Top Natural Sources of Vitamin K To Help You Sleep

When thinking of supplements and vitamins that can help us sleep, rarely do we think of vitamin K - a gem of a nutrient that is hiding in plain sight in foods that you can easily get at your local supermarket.

As a lover of sleep who is always looking for new ways to enhance her slumber experience, I was quite excited to find out how easy it is include the sleep-boosting Vitamin K into one's diet - be it cattails and other edibles, here are some natural ways to introduce vitamin K into your diet.

Warning! If you are currently taking warfarin you should check with your doctor before adding vitamin K into your regimen.

1. Cattails

Cattails Close-up

As strange as it may sound, this narrow leaf shoot can help you add more vitamin K into your system. Just one shoot contains 4.33 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K, which means you would have to eat a great deal of them to meet your recommended daily value, which can range from 122 mcg to 182 mcg depending on your gender, age and size.

The Cat O’ Nine Tails are known to contain more edible starch per acre than potatoes, yams, or rice. Other benefits of eating these survival foods include antiseptic properties, they slow up bleeding, and can prevent anemia. Cattails will reduce the “appearance of scars” and can possibly prevent cancer.

Professionals warn about just heading out to the woods to pick your own though. Make sure they are not growing in stagnant or polluted water. Cattails “are known to detoxify” their liquid source and this can prove dangerous if eaten.

Here's a quick tutorial on foraging cattails out in the wild:

2. Kale

Fresh Green Kale

The first of many leafy green veggies on our list, a cup of raw kale has an exceptional amount of vitamin K, clocking in at 547 mcg, which is 684% of the recommended daily value. Not only is raw kale high in vitamin K, it is also high in fiber, protein, riboflavin, thiamin, iron, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, copper, and manganese, which earns it’s high spot on the list of superfoods.

Before you run out and buy tons of kale to eat morning, noon and night, you should be aware that it promotes clotting and contains oxalates, which have been associated with kidney stones and some gallstones. Yet, there is a myriad of benefits to incorporating kale reasonably into your menu, including anti-inflammatory properties, cardiovascular support, and improved detoxification.

3. Spinach

Spinach Leaves In A Bowl

This natural source of vitamin K can pack in asleep assist whether you consume it raw or cooked. In fact, since spinach shrinks when cooked, you get more bang out of it when cooked as opposed to raw. A half cup of spinach that has been steamed has 444.2 mcg of vitamin K while the same amount of raw spinach has 80 mcg.

Of course, when Popeye sang, “I’m strong to the finish ‘cause I eats me spinach”, he wasn’t too far off. Some of the other benefits to putting spinach on your plate daily include cardiovascular health, protection from free radicals in your body, including your colon, lowering high blood pressure, maintaining vigorous brain functions like memory and mental clarity.

4. Collard Greens

Collard Greens On Woodboard

Just like the other leafy greens on this list, collard greens are no slouches when supplying your body with vitamin K. Just one cup boiled has 770 mcg of vitamin K, which is 858% of your daily value.

The same amount will also supply you with protein, carbohydrates, and fiber as well as 250% of your recommended need for vitamin A, 50% of your “daily needs’ of vitamin C, 26% of the calcium your body requires daily, some iron, as well as vitamin B6 and magnesium.

Collard greens also decrease the risk of obesity and overall mortality, reduce chances for diabetes, and can help prevent heart disease. Other benefits include a healthy complexion and hair, an increase in energy levels, which helps promote weight loss.

5. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts Ready To Be Cooked

A half cup of this vegetable, which resembles a tiny cabbage, has 78 mcg of vitamin K, which is 98% of the daily recommended value. So, this small amount will pretty much meet all your vitamin K needs, which is great because this vegetable comes with many other health benefits.

Brussels sprouts are said to lower cholesterol when steamed, as well as binding with “bile acids in your digestive tract.” This vegetable is also original in its ability to protect DNA, and aid in cancer prevention. Yet, unlike other leafy vegetables on this list, if you overcook brussels sprouts they lose their nutritional value.

To get the best health benefits from brussels sprouts it is suggested to cut them into fourths and let rest for five minutes before steaming for five more.

6. Broccoli

Fresh Broccoli

No surprise here. We have all known for a long time that broccoli is among the top healthiest foods available. As for how much vitamin K it supplies to the body, just one cup has 92 mcg, well over 100% of your daily need. And, while the vitamin K amount can help you have healthy bones, broccoli also comes with multitudes of other body benefits.

Besides a warrior against cancer, broccoli has vitamin C, which can help you cultivate your youthful glow, the fiber content can help with constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract. A study by the Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences Program of the University of Kentucky found that a high fiber diet showed “significantly lower risks of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases.”

7. Kelp

Kelp In A Glass Bowl

Otherwise known as seaweed, this green leafy substance is another natural source of vitamin K with 66 mcg for every 100 grams, which is 82% of the daily recommended value. Besides the healthy dose of vitamin K kelp offers, it’s also a great way to get some iodine into your diet, which can help you shed those extra pounds.

Diabetes prevention and treatment is another possible benefit of eating seaweed. It can aid in bone-related disorders and kelp works as a natural anti-inflammatory, which can help rid your body of certain diseases. Also, certain properties of kelp, like the presence of fucoxanthin and fucoidan have been shown to reduce the advancement of several cancers including prostate, colon, and lung cancers.

8. Cabbage

Cabbage and Cut Cabbage

This vegetable, which is a prime ingredient in Kimchi, a Korean dish known for its healthy benefits, may not always be green, but it is leafy, even if the leaves tend to be crunchier than the other natural sources of vitamin K on this list. When raw, a cup of cabbage contains 42 mcg of vitamin K.et when cooked, like we’ve seen with other veggies, the amount more than doubles at 162 mcg per cup.

Other benefits of eating cabbage include prevention of type 2 diabetes according to a study conducted in Denmark on nearly 60,000 adults. Cabbage is an antioxidant and it’s inexpensive. This superfood can help fight the harmful effects of radiation therapy in cancer patients as it contains sulforaphane, which is considered a “cancer-fighting compound”, and has been known to suppress inflammation that may lead to cardiovascular disease.

9. Eggs

Halved Boiled Eggs

This time we are taking a turn and looking at some other natural sources of vitamin K that are not vegetables. Vitamin K is present in egg yolk, but don’t plan on getting your recommended daily value, unless you plan on eating a lot. Two eggs add up to .3 mcg of vitamin K, so it seems that you would be better off with spinach or broccoli.

Yet, there are other health benefits to eating eggs that should not be ignored. This animal product is good for the heart due to several nutrients found within it’s hard shell. Eggs are also a great source of folate, vitamins A, B5, B12, B2, selenium, and phosphorus. Other nutrients found in eggs include vitamins D, E, and B6 as well as calcium for our bones and zinc.

Eggs are low in calories and supply us with protein and healthy fats.

10. Liver

Raw Liver In Bowl

If meat eaters are feeling a bit left out because of all the veggies - here's one reason more reason for you to enjoy liver and onions - it has loads of vitamin K!

Beef liver was the choice for my father: at 100 grams, it will take care of that daily recommended value of vitamin K for women at over 100% and nearly makes it for the men at 77%. Still, we can’t forget the other animal livers available for consumption.

Pork liver contains 25 mcg of vitamin K while chicken livers has less than 3 percent of the required daily intake of vitamin K for healthy adults.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed reading this list we put together to help you introduce a healthy dose of vitamin K in your diet with the desire of augmenting your sleep. As a lover of slumber myself, it has been a pleasure to research all these natural options, which I personally prefer over supplements.

Remember though, if you are taking warfarin to thin your blood, it is important to eat about the same amount of vitamin K every day. The two work  against each other, which might affect the rate at which your blood clots. When in doubt, consult your doctor before adding any new items into your diet.

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