The Elusive Vitamin K is all over my yard -- who knew?


#1

I’ve noticed in nutrition discussions both here and elsewhere that Vitamin K is one of the most elusive of the lot, not easy to track nor to get your quota of it.

It’s springtime in Manitoba and the DANDELIONS have gone nuts this year. They are all over my farmyard by millions. I eat a few of the greens, but prefer other wild greens that are less bitter. However, I discovered that the BLOSSOMS are not bitter but slightly sweet when the “petals” (flowerets actually) that in one or two days will be annoying floating dandelion seeds are plucked from the flowering head – I discovered they taste great with peanut butter and jelly, so I pull the petals off of 20 or 25 of them and stick them on top of the PB and then glue them down with marmalade, or raspberry jam, or whatever – yum!

Digging in my garden today I forked out several big dandelion roots, and on a whim boiled them and incorporated them into my supper. Whilst searching the calorie-counter websites (in vain) for the energy content of dandelion roots, I stumbled upon some fascinating facts:

Source: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/dandelion-herb.html

Dandelion herb health benefits

Fresh dandelion greens, flower tops, and roots contain valuable constituents that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing,

and health promoting properties.

Fresh leaves are very low in calories; providing just 45 calories per 100 g. It is also good source of dietary fiber (provide about 9%

of RDA per 100 g). In addition, its latex is a good laxative. These
active principles in the herb help reduce weight and control
cholesterol levels in the blood.

Dandelion root as well as other plant parts contains bitter crystalline compounds Taraxacin, and an acrid resin, Taraxacerin.

Further, the root also contains inulin (not insulin) and levulin.
Together, these compounds are responsible for various therapeutic
properties of the herb.

Fresh dandelion herb provides 10161 IU of vitamin-A per 100 g, about 338% of daily-recommended intake, one of the highest source of

vitamin-A among culinary herbs. Vitamin A is an important fat-soluble
vitamin and anti-oxidant, required for maintaining healthy mucus
membranes and skin and vision.

Its leaves are packed with numerous health benefiting flavonoids such as carotene-β, carotene-α, lutein, crypto-xanthin and zea-xanthn.

Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin-A and flavonoids
(carotenes) helps body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Zeaxanthin has photo-filtering functions and protects retina from UV
rays.

The herb is good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of

cell and body fluids, which helps regulate heart rate and blood
pressure. Iron is essential for red blood cell production. Manganese
is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme,
superoxide dismutase.

It is also rich in many vital vitamins including folic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin, vitamin -E and vitamin-C that are

essential for optimum health. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural
antioxidant. Dandelion greens provide 58% of daily-recommended levels
of vitamin-C.

Dandelion is probably the richest herbal sources of vitamin K; provides about 650% of DRI. Vitamin-K has potential role in bone mass

building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has
established role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease patients by
limiting neuronal damage in the brain.

Dandelion herb contains notable nutrients and is a great source of
nutrition during winter.

This humble backyard herb provides (%of RDA/100g)- 9% of dietary
fiber, 19% of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), 20% of Riboflavin, 58% of
vitamin C, 338% of vitamin A, 649% of vitamin K, 39% of iron and 19%
of calcium. (Note: RDA-Recommended daily allowance)

SO – if you are at all concerned you might not be getting enough Vitamin K, just go out into the yard, look for the yellow flowers and the notched leaves, and START GRAZING! 650% of your Vitamin K RDA in every 3.5 ounces! And really, the blossoms are delish with peanut butter!

(Probably off-topic as hell unless I start putting dandyflowers in my Soylent, but talk about an easy solution to worries about an obscure vitamin…wow!)


Greens such as dandilion for K
#2

You can also make an interesting honey like substance from Dandelions, I did so 2 weeks ago.
Not sure how much of the Vitamin K is left in it though. :S


#3

Remember that Vitamin K is fat soluble. I think I was reading somewhere of a study where that they showed that vitamin k absorption from certain green leafy vegetables (many of which are very good sources of k) improved dramatically when they were served with butter.


#4

so maybe you could immerse some dandelion leaves in your next soylent’s olive oil dose a few hours earlier, remove the leaves and by then, the vit K would be left inside the oil? Could this work?

In the meantime I, being aware of K’s weirdness, use this for my mix:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Extension-Advanced-Softgels-90-Count/dp/B004GW4S0G/ref=pd_sim_d_2


#5

I think that supplement’s a good idea. Some people think you need both k1 and k2, since there are some questions concerning your body’s ability to synthesize k2 from k1. Other say the different forms of k2, primarily mk-4 and mk-7 have different virtues. Some research suggests k2 may reduce risk of heart disease, especially mk-7, by reducing calcification of arteries and improve bone density. Research on this topic seems to be in the early stages, but, like you, I’m taking a supplement that gives me k1, mk-4 and mk-7.


#6

One could wish there were not so many areas of profound disagreement in the field of human nutrition. It makes it a discouraging proposition attempting to gain any kind of overall grasp of the subject as a lay person. And when the supposed experts disagree so frequently and dramatically on important matters it does tend to call the whole discipline into question.


#7

There are quite a few edible wild plants, another very very common one I like is called lamb’s quarters or goosefoot, it pops up in my veggie garden beds and I just weed it into my salad. Supposed to be twice or three times as nutritious as spinach and isn’t as bitter as dandelion leaves.

A note about dandelion, it’s a powerful diuretic, as suggested by the french word for it: pis-en-lit. Literal translation: ‘pee the bed’. It will flush you out pretty effectively.


#8

Funny you should mention lamb’s quarters, I had some this evening as a side dish to spaghetti/tomato sauce, along with a couple other kinds of wild greens. Lamb’s quarters are one of my favourite foods. Good thing they are relatively scarce on my property – they’re awfully high in oxalic acid content. I find the oxalates and phytates situations very frustrating; another area where the nutritional truth seems almost impossible to pin down.


#9

It’s a good example of how the ‘industry professionals’ are remarkably clueless. Perhaps wilfully clueless.

There’s more money in making drugs to treat ‘illnesses’ caused by micronutrient deficiencies and food intolerances than in selling vitamins or genuinely healthy foods to fix the issues.

Or so my personal experience with health problems and doctors would seem to indicate. I’ve fixed my own issues by avoiding some foods and getting lots of certain others.

Doctors had me on three different kinds of anti-depressant, two different kinds of asthma meds, anti-anxiety medication, and various other pills, salves and shrinks. I was also 70lbs overweight. All gone now.

It was all dietary. If I avoid wheat and uncooked dairy, and see to it that I get my veggies, the whole list of symptoms and others all disappeared.


#10

although this is quite offtopic by now, my story is similar to yours. I had problems since 6 years old till 19…that was the moment I gave up on doctors alltogether and started problem-solving my health all by myself. I made my own observations and changes, which included doing what the best doctors in the country told me not to. It worked and now as I look around, many other people are on a similar boat as I was, but many aren’t taking their diet as seriously. Nutrition can be a huge topic to take on your own if you’re not good at doing such ‘homework’ especially if you don’t have time and get easily distracted by all the ‘expert’ opinions.
This is where soylent fits nicely. You can test the importance of your diet by trying it, see how it affects your life without having to self-educate on nutrition for months or even years as I did.

if this is too much off topic, maybe an admin could move the irrelevant posts somewhere more fitting, sorry :stuck_out_tongue:


#11

Interesting observations, @sogviper and @Shandra. Personally I don’t see all this as off topic at all – we are talking in “Nutrition” category after all. One of the biggest problems for those who embark on DIY soylent is precisely what you nailed, Sog – not only is nutrition a huge topic to take on for oneself from a standing start with no particular background in the subject, but when you do, you quickly discover how little is known with real certainty and how much wild disagreement there is among the professionals. That makes the task of soylent development doubly difficult, because in the end it reduces to a matter of trial and error and thereby opens us all to charges of irresponsibility, reckless endangerment, and so on. There are plenty of hostile types out there ready and waiting to shoot down soylent and its adherents, many of them on the basis of nothing better than their own prejudice against “chemicals.” And again, spot on, the medical profession is little to no help at all because for the great majority of doctors, diet isn’t even on their horizon and they know squat about nutrition, hence are totally unable to diagnose complaints with a nutritional genesis or component.


#12

you can make a mean pesto with dandelion leaves. the oil content would aid absorption of the vitamin k. there are recipes on foraging websites.


Greens such as dandilion for K