More than just good for the eyes, carrots come packed with beneficial fiber, vitamin C and potassium. Their sweet, crunchy flavor works well raw and also stands up to cooking, and carrots help you boost your veggie intake. Adding carrots to your diet also increases your intake of vitamin K, a nutrient needed for healthy blood clotting.
K in Carrots
A small carrot about 5 ½ inches in length, weighing around 50 grams, has 6.6 micrograms of vitamin K. A medium carrot -- approximately 61 grams -- contains 8.1 micrograms of vitamin K, while a large carrot 7 ¼ to 8 ½ inches in length ad 72 grams in weight, contains 9.5 micrograms of vitamin K.
Recommended dietary intake of vitamin K differs depending on your age, sex, and whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Infants from birth to age 6 months need 2 micrograms daily and 2.5 micrograms from ages 7 months to 12 months. Children ages 1 to 3 need 30 micrograms; those ages 4 to 8 need 55 micrograms and from the ages 9 to 13, children should consume 60 micrograms of vitamin K a day. Male and female teens, ages 14 to 18, whether pregnant or breastfeeding, need 75 micrograms daily. Male adults, 19 years of age and older, need 120 micrograms of vitamin K daily. Females of the same age need only 90 micrograms daily, even if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Vitamin K deficiency is rare, as it is present in many foods and your body produces it. However, if you are looking to boost your vitamin K intake, you may want to focus on eating more leafy greens rather than more carrots. At just 8.1 micrograms of vitamin K in a medium sized carrot, to meet your dietary intake recommendations solely from carrots, men would need to eat almost 15 carrots daily, while women would need to get through 11. Green leafy vegetables, however, are a larger source of vitamin K. For instance, 1 cup of cooked broccoli has 220 micrograms, while 1 cup of raw spinach contains 145 micrograms. 1 cup of raw kale has a whopping 547 micrograms, while 2 cups of raw leaf lettuce will provide you with 125 micrograms.
It is important to talk to your doctor before increasing your vitamin K intake, as vitamin K can interact with a variety of prescription medications, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center. While carrots contain only a moderate amount of vitamin K, consuming a lot of carrots -- or pairing them with vitamin K-rich foods, like parsley, spinach and kale, might affect your health. Vitamin K can also render warfarin, a common blood thinning medication, ineffective, and you should talk to your doctor before making any changes in your diet if you take warfarin.