Eating Healthy Does Not Mean We Are Getting Key Nutrition
When we eat a balanced, Real food diet, most often we may fail to get the right balance of Key vitamins and minerals our body needs for optimal health.
There are many factors that contribute to the human body’s ability to derive nutrients from the food we consume.
So, though we may eat a healthy diet and we can still lack proper nutrition.
Changes in animal feed, climate, farming and food-processing methods, soil conditions, water quality and weather patterns, as well as increased use of genetic engineering and toxic pesticides, can have a negative effect on the quality of food we buy.
Age, genetics and health conditions such as digestive issues also impact the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food we eat.
Often, vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be difficult to identify because people might not develop symptoms until the deficiency has become quite pronounced.
Below, are 3 of the most common nutrient deficiencies. After you learn this then address any area of concern. By doing so, you will be working to protect and optimize your health.
#1 is vitamin D
The Harvard School of Public Health suggests an estimated 1-B people worldwide have low vitamin D levels, with deficiencies noted across all age and ethnic groups.
People are at risk of missing out on vitamin D from natural Sun exposure if they spend most of their time indoors, use topical sunscreens or wear long clothing for religious reasons.
The signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include the following:
Achy or broken bones
Because vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, it plays a role in your bone health. Studies involving older adults have associated low vitamin D levels with an increased risk of falls and fractures.
Age 50 or older
At age 50, your kidneys may become less effective at metabolizing inactive vitamin D into its active form. At age 70 and beyond, the body will produce about 33% less vitamin D through Sun exposure than it did at younger ages.
Because vitamin D is fat soluble, when the fat cells uptake it, less is available for use elsewhere in the body.
For this reason, experts recommend the obese people increase their intake of vitamin D.
Melanin, which determines your degree of skin pigmentation and protects the body from harmful ultraviolet radiation (UV), impairs your skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from Sunlight. If you have darker skin, the body may need up to 10X more Sun exposure to produce adequate vitamin D as compared to a person who has lighter skin.
Feeling depressed or having low energy
Thanks to the brain hormone serotonin, the human mood automatically elevates when we are in the Sun. Researchers examining the effects of vitamin D on the moods of 80 elderly patients found the ones with the lowest vitamin D levels were 11X more likely to suffer from depression.
Frequent Colds and Flu
A study done in Japan indicated schoolchildren taking 1,200 units of vitamin D per day during Winter reduced their risk of contracting the flu by about 40%
One of the classic signs of vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty head. Excessive sweating in newborns due to neuromuscular irritability is still described as a common, early symptom of vitamin D deficiency.
If experiencing any of the above symptoms, get your vitamin D level tested immediately.
Even if you are in good health, experts recommend having the level tested 2X a year.
The optimal vitamin D level for general health ranges between 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). The ideal way to raise the vitamin D in the human body is by regularly and sensibly exposing large amounts of your skin, such as your arms, back, chest and legs, to Sunshine. Getting outdoors at or around solar Noon is the best time to soak up the Sun.
Cannot get outdoors, or not frequently enough to receive sufficient UV exposure, then consider taking an oral vitamin D3 supplement along with vitamin K2 and magnesium.
The only way to determine your ideal maintenance dose of vitamin D is by measuring blood level. As a general guideline, vitamin D experts recommend 4,000 IUs per day for adults, but that level applies only if already in the therapeutic range. If levels are low, you may need to start with 8,000 IUs or more per day.
Those who regularly consume fast food and other highly processed foods, probably over consume inflammatory omega-6 fats.
Such high consumption of omega-6s very likely means not consuming enough of the healthier omega-3 fats.
Processed foods, and that is everything from frozen meals to salad dressings are generally loaded with omega-6s, due to the vegetable oils used to make them.
Check labels carefully and avoid products containing corn, cottonseed, soybean, safflower and sunflower oils.
If a regular consumer of fast food, be advised most of it is prepared with these oils.
The recommended omega-6 to omega-3 balance should be close to a 1-to-1 ratio. However, because omega-6s are overabundant in the typical American diet, the ratio may be around 20-to-1, or as high as 50-to-1.
It all depends a person’s eating habits. I do not eat fast or prepared foods, do use EVO, eat flax and organic hemp seeds daily. And of course wild caught salmon is regularly on my menu.
Very often, when omega-6s predominate the diet, people will almost always suffer from inflammation and higher production of body fat. And many doctors suspect the high incidence of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, obesity and premature aging noticeable worldwide have their roots in the chronic inflammation resulting from this profound omega-3-to-omega-6 mismatch.
Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and vital for supporting our brain function, joints, skin and vision, as well as the heart.
Omega-3s are derived from both plant and animal sources:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): found in plant sources such as chia, flaxseeds, hemp and walnuts
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): found in animal sources such as anchovies, salmon and sardines, as well as fish oil supplements; alternatives to fish oil include algae and my personal favorite, krill oil
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): also found in animal sources such as fish and fish oil, because wherever you find DHA, EPA is also there
Nutritional experts recommend an animal-based omega-3 because most of its cellular health benefits are linked to EPA and DHA, not the plant-based ALA.
Although plant-based omega-3s are beneficial, and ideally you need both sources of omega-3, the focus should mainly be on the animal-based variety.
#3 is vitamin K2
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is well-known for its role in blood clotting. However, there are 2 different kinds of vitamin K, each providing its own set of health benefits. Vitamin K1 is primarily responsible for blood clotting whereas vitamin K2 works synergistically with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D to impart a number of important health benefits.
Vitamin K2 also plays a crucial role in bone health, and may be critical for the prevention of osteoporosis (brittle bones).
Osteocalcin is a protein produced by your osteoblasts (cells responsible for bone formation), and is utilized within the bone as an integral part of the bone-forming process. However, osteocalcin must be “carboxylated” before it can be effective.
Vitamin K functions as a cofactor for the enzyme that catalyzes the carboxylation of osteocalcin.
When people do not have sufficient amounts of vitamin K2, they run the risk of both brittle bones and calcification in your soft tissues. In other words, vitamin K2 is necessary to keep our bones strong and your soft tissues pliable. A number of Japanese trials have shown that vitamin K2 completely reverses bone loss and in some cases even increases bone mass in people with osteoporosis.
The pooled evidence of 7 Japanese trials also show that vitamin K2 supplementation produces a 60% reduction in vertebral fractures and an 80% reduction in hip and other non-vertebral fractures.
A Chinese meta-analysis of 19 randomized controlled trials found that vitamin K2 supplementation significantly improved vertebral bone density in postmenopausal women and reduced the risk of bone fractures.
Another 3-year-long placebo-controlled study done in the Netherlands found that postmenopausal women taking 180 mcg of MK-7 per day increased their bone strength and saw a decrease in the rate of age-related bone mineral decline and reduced loss of bone density, compared to those taking a placebo.
Vitamin K2 is found primarily in animal-based foods (MK-4) and fermented foods (MK-7).
However, when it comes to MK-7, it’s important to realize that not all bacteria make K2, so only certain fermented foods will contain it.
Grain fed animals will also produce far lower amounts of K2, and are best avoided for other reasons. Only grass fed animals will develop naturally high K2 levels.
That being the case most commercial yogurts are virtually devoid of vitamin K2, and while certain types of cheeses, such as Gouda, brie and Edam are high in K2, others are not.
One of the best ways to get enough of vitamin K2 from the diet it is to regularly eat home-fermented vegetables made with a special starter culture designed with bacterial strains that produce vitamin K2.
You can get up to 500 mcg of vitamin K2 in a 2-oz serving of fermented vegetables using such a starter culture, which is a clinically therapeutic dose. I eat sauerkraut daily without fail.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively