Vitamin K- The Forgotten

Vitamin K is a group of compounds. There is K1 which is found in plants. K2 is synthesized in our intestinal tract and present in animal products and fermented food.

Vitamin K has a reputation for promoting blood clotting. It also contributes to strong bones and heart, lowering cancer risks, and protects against diabetes and internal bleeding. The body needs fat to properly absorb it. Vitamin K is stored in the liver and fat cells.

Dr. Cee Vermeer, a Vitamin K researcher, believes most people have a vitamin K deficiency. We may get consume enough to maintain clotting but most of us do not get enough to protect us from other health issues. National research says that only 25% of Americans receive the average requirement of 90-120 mcg of vitamin K.

Being deficient in the vitamin can have some far-reaching effects such as varicose veins, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, tooth decay, pneumonia and some cancers… lung, prostate, and liver and leukemia.

Vitamin K transports calcium through the body regulating clotting and plays a major role in platelet aggregation. It also promotes blood circulation in peripheral bodies and tissue. Vitamin K is also important when it comes to brain development and works in the nervous system by enabling metabolism of fats in brain cells. It also is said to stall degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s by enhancing your memory.

Chronic kidney disease is linked to Vitamin K as well. Low levels appear to play into the development of accumulation of calcium in small blood vessels of skin and fat tissue, to include kidney tissue.

Vitamin K has a low toxicity potential. People with blood disorders and pregnant women need to be careful in their consumption of the vitamin in food and supplement form. If you have a history of heart disease or stroke, you should consult your doctor before changing your vitamin intake.

Vitamin K plays a major role in overall health. Foods high in Vitamin K keep the blood healthy and the bones strong.

Here are some foods rich in vitamin K….

Kale and leafy greens

Natto (Japanese food made with fermented soybeans)

Brussel sprouts

Broccoli

Cabbage

Scallions

Prunes

Fermented dairy products

Asparagus

Fresh and dried basil

Soybeans

Cucumber

Extra virgin olive oil

Our body works hard to take care of us. We should do what we can to give it what it needs to do the work efficiently. I have been mean to my body but the more I learn, the more I want to do better. I thank my God and my body every morning for working hard to keep me alive to get one step closer to being who I am meant to be. Now I have to do my part to show my appreciation…..

Sipping Tea: The Benefits of Chamomile

chamomileSo I am a lover of tea. I used to drink a lot of sweet tea but now I am strictly hot teas and I do not sweeten them so I try a lot of different flavors to get my mind off of wanting to sweeten them.

So chamomile is made using dried chamomile flowers. It is an herbal tea and most herbal teas are not safe for everyone. The potency of the tea does matter when it comes to chamomile. You have to brew it according to directions because if you are vulnerable to the tea, you could endure some side effects.  I would start with the tea bags and use them as directed and work your way up.

Chamomile is one of my favorites. It has been used for a lot of different health concerns. chamomile1Researchers have even started looking into it helping to manage cancer and diabetes and so far it has been showing some good signs. Thankfully for most of us, chamomile is safe to use as a supplement to other treatments but I would not try to replace my current medical treatments, especially if my illness is a serious one.

So what are the benefits?

  • Reduces menstrual pain. There have been studies that link the tea to reduced cramps. The study found that after drinking the tea for a month, women in the study reported less anxiety and distress that is associated with period pain.
  • Lowering Blood Sugar. Researchers have found that chamomile is not a viable substitute for diabetes meds but it has been found to lower blood sugar and can be used as a supplement.
  • chamomile2Slowing or preventing osteoporosis. The loss of bone density increases our risk for broken bones and posture issues and anyone can get it! It is more common in post-menopausal women due to the effects of estrogen. Chamomile tea may have an anti-estrogenic effect and also helps promote bone density.
  • Reduces Inflammation. Chamomile has chemical compounds that may reduce inflammation. As I am getting older, this has become an issue for me. I usually look to Tumeric because of its anti-inflammatory properties but this possible benefit is a plus.
  • Helping you sleep better and/or relax. In studies, there were patients that fell asleep shortly after consuming the tea, which also suggests that it does help to relax people. Many researchers believe that chamomile behaves like the medication, benzodiazepine, which is a drug that is used to reduce anxiety and induce sleep.
  • Treating a Cold. Anecdotal evidence and a few studies have shown that inhaling the steam from the chamomile tea can relieve some of the symptoms of the common cold. This has not been proven yet.
  • Treating mild skin conditions. A 1987 study found that applying chamomile extract directly to a wound can assist with wound healing. If you can find an ointment with chamomile in it, it may help with your eczema and mild inflammatory skin chamomile4conditions but it is not as good as hydrocortisone cream.
  • May promote digestive health. A few studies have shown that chamomile is helpful in preventing stomach ulcers because it may reduce the acid in the stomach and prohibit bacteria growth that contributes to ulcers. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it protects against diarrhea, nausea, and gas as well.
  • May improve heart health. The flavones have the potential to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are important markers for heart disease risk.

Other benefits are improving skin health, relieves anxiety and depression, and boosting immune health.

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Who should not consume chamomile tea?

  • People with a history of severe allergies, especially pollen. Chamomile may have pollen and other plant contamination so be careful.
  • People who have had a previous allergic reaction to chamomile, of course.
  • Infants and young children. It is similar to honey where it may be contaminated with botulism spores. Healthy adults can fight the infection but infants may not be able to.

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So, if you decide to try chamomile tea to treat an illness or condition, it should be used as a supplement to any medical treatments you are currently doing. It is definitely possible to see ongoing health improvements with regular doses, like 1-2 cups per day. Chamomile tea is a healthy drink that is rich in some powerful antioxidants that have varying health benefits. 

Try some today!

 

Honey–Beauty Tips

honeySo in this ever-growing and changing beauty world, there are some old tricks that will never die. I use honey for a lot of things, especially in addition to my regular beauty regimen when my body needs some extra loving. Raw honey has anti-microbial, antiseptic, and anti-bacterial properties. It also speeds up the healing process and prevents infection. So here are some uses for honey to add to your nighttime routine for a healthier, more beautiful you…honey3

  • Winter is coming and that means our lips are going to need a little extra attention. For dry lips, I exfoliate with a thin layer of honey and sugar before I go to bed. Follow with Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask and I wake up with soft, smooth lips.
  • If you have problems with acne, which I do occasionally, you can apply raw honey to the affected area and cover it with a bandaid. Leave it overnight and just rinse in the morning. Enzymes in the honey will draw out fluid, drying it out.
  • honey1Winter also brings dry hair for some. You can mix raw honey with some olive oil or coconut oil and wrap your hair up overnight. This will help to add moisture to your hair.
  • For beautiful glowing skin, this trick has been awesome for me. I have to skip applying it to my nose because my nose is an over-achiever in the department of making oil so I just miss my nose. Mix one part raw honey and two parts aloe vera gel. Apply this on your face before you go to bed.
  • You can use honey for scars too! Just apply a thin layer of raw, organic honey and leave it on the scar overnight.
  • Do you have blackheads? Mix some honey and lemon juice and apply it to the affected area.

The reason why these are part of my nighttime self-care is that nighttime is when we work on repairing and rejuvenating our skin. Our skin needs to be nourished and nighttime is when we should address our skin issues, like antiaging and acne.IMG_5805

Be sure that you are purchasing raw honey to receive the full benefits. Raw honey contains the beneficial compounds associated with the healing and health benefits associated with this organic food. Other benefits of raw honey are that it boosts your energy levels, helps you fall asleep faster, cut and burn treatment, treat fever blisters, soothes acid reflux, aids in digestion, boosts your immune system, hangovers, and sinus issues to name just a few.

So let’s thank the bees for hooking us up and get all of the benefits of honey that we can.

 

Have You Heard Of Smudging?

smudgingHave you heard of smudging? It is becoming more popular as of late but Native Americans and indigenous people have burned sage for centuries as a part of a spiritual ritual to cleanse a person or space of negative energy, and to promote healing and wisdom. It has been used since Roman times to treat digestive issues, memory problems, and sore throats. The name sage comes from the Latin word “salvia”. It means “to feel healthy”.

The practice of “smudging” has become more popular in other cultures as well. Recently at the makeshift memorial of Nipsey Hustle, a young lady burned sage to rid the area of any negative energy.

It is said that sage “metaphysically un-clings the things that cling to us that are no longer needed–spiritually, mentally, and physically…almost the way a sponge does.” The medical benefits have not officially been well- studied.

Sage comes in different varieties. Most healers and herbalist use white sage. The white sage is used for purifying and protection. There are others like lavender sage, black sage, smudging3common sage, and blue sage, which is used for cleansing and healing. They all have their own unique qualities.

You can harvest sage yourself or buy it in bundles at a health food store, farmer’s market, or on the internet of course. Just make sure whether you grow it or purchase it, it was harvested sustainably and responsibly.

How do you burn sage? 

You light the end of the bundle and let the smoke waft into the air. If you are cleansing a room, you walk around the space with it. You can also just place it in a shell to catch ashes as it burns and just let it sit in the room.

smudging1Sage is a flavonoid–plant compound that has medicinal properties; lavender is in the same family. Some of these compounds appear to improve brain health and guard against diseases like Alzheimer’s. In some studies, sage helped against depression and anxiety, digestive problems and soothing upset stomachs. It is calming to the gut and mind in the same way that lavender is.

Be careful burning the sage because although there are no studies on the risk, it is just like burning incense and that has shown to give some people allergies or lung issues with prolonged burning. Burning for a short period of time should not cause any issues but if you have asthma or lung issues, I would consult a physician and get their opinion.

If you are worried about burning the sage, you can always try essential oils as ansmudging2 alternative.

Have you tried smudging before? Do you do it as a regular practice? I would love to hear about your experience and how you feel about the practice.

Health Minute: Celery

celery3

When my babies were smaller, I used to love making “ants on a log” …that was their celery4favorite snack. “Ants on a log” is easy to make and is a tasty and healthy snack. All you need is celery, peanut butter, and raisins. BOOM! They didn’t even know how healthy that was..hehehehehe

Now that they are older, unless celery is in a recipe, I do not even purchase it very often…not until recently when I was refreshed on its benefits and how it can change your body.

They say that celery is made up of mostly water and holds no nutritional value. This iscelery2 not true! Celery provides us with a few health benefits.

Now, celery is made up of 95% water, that’s true but it is a vegetable that is very high in fiber,  which aids in digestion and promotes regular movement (we all need that!). When you eat it in combination with whole foods that are high in fat and protein (hello peanut butter, hummus), it is said to help you lose and maintain weight because it helps to keep you feeling fuller longer…..hello!

Celery has phytonutrients, which have anti-inflammatory properties. I usually looked to turmeric for this but that is a bonus. Phytonutrients are good for your liver function as well.  It’s also packed with essential vitamins and minerals including folate, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C.

celeryIf it is gonna benefit you like this, why not reintroduce it into your diet, I am! I actually wanna try it with hummus…I have never tried that because I can’t get past the look and the fact that I am a mom who nursed all of her children (baby poop)…but I am going to give it a go and see what happens.

Don’t forget that because it is made up of mostly water, it is a good source for hydration. We have to drink lots of water, especially during the summer. Staying hydrated is going to give us energy, keep our skin looking good, rids the body of toxins, and keep us from passing out in this heat because of dehydration.

So give celery another try….Here are some other benefits….

  • Lowers inflammation
  • reduces high cholesterolcelery1
  • treats high blood pressure
  • fights infection
  • cures bloating and improve digestion
  • reduces the risk of UTIs
  • boosts your immune system
  • improves your mood
  • fights cramps
  • reduces blood sugar
  • improves eye health
  • boosts energy and brain health

let’s go!!

Health/Beauty Break….Apple Cider Vinegar

acv2I am sure that most people have heard of all the wonderful things that apple cider vinegar can do for your body and hair. It has been labeled a “miracle” natural remedy for things like reducing blood pressure and blood sugars, weight loss, warding off cancer, a great clay mask for persons with oily skin and adding shine to your hair when used as a rinse and many more….. Not all of these have been proven or supported by science as of yet but many people swear by their results. I have to admit that I have used it and I was impressed by my results.

Now I am not about to tell you that it is a bad idea to use ACV. I am still consuming it to this day, but I am going to say that too much of anything is gonna cause some issues eventually. Consuming too much ACV can lead to some adverse effects…..these to name a few…

  • acv4Stomach issues– If you have ulcers, inflammation, or a sensitive stomach, ACV may aggravate them. Drinking too much of it can also cause erosion to happen to your stomach lining, not to mention cramping and some frequent not-so-pleasant visits to the bathroom
  • Tooth Decay–The vinegar is acidic so too much of it will cause erosion that will weaken your enamel and lead to tooth decay.
  • Temporary weight loss–We have all seen the ads and interviews where celebrities have claimed to have lost weight drinking ACV, but we have to know that it is not a magic pill..or drink. Drinking ACV alone can reduce water weight but we all know that losing water weight is temporary, especially us women. All it takes is a cycle and that burning drink will be all for naught. IF you use ACV as a dressing though, it can be a part of a healthy effort to maintain your weight.
  • Lower your potassium– this drink can cause your potassium levels to drop. This can be bad for people who are on diuretic medications for their blood pressure.acv3 Low potassium can cause problems for you like severe leg cramps or stomach cramps, tingling or numbness to name a few.
  • Appetite issues- There are people out there that try to use ACV as an appetite suppressant but I talked to my nutritionist and she says it can backfire on you and cause excessive hunger because you are not taking in calories.

acv1It is never a good idea for us to starve ourselves. There are so many fad diets and weight loss methods that may work for one person but not for you. Find a healthy way to lose weight that will not cause you to lose teeth or limbs. I am trying to use the old food pyramid and see what that and some daily exercise is gonna so for me. I am happy that I get to talk to people about these things to pass them on. You never know who needs the information that you have learned today!

No I will say this….ACV does do wonders for detoxing your scalp and adding shine to your hair. Use it as a rinse before you shampoo so that you don’t go outside smelling like you have hygiene issues…I’m just saying..

Being Yourself Changes Everything

SelfloveshipsWhether it is a friendship, relationship, or situationship, we should always strive to be ourselves no matter what. There are people that no matter what we do, we feel like “ourselves” goes right out the window when we are in their presence. We go into these “ships” with everything we have…impressing them, drinking and searching for everything we have in common, second-guessing ourselves…and we are shocked if we are rejected.

selfloveships3Meeting new people can be so much fun and exciting, but it can also bring out our fears and vulnerabilities. I mean think about it; we are basically putting ourselves on the buffet table…and they are more than likely going to judge us. When we choose to go on that lunch date, or to that club, or event with said person, we are so excited that we sometimes interrupt our reasonable thinking around this person. We “get to know” a lot of people and sort out who is going to serve good to our lives and finally, we think that THIS person comes close to someone who may add to our life.

We cannot forget that we are trying to ADD this person to our lives. That means we have to know a little something about ourselves. Our likes and dislikes, our boundaries, and how we need and want to be loved are important when we are choosing a person to be in our lives. When we meet people, we should be doing it from a place of self-love so that we are our authentic selves and we don’t have to risk making a bad choice because we were not who we really are in the first place.  Keep these things in mind….

  1. You are hoping that this person can add to you, not just impress you. No one should selfloveships1be trying to impress the other. It is not a job interview, after all. Be yourself and don’t embellish. They are going to remember what you said and eventually you will have to cash that check that you wrote.
  2. Remember your values, then see if they match. You don’t need to do everything together. I believe that you should at least have similar core values, they generally stay the same. Our interests are gonna change as we grow. Have more than a surface conversation and find out what he/she believes in. What will they fight for? What issues are close to their heart? Shared values make for better conversations and bring you together when times get tough.
  3. DO not perform! When we meet people, we sometimes give them a filtered version of who we really are. We are afraid that they may think we are boring, weird, or even stupid. We really do want people in our lives that “get” us, truth be told. That means that we have to actually BE us to weed out those that can’t love the real us. It is good to find out early that this person cannot love the real you. Save yourself a whole lot of heartache and pain later on. Real people fall in love with real people.
  4. selfloveships4Both of you should be having fun. Who is great and making people comfortable? Relaxed? Laugh and have fun? (Hands raised). In doing all of that you cannot forget that you have to have fun too! Everyone has a role to play in our lives. Fall back a little and see if you are being asked questions, listened to, or engaged in conversation on the same or similar level of effort that you are putting in. Is that going well for you? You find out early and quick if this person is someone you can spent any length of time with and actually enjoy it.
  5. It should be easy. Relationships…friendships…situationships do not need to constantly be “worked on”. If you have to, I bet that is not a good one. We all have ups and downs, misunderstandings, but ultimately if you don’t like that person’s company..if you cannot rely on that person….you are wasting time. The best “ships” are fairly easy. If its hard when nothing hard is happening, what is going to happen when it gets hard? If you’re around this person and it is uncomfortable, combative, awkward, and pressure-filled, you feel bad about yourself, or the other person is trying to control you, find the door and exit stage left!

When we are meeting new people to add to our lives, we need to do it from a place of selfloveships2self-love. We have to know that we are worthy of being cared for just the way we are. It is not just about being loved….it is about being you and loving someone else. Coming from this place will cause the person to experience nothing but the real you showing kindness, self-respect, and vulnerability. If they reject you, it just means that is not your “person” and you can walk away knowing that you were being your authentic self and they were not a good fit. You do not want to find that out after you have invested more of yourself than you should have. You deserve to be surrounded by amazing people, be you and you will find them!