17 August, 2011
Chickpeas & Vitamin K
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have a nutty flavor and provide more than 7 g of protein per 1/2 cup, making them an appealing alternative to animal-derived proteins. Commonly added to salads or soups, served roasted or as falafel or hummus, chickpeas are full of important nutrients, including fiber, folate and iron. Although chickpeas provide vitamin K, the contribution to your overall intake is likely minimal, particularly if you consume a balanced diet.
Chickpeas provide 3.3 mcg of vitamin K per half-cup serving. The Institute of Medicine estimates that 90 mcg of vitamin K per day for women and 120 mcg daily for men is enough to meet dietary needs for the nutrient. The daily value of vitamin K, which is established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is 80 mcg. Foods with less than 5 percent of the daily value of a nutrient are considered low sources of that nutrient. Foods such as cooked chickpeas that contain less than 4 mcg of vitamin K per serving are considered low sources.
Vitamin K Facts
Vitamin K, sometimes referred to as the clotting vitamin, helps make four proteins that are necessary to the development of blood clots. There are also potential links between adequate vitamin K levels and healthy bone development, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Your body also makes its own vitamin K using intestinal bacteria. Most people consume enough vitamin K, which is abundant in foods such as leafy green vegetables, broccoli and cauliflower. Although chickpeas are not a major source of dietary vitamin K, such foods contribute to a healthy intake of a variety of nutrients.
Raw chickpeas provide almost three times as much vitamin K as cooked chickpeas, packing 9 mcg of vitamin K per half-cup portion. Additionally, sprouted chickpeas generally contain higher concentrations of vitamin K than boiled or roasted varieties. Because nutritional content among chickpea products may vary, check food labels for the exact vitamin K content when you purchase canned or dried chickpeas, hummus or falafel, particularly if you need to monitor your intake for health reasons.
Individuals taking blood thinning medications such as warfarin or Coumadin generally need to maintain a consistent intake of vitamin K, according to the National Institutes of Health. In this case, work with your doctor to design a meal plan that provides appropriate amounts of vitamin K. Otherwise, eating chickpeas along with a variety of other lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and whole grains should meet your dietary need for vitamin K.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Nutrient Data Laboratory
- College of Charleston: Chickpeas
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes: Vitamins
- MayoClinic.com; Percent Daily Value: What Does It Mean?; Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.; May 2010
- Purdue University Center for New Crops and Plant Products: Cicer Arietinum L. (Chickpea)
- National Institutes of Health Drug-Nutrient Interaction Task Force: Important Information to Know When You Are Taking Coumadin and Vitamin K
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images