told by a vet once.

    OK That was TMI. hehe
    2618 days ago
    I have eaten lots of beets and kale for Vitamin K. I did not know about those other sources you mentioned. Great information as usual. Thanks for the tips.
    2618 days ago
    Thanks for the great info. You're right. I never really thought about Vit K. Love ya, Dawn emoticon
    2618 days ago
    I was quite aware of vitamin K but not of all it's great benefits. Sadly, I am not fond of the recipes you posted. However, with my quest of aging backwards I will now become fond of them. Thanks Yvonne for the pertinent information. emoticon debby
    2618 days ago
    Thanks for the Vitamin K info... I wonder if they have this in Flintstone Vitamin flavors?

    2618 days ago
    Didnt know Vitamin helped with Dark Circles I have them because of insomnia. Those greens with vit. K are all the best greens you can have that is awesome.

    I need to get them in more to help with the circles. Thanks for the post Ivonne hopefully by the summer if I get them in more I can eliminate the dark circles I have.

    2618 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.