Having a diet rich in necessary vitamins and minerals is crucial during pregnancy. This post highlights the importance of having vitamin K rich foods during pregnancy. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin required to synthesize certain proteins needed for blood coagulation; these proteins protect the body from severe blood loss.
Vitamin K is mostly available in the form of supplements, but it is advised to refrain from taking dietary supplements during pregnancy to prevent complications. Instead, you can have vitamin K-rich foods such as kale, Brussel sprouts, canola, and spinach. Read on to know more about foods that are rich in vitamin K and their benefits during pregnancy.
Why Is Vitamin K Important?
Vitamin K includes a group of compounds like Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2. Leafy green vegetables are a storehouse of Vitamin K1. While meat, eggs and cheese are rich sources of Vitamin K2. Vitamin K is not usually taken in the form of a dietary supplement, but is essential for many bodily functions. Apart from improving clotting of blood and preventing excessive bleeding, this vitamin may also help treat conditions such as osteoporosis, steroid-induced bone loss, etc.
Vitamin K deficiency is fairly uncommon among adults. However, individuals who are severely malnourished or are suffering from digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease are prone to suffer from this deficiency. Intake of certain medications too may interfere with the absorption of this essential nutrient and could induce its deficiency (1).
[ Read: Vitamin C During Pregnancy ]
Vitamin K During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, it is of utmost importance to meet the nutritional requirements to ensure good health of the mother and proper growth of the baby. It is, therefore, important to understand how much vitamin K intake is necessary during pregnancy, and some simple ways to get more of it through diet.
In general, the vitamin K needs do not increase during pregnancy, and the requirements are the same for adult females who are pregnant and those who are not. Your body needs 90 micrograms of vitamin K a day. Consuming too much of this vitamin could prove to be harmful, and could cause the blood to become too thin.
It is important to make sure you get enough vitamin K during pregnancy, especially as you enter your third trimester. Vitamin K aids healing as well, which could be particularly helpful for you post labor and childbirth.
In addition, a deficiency of vitamin K in pregnancy could turn out to be risky for both the mother and the baby, and may cause the development of cholestasis. The condition mostly affects women in their third trimester of pregnancy and is a hormonally induced disruption of the flow of bile in the gallbladder. The symptoms of Cholestasis include depression, fatigue, loss of appetite, dark urine, severe itching, etc. If you are suffering from cholestasis, increasing your vitamin K intake becomes an absolute priority and necessity.
[ Read: Vitamin A Rich Foods During Pregnancy ]
Food Sources Of Vitamin K
In most cases, following a well-balanced diet during pregnancy is enough to meet your body’s requirement of vitamin K, and possibly many other vitamins and minerals as well. In addition, you can also consider including more foods that contain vitamin K in your diet, some of them include:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Collard greens
Do not worry, the vitamin K content in most of these foods does not decrease due to cooking.
If you are suffering from a Vitamin K deficiency, please seek immediate medical advice. Also, consult your doctor before making any changes in your pregnancy diet.
Now you understand the importance of vitamin K while pregnant. Why wait? Go ahead and spread the word!
How did you ensure you got enough of vitamin K through your diet while expecting? Please share your advice with other moms here.
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