Did you know that eating a serving of lettuce or some other green leafy vegetable per day cuts your risk of getting a hip fracture in half? That's as compared to eating just one serving of green leafy vegetables per day. This is reported in the "Harvard Medical School Guide to Eating Healthy."
If you're wondering how green leafy vegetables and hip fractures are related, then you'll be interested to know that the magic link is Vitamin K. Vitamin K is one of the key vitamins in a protein necessary to maintain build bone health.
Recent research shows that low levels of circulating vitamin K in the body has been linked to low bone density. In fact, people who supplemented their diet with foods rich in Vitamin K showed increased bone density. The Nurse's Health Study indicates that women who don't get enough vitamin K in their diet are twice as likely to break a hip as women who do.
Unfortunately, the average American does not get enough Vitamin K in their diet, even though, when surveyed, most adults thought they got plenty of Vitamin K. The younger members of the population are particularly at risk for low intake of Vitamin K, since their diet generally has fewer leafy green vegetables. The average American adult eats just under the recommended daily amount of Vitamin K, which is 120 mcg for men and 90 mcg for women.
The leafy vegetables highest in Vitamin K are kale, collards, spinach, and turnip greens. For those who don't like salads all that much, other sources of this vitamin include blue-green algae, chlorella, and wheat grass.
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Photo credit: 060527-lettuce