Vitamin K for bone health
Vitamin K plays a key role in bone health, so as we age it’s a good idea to eat more food rich in it.
From around our 35th birthday we start to lose bone density. Resistance training can help slow the process to avoid osteoporosis, where the bones become fragile and brittle from loss of tissue, making fractures more likely, but the right food can also play an essential role. Indeed, studies have shown that postmenopausal women who have experienced bone loss can reduce the risk of fractures by increasing their levels of vitamin K.
There are three types of vitamin K – K1, K2 & K3
• K1 is found in plant foods and some of the best sources are green vegetables.
• K3 is still something of a mystery, but it appears to be pre-formed in food in tiny amounts.
• This makes K2 even more intriguing, as it is made from K1 and K3, mostly through bacteria and other micro-organisms, however it can also be made by the body through a conversion process involving K1 and K3.
Good food sources for K1 are green vegetables, but one that’s also easy to remember is Kale: think K for Kale. To absorb more Vitamin K1 add a healthy dietary fat to your veg, so enjoy your greens drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Other vitamin K1 sources include herbs and spices such as parsley, oregano, black pepper, basil and coriander, while fruits such as blueberries, grapes and prunes are also recommended.
The best food sources for K2 are fermented foods such as Kimchi, the Korean dish of fermented vegetables or the Japanese fermented soy bean dish, Natto, or good old homemade sauerkraut, with other food sources such as cheese or yogurt.
Note: Before opting for vitamin K supplementation consult with your doctor or health professional.
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