Supplements. This much-talked-about health fad has caught on in a big way, with people choosing to rely more and more on them for wellness and nutrition. In fact, the supplement industry worldwide is estimated at a whopping 13 billion dollars a year!
Are All Supplements Good For You?
There’s no denying that they have their upside. But the clue is in the name – supplements are not a substitute for a healthy, nutritious diet. They are simply meant to ‘supplement’ it. Jyotsna John, Chennai-based functional fitness trainer and nutritionist says, “Adding supplements to a bad diet is like adding bricks to a house made of cards. There is also evidence to suggest that naturally occurring vitamins and minerals are more bio-available, meaning they’re easier for your body to access and use. So it is better to eat your spinach than take an iron supplement, for example.”
What You Need to Remember About Supplements
What you need to keep in mind about supplements is that they’re not pharmaceutical. So they don’t need to go through beta testing to prove that they are beneficial in any way. They only need to prove that they don’t do any harm. Of course, you need calcium supplements as you grow older, or if your bones are prone to degeneration. And you need the extra dose of folic acid if you’re pregnant. But to eat supplements mindlessly without any rationale is not the way to get nutrients into your diet.
You Can’t Overdo Fish Oil Supplements
Are there any exceptions to this rule? John informs, “The one supplement that can be considered an exception to this rule, is fish oil. Unless your culture demands that you eat fish all three meals of the day, chances are, your diet is high in omega 6 (found in vegetable oils) and low on omega 3 (found in fish oil). Omega 3 fatty acids can help with joint mobility, heart health and even cognitive function. The research is still ongoing, but positive. Don’t overdose on it though. Stick to the recommended dose, and be regular about it. You might just find your workout gets easier and your joints complain less.”
So what is the bottom line? Eat right, make sure your vital vitamins, minerals and nutrients come from a balanced diet. Only if you are deficient in some aspect, should you consult your doctor and turn to supplements to boost that area.
Vitamin K Could Help You Fight COVID
Vitamin K has a slew of benefits for health, and it is particularly important in these times. Our body will be healthy only if our plate is healthy; now is the time to catch up on your health and include the necessary vitamins in your food. These supplements are important
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that consists of many compounds, the most important of which are vitamin K1 and K2. Vitamin K2 is thought to be preferable to vitamin K1 since it stays in the bloodstream longer. Some types of vitamin K2 can persist in the blood for days, whereas vitamin K1 can stay in the blood for several hours. Vitamin K’s primary function is to activate proteins involved in blood clotting, bone health and heart health. Vitamin K, which can be found in greens like spinach and kale as well as meats like chicken and pork, might play a role in decreasing the development and progression of severe Covid-19.
Plants contain phylloquinone, also known as vitamin K1. When people consume it, microorganisms in the large intestine convert it to vitamin K2, which is stored in the body. It’s absorbed in the small intestine and stored in the liver and fatty tissue. Without vitamin K, the body cannot manufacture prothrombin, a clotting agent required for blood clotting and bone metabolism. This lack is especially common in infants and people who have a malabsorption condition, such as short-bowel syndrome, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, or ulcerative colitis. Vitamin K injections are given to newborns to protect them from potentially fatal skull haemorrhage.
The recommended vitamin K consumption varies depending on age and gender. Women over the age of 19 should consume 90 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D per day, while men should get 120 mcg.
There appears to be a link between vitamin K deficiency and osteoporosis. Vitamin K, according to several studies, helps to maintain strong bones, enhances bone density, and reduces the incidence of fractures.
Increased vitamin K levels in the blood have been linked to better episodic memory in older persons. Healthy people over the age of 70 with the greatest blood levels of vitamin K1 had the best verbal episodic memory ability.
Thrombosis, or the creation of clots in blood arteries, is a common COVID-19 symptom that leads to poor outcomes. However, the vitamin universe might hold the key to finding a solution. Vitamin K has a number of functions that might help to avoid thrombosis and the degeneration of elastic fibres in the heart and lungs. Vitamin K is also important for preventing comorbid disorders that are known to be a risk factor responsible for aggravating COVID.
Vitamin K might lower blood pressure by inhibiting mineralisation, or the build-up of minerals in the arteries. This allows the heart to freely pump blood throughout the body. Mineralisation is a major risk factor for heart disease, and develops naturally as people age. Vitamin K supplementation has also been demonstrated to reduce the risk of stroke.
Food Sources For Vitamin K
There are the foods that will give you vitamin K:
- Green leafy vegetables such as collard and turnip greens, kale, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and lettuces
- Oil from soybeans and canola
- Soybean or canola oil-based salad dressings
- Meal replacement smoothies for added nutrients
- Natto (Japanese fermented soybeans)
Ensure that you have an adequate intake of these foods to keep your levels of vitamin K up. Meat, cheese, and eggs have smaller amounts of Vitamin K. You can also use herbs.