According to the NHLBI research study, the mortality rate linked to pulmonary embolism has been increasing after a period of decline–notably among African-Americans and those under 65. Venous thromboembolism, which includes the formation of blood clots in the veins (deep vein thrombosis) and pulmonary embolism, causes about 100,000 deaths each year in the US. The underlying reason for this rise is unknown, but researchers think a diet low in vitamin K-rich veggies and fruits and obesity may be at least partly to blame.

“Annie and LJ’s bedroom was a flurry of activity, as the two began packing for their trip to Gran Chaco in Argentina. They were going there to learn more about regenerative farming, which has proven successful in helping restore depleted soil in South America’s second-largest forest. This practice has had a positive impact on farm communities, local economies, and area wildlife.

“Oh sweetheart, you brought out the wrong luggage. This is carry-on,” said Annie.

“LJ pulled her to him and chuckled. “Remember, you can do hard things, and that includes traveling with a minimal amount so we can reduce our carbon footprint. I also think it’s smart to assume there will be no one to carry heavy suitcases for us as we travel through a remote area.”

Annie groused. “You’re right, but it’s going to be impossible to live out of this little bag for ten days. Anyway, I am excited about going and that the Nature Conservancy is sending us on this trip to observe and report. I feel like the world is finally beginning to take global warming seriously and work on solutions to save the earth.

By the way, don’t forget to bring compression socks, a pair to wear on the plane and extra. They help avoid pooling in the legs, which can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The flight is close to eighteen hours, so it will be important to get up and move periodically. And while we are seated, remember to rotate our ankles, lift our calves, and stretch our legs to keep blood flowing. I am also going to include more vitamin K-rich foods into our daily meals.”

“Okay, why do we need more vitamin K?”

Vitamin K supports bone health. It is also essential for the activation of proteins that guard against blood clots. There are two types: vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is found mainly in plant-based foods, such as green leafy vegetables, and certain varieties of fruits like blueberries, figs, and legumes. Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is mostly found in animal products like meat, cheese, and eggs, as well as in fermented soybeans called natto.

Kale, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and asparagus are nutrient-dense, vitamin K-rich veggies that are grown on regenerative farms because of their health benefits to the soil and atmosphere.

How does a Kale salad with dried cranberries and chopped walnuts topped with a Lemon vinaigrette sound? I can make a creamy broccoli soup as an accompaniment.”

They sound delicious and if they are packed with vitamin K, as you say, that can help keep us safe on our travels.”

“Let’s have both for dinner tonight. It’s also important to note if anyone is taking anticoagulant medication like warfarin (brand name Coumadin), they must talk to their doctor about how much vitamin K they can consume. Vitamin K can interfere with the effectiveness of these medications.”


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