The Benefits of Vitamin K

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When we all think of vitamins, we think of A, B, C, and D. Rarely do we think about vitamin K. However, that is changing. Vitamin K and its counterpart K2 have received attention over the years, and for good reason. It has many potential health benefits. Originally, people thought it was only good to prevent blood clotting proteins from being lost. Being deficient in it was rare, so people thought nothing of it. However, it’s been found that it can prevent cardiac diseases, osteoporosis, and even potential cancers. They’ve also discovered that vitamin K2 has many more benefits than K1, and it’s sadly easier to become more deficient in. This article will cover the K2 benefits more than anything, and provide you ways of getting more K2.

The Five Benefits of Vitamin K

1. Vitamin K can prevent osteoporosis and protect your bones. This is because vitamin K regulates your calcium levels. Without proper regulation, it can cause long-term effects. It maintain osteocalcin levels. That’s a protein that helps keep minerals on your bones. Without vitamin K, those minerals come off, weakening your bones over time. It causes calcium to fall off, giving you brittle bones in the later stages of your life. So if you’re at risk of osteoporosis, you definitely need more vitamin K in your diet.

2. Vitamin K can prevent heart disease. This is primarily because of reason one. If your bones are shedding minerals, those minerals can land in your arteries, causing buildup. Besides that, vitamin K helps to form MGP, a protein that prevents formation inside your blood vessels. To back this up, studies have shown people with vitamin K deficiencies tend to have harder arteries. Vitamin K2, in particular, can lower this risk.

3. Vitamin K provides blood clotting proteins and helps you receive less bruises. See, your liver creates proteins that are blood clotting, and vitamin K helps to form those.vitamin_k_clotting_99 These proteins decrease your chances of your skin bruising and help to heal them faster. If you’re bruising easily, you may need more vitamin K. This was the original reason for vitamin K being used, and recommendations were only small enough to help fix this problem.

With recent discoveries, however, many researchers agree that it’s time to increase the recommended daily amount of vitamin K. In addition, you need to beware of certain blood thinning medications. Medicines such as Warfarin can disrupt K’s function, so you need to talk to your doctor beforehand before you take more vitamin K and see what you can do about it.

4. Vitamin K reduces cancer, or at least has the potential do. A lot of supplements claim to do this, but vitamin K has some studies to back it up. In particular, a study in Europe of over 11,000 for nearly a decade found that if you take enough K2, your risk of prostate cancer goes down. For the women, vitamin K2 can help prevent certain liver cancers if you have viral cirrhosis of the liver. Leukemia is another cancer that is being looked at.

5. Vitamin K helps to improve your skin and may help to stop wrinkles. This is because the lack of vitamin K may lead to damaging on the connective elastin on your skin. In other words, if you don’t have enough vitamin K, you can become wrinkled. This is because calcium is deposited in your skin’s elastin fibers.

In addition, vitamin K helps form proteins that keep your skin cells happy. This may prevent such skin problems such as acne. Vitamin K has been reported to be an effective treatment of acne and acne scarring., so that’s a plus.
This vitamin sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. There are plenty of benefits from vitamin K. But how do you obtain more of it?

Vitamin K Foods

If you want more vitamin K1, you can find it in kale, romaine lettuce, collard greens, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. Vitamin K1, however, is hard to convert. By eating healthy fatty foods with your greens, it will help to increase your chances of absorption. However, due to its difficulty, you’re better off finding more vitamin K2 sources.

For vitamin K2, the best source would be natto. What is natto, you may ask? It’s a fermented soy dish, found in Japan. It’s a delicacy there, and because people eat so much of it, they tend to have lower chances of osteoporosis and hip fractures than most people in Europe and the US. Of course, the problem is that natto isn’t for everyone. If you don’t like Japanese food, you may not like it. So what do you do? Thankfully, there’s a solution. There are natto supplements out there that allow you to get the same benefits, so that problem is solved.

What are other good sources of K2? Liver, kidney, and other meats made from organs are good.vitamin_k_foods_99 Egg yolks from free range chickens work great as well. Grass fed meats and butter are also good. Many fermented foods can help, such as kefir and sauerkraut, and hard cheeses like Swiss are filled with K2.

Overall, vitamin K is something that people need to be more aware of. Vitamin K has many benefits, but because people don’t know about it, they might not be getting enough. Try some of these foods and watch as your health improves. It will definitely help you out now and for the future.

What is Vitamin D? Its Uses and How to get Enough of It

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Imagine if you could walk outside and get some renewal. You could help to improve your bone, brain, and heart functions, and you may have the chance to live longer too. You would think that everyone would go outside then. Well, the truth is, this renewal exists. It’s vitamin D, and your body creates it when it’s exposed to sunlight. That said, many Americans don’t get enough of this vitamin. This can lead to health effects that you don’t want. In this article, we will discuss those effects and include the benefits along with it.

What Does Vitamin D Do?

Vitamin D allows for easy calcium absorption. This means that your bones will be kept strong and can repair themselves, along with your teeth. According to some research, vitamin D can also help regulate your blood pressure, feelings, and even your weight, acting as a hormone in your own body. Some say that if you have enough, you can protect yourself against fatalities like cancer and heart diseases.

On the opposite side, if you don’t get enough, you can get osteoporosis, muscle weakness, bone pain, and osteomalacia, which is the softening of your bones. Since vitamin D helps with brain development, you may have low energy or be depressed if you don’t have enough. Also, if you’re an athlete, you need vitamin D to help you perform to your highest potential. You can run faster and lift more if your levels are adequate.

So how do you get more vitamin D?

Well, sunlight is the best source out of all of them.sunshine_vitamin_d_44 Your body produces enough vitamin D to keep you well-regulated, but only when you’re out in the sunlight and when it’s shining on your bare skin, all without sunscreen. You don’t need to be outside all day to do this. All you need is to be out in the sun for thirty minutes tops for twice a week to get the amount of vitamin D you need. This way, you don’t even have to worry about burning your skin through harmful UV radiation.

Of course, many people are holed up in a building all day, don’t live in sunny areas, or have darker skin. This means that they won’t have the amount that they need. Even people who are outside a lot may have less during the winter time.
But for those people who don’t spend time outdoors, live far from the equator, have dark skin, or use sunscreen every time they go out may not be able to produce the same quantity of vitamin D.

Many people also have lower levels in cold-weather months, when spending less time outdoors and there’s less skin exposure to the elements.

So how do you get vitamin D in these conditions?

Through foods, of course.

Foods don’t have enough natural vitamin D to satisfy your body’s needs for the most part, but they can help give your levels a boost if you need to. You can find this vitamin naturally in fatty fish and eggs, and many products such as juices, dairy products, and even cereals have vitamin D added to them to help you out.

So what about supplements?

There are pills you can take to give you more vitamin D, but they won’t give you much results if you have enough, and their power and absorption isn’t as good as it is from natural sources.vitamin_supplements_44 However, it’s a good substitute if you’re vegan, in an area with little sunlight, are over 50, or are overweight. Just do your research and find out if the supplements are right for you.

So how many people are in danger of a deficiency?

Surprisingly, extreme deficiency is rare in the US. To be deficient, you need fewer than 12 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood. But if you’re a vegan, have dairy allergies, or don’t get out much, you’re at risk. Your age and weight may determine your needs too. But even though we aren’t low to the point of danger, we usually don’t have the ideal levels. You need 20 nanograms per milliliter of blood, but 30 is better if you want maximum bone and muscle performance. Two thirds of Americans fall short of the minimum guideline, and it increases every winter.

How do you know if you’re low in Vitamin D?

The best way is to talk to your doctor. You can get a blood test if you want, and it can determine if you’re deficient or not. However, you don’t have to get a routine screening if you’re healthy. Just do it every once in a while and keep up your vitamin D levels.

Overall, vitamin D is a powerful source of energy. You may need to get more in your diet to reap its benefits, and when you do, you’ll be set for a healthier life. If you don’t want to deal with foods or supplements, just step outside. If you live in a sunny area, set yourself two days to allow yourself to get outside. It can be early in the morning if you have to.

Everyone should have enough free time to allow themselves an hour each week for some outside time. Maybe exercise along with it. There are so many ways that you can enjoy being outside, and when you do, you’re one step closer for bone health that will last you a lifetime.

Breaking Down the Benefits of Vitamin B

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There are so many B vitamins that it sounds overwhelming. But in reality, there are just eight, and they’re known as the vitamin B complex. These eight are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12, and they all help to give you the best performance that you can give out. Just like a car needs oil, you need B vitamins to keep you going. They help change food into fuel so that you have energy, but they also have so many other individual benefits. They can range from healthy skin and hair to stopping you from losing memories.

However, there is no need for you to start chowing down on supplements. Odds are, you have enough B vitamins in you from what you eat. Overloading yourself on vitamin B isn’t going to make much of a difference in your performance. But it’s still worth noting why each vitamin is important, and you can learn how you can eat healthy so that you can heave enough in your diet. With that said, let’s break down each vitamin.

B1 AKA Thiamine

Vitamin B1 is also known as the anti-stress vitamin. This is because it helps to protect your immune system, and it even helps your body create new cells. vitamin_b_grains_43When you consume carb-heavy foods, vitamin B1 can help your body break those down and ensure digestion and easy absorption. You can find B1 from whole grains, beans, peanuts, kale, spinach, blackstrap molasses, and wheat germ.

B2 AKA Riboflavin

Vitamin B2 helps to defeat free radicals, which may damage your cells. In addition, it can help to prevent early aging, and even help stop heart disease in its tracks. Speaking of heart disease, it’s great for red blood cell production, which can lead to more oxygen transportation. It’s speculated to even help prevent migraines.

However, the sunlight may break down B2 in food sources. For instance, opaque containers help to block sunlight, so it’s best to put them in there if you’ll be eating outside. You can find it in milk, yogurt, wild rice, almonds, eggs, Brussels sprouts, soybeans, and spinach.

B3 AKA Niacin

While being deficient in this vitamin is rare, it’s not uncommon for people with alcoholism to have low levels. Being deficient in this vitamin is bad news, as it helps you to have good HDL levels. HDL is the good cholesterol that will lower your bad cholesterol. Additionally, it can even help with your acne levels as well, and you can use topical applications for that. You can find it in red meat, milk, eggs, yeast, beans, and green vegetables.

B5 AKA Pantothenic Acid

The word “pantothenic” is derived from the Greek word meaning “from everywhere.” It makes sense, since you can find this vitamin in any food group, some more than others. B5 helps to break down fat and carbs, as well as producing hormones such as testosterone and other sex-related elements. B5 has been studied for healthy skin and reducing aging, making you less likely to be red or have spots. The best sources include yogurt, avocados, eggs, meat, and legumes.

B6 AKA Pyridoxine

B6 helps you to maintain levels of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with heart disease, along with B12 and B9. It’s also a determinate in sleep patterns and even your mood, as it produces melatonin, serotonin, and norepinephrine, which is a stress hormone. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, some studies reveal that B6 can help with your inflammation. You can find it in brown rice, carrots, chicken, tuna, turkey, salmon, sunflower seeds, lentils, and cheese.

B7 AKA Biotin

This is known as a vitamin of beauty, as it promotes healthy skin, nails, and hair. That said, it has less superficial uses. It can help people control high blood sugar levels if you have diabetes, and it helps promote growth of a baby when it’s still in the womb. To get this great vitamin, consume egg yolks, nuts, liver, yeast, pork, barley, chicken, fish, cauliflower, and potatoes.

B9 AKA Folate

This is also known as folic acid, which is synthetically created for supplements and added to foods like bread and cereal. B9 may lower your chance of depression and memory loss.vitamin_b_vegetables_33 If you’re pregnant, it’s another vitamin you’ll need for the development of your baby, and it can prevent birth defects as well, so make sure you have plenty of this vitamin if you want a healthy child. You can find it in milk, bulgur wheat, beans, root vegetables, beets, salmon, leafy greens, and asparagus.

B12 AKA Cobalamin

Finally, we have B12. And as they say, it’s last, but not least. This vitamin co-ops with B9 to produce red blood cells and help iron produce oxygen. There is only one problem, and that’s that vitamin b12 is found in animal products only. So if you’re a vegan, you may need to find supplements to help you out and get your levels optimized. You can find this in pork, beef, eggs, shellfish, fish, and dairy.

As you learned, vitamin B has many forms, all with various uses to boot. They all help your body perform at its greatest, and you need to have optimal levels if you want to do that. Now that you know about your B vitamins, talk to your doctor and see if you’re having enough. If not, try some of these foods above and get your B levels up! Your body will thank you for it later.