Green leafy vegetables are rich in a plethora of nutrients required for optimal health. They are particularly high in the vitamin K1.
Vitamin K1, or phylloquinone—which is most abundant in green leafy vegetables—is most well known for supporting normal calcium delivery for healthy bone density and coagulation in the blood. But new research on vitamin K1 also shows promise for preventing blood sugar issues.
In a study at Tufts University published in Diabetes Care, vitamin K1 was evaluated for its effects on Insulin Resistance. Insulin Resistance results in the sugar, or glucose, in the blood not being able to penetrate into the cell and be used for energy. Thus, blood sugar levels rise and the risk of diabetes increases.
In this study, 350 men and women between the ages of 60 and 80 were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or 500mcg of vitamin K1, which is the equivalent of the amount of K1 in about 3 ½oz of kale. Both insulin levels and fasting glucose were measured to evaluate insulin resistance.
The group of men who took the vitamin K1 supplement were significantly less prone to develop insulin resistance compared to the group of men that received the placebo.
Interestingly, there was no change in insulin resistance in the women who took the vitamin K1 supplement.
The researchers concluded that, for older men, eating vegetables may ward off the risk of diabetes and pre-diabetes.
Vitamin K1 Content in Vegetables
- 3 ½ ounces of swiss chard or kale = 800mcg of Vitamin K1
- 3 ½ ounces of spinach = 400mcg of Vitamin K1
- Vitamin K1 is also found in any green leafy veggie, including parsley, asparagus, broccoli, and cabbage.