Vitamin K is the ugly sweater of the vitamin world. It's far from sexy, not so stylish and is often overlooked, but highly functional. And it deserves a place on your plate like vitamins A, C and D.“There are actually two types of vitamin K,” says dietitian Jen DeWall. Phylloquinones (vitamin K1) are made by plants and are the more common type, while menaquinones (vitamin K2) are found in fermented foods, animal products, and the microbiome of your intestine. Since the body processes some K2 naturally, dietitians recommend eating more foods rich in K1. Dietitian Amy Shapiro says that vitamin K can help decrease heart disease, keep bones strong, prevent calcification of arteries, and help blood clot. The National Institutes of Health recommends 122 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K for women and 138 mcg for men each day.

“This is not a significant amount. You can reach your needs with about  3/4 cup of broccoli or a cup of kale,” DeWall says.That sounds pretty doable. But can you fall short? “It’s very rare to have a vitamin K deficiency. In general, we have more of a ‘whole food deficiency’ in our society,” DeWall adds. “You really can't eat too much vitamin K if you're getting it from natural forms, not synthetic supplements.” The more the better, of course, but even one serving of greens each day will get you to your quota.  “Whole food is powerful, and the vitamins and antioxidants are meant to synergistically work together with your body,” DeWall says.

Supplements, though, are another story. “Since vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, it’s not immediately excreted when consumed in excess. That means it’s stored in the body,” says DeWall. Only take vitamin K supplements with a doctor's approval-and never do if you’re taking anticoagulant medications, aka blood thinners.Luckily, you won't have to pop any pills if you load on foods high in vitamin K. Here, 10 options to add to your plate.

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