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!

 

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.