Vitamin K is best known as the ‘blood clotting’ vitamin, but it does far more than that. It plays an important role in keeping the digestive system healthy. Vitamin K also helps convert glucose to glycogen, which promotes liver health. It is necessary for the production of osteocalin, which is a protein in bone tissue that assists in calcium uptake and thus promotes healthy strong bones. It also is known to increase resistance to infection and helps prevent cancers of the inner linings of organs. Vitamin K also plays a role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. There are two natural forms of Vitamin K; K1 (phyllquinone) which is mainly found in green, leafy vegetables and K2 (a family known as menaquinones), which are made by ‘friendly’ bacteria in the intestines.
1. Amaranth greens
Amaranth is an ancient plant that was traditionally used as a grain. It was originally grown in South America and used as a staple by the Aztecs. Today it’s growing in popularity in the west because of its amazing health benefits. The seeds are used as a whole grain or ground to make flour. However, the greens have one of the highest concentrations of Vitamin K found in any plants. They can be added to salads, providing a healthy alternative to lettuce. Amaranth is a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals (it’s especially high in iron, calcium, phosphorous and manganese) and protein.