Two “uncommon” nutrients essential to heart health and overall energy
(NaturalHealth365). There are two nutrients that many Americans are not getting nearly enough of that can help you to avoid serious heart health issues and poor overall energy. Can you guess what they are?
Vitamin B4 and K2 are vitamins that can help you keep calcium out of the “bad” places in the body, like your arteries, and help to supply the mitochondria, those important batteries that power up every cell in our body for optimal health and vitality.
Important heart health news: Where to find vitamin B4 and K2 in nature
Vitamin B4, also known as choline, adine, or carnitine is rare in food sources but critical to heart health. Vitamin B4 is found in uncommon food sources like Brewer’s yeast, which is the richest source of B4. Other foods containing this vitamin include green leafy vegetables, bee pollen, royal jelly, honey, propolis, aloe vera, kelp, cayenne pepper, and berries.
Vitamin K2 is even harder to get from food being that we don’t eat raw organ meats very often. It can be found in fermented vegetables, however, and that is the best place to get this very important vitamin if you are sensitive to gluten.
The best gluten-free plant-based sources for K2 are Natto, a fermented soy product virtually loaded with K2, as well as other fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, tempeh, and kombucha.
Crucial question to ask: Where is my calcium going?
One crucial way to tell how healthy your heart is to see if you have calcium going places in the body it shouldn’t be.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have kidney or gallstones?
- Do you have calcium deposits on your teeth – those unwanted little white spots?
- Do your joints, especially your knees ache?
You see, excess calcium – in the kidneys or gallstones – is not supposed to be there. Calcium in the muscles of the joints is not supposed to be there either – nor should it be clogging up the arteries of the heart. But calcium acts like a band-aid to any small micro-tears you might have and it tries to patch what it can.
This is why it is crucial that you get enough of two essential vitamins that are also two of the least known vitamins that we have available to us: vitamin B4 and K2.
Sweep calcium out of the “bad” places with this powerful vitamin
Vitamin K2 is such a powerful substance for bone health. In fact, women who take this nutrient while pregnant are more likely to have children with smooth, attractive, wide facial bone structure and such strong, straight teeth they never need braces.
Another interesting fact: women whose diets are deficient in K2 will end up having more wrinkles and having wrinkles sooner because without K2, the body sends calcium to all the wrong places in the body, including facial skin!
This is one reason, researchers now believe, that the porcelain-like, youthful skin of Japanese women stays that way so long. The traditional Japanese diet tends to be much healthier than the “standard American diet.” For example, as mentioned earlier, the Japanese eat a lot more Natto, which is rich in vitamin K2.
The way K2 works is to shuttle calcium to all the places the body really needs it and away from those areas of the body we don’t need it, like the heart, teeth, joints, and skin. One way K2 does this in the body is by improving artery tone and strength and through activation of K-dependent proteins that can help the body to optimize calcium use.
It’s important to know how hard it is to get K2 in a “normal” diet. That’s because K2 is richest in foods like organ meat and fermented foods. The problem is: most people in the Western world don’t eat this way.
In addition, some of the best plant-based sources of K2 are:
- Kale (cooked): 442% RDA
- Mustard Greens (cooked): 345% RDA
- Swiss Chard (raw): 332% RDA
- Collard Greens (cooked): 322% RDA
- Spinach (raw): 121% RDA
- Broccoli (cooked): 92% RDA
(values are based on a per serving basis).
Crucial for energy, the heart, the mitochondria, and the brain
Vitamin B4 helps supply the mitochondria with that crucial fuel it needs to run in top form: ATP. ATP supplies every single one of our actions in the body from stretching in the morning to chewing our food or (perhaps) running a marathon.
In fact, the body packs our organs with millions of mitochondria to power each one with energy to keep our body alive. B4 is also known as “adenine” and is the A in ATP (Adenosine-triphosphate).
The heart is a muscle, of course, and B4 helps give it the nutrients it needs to maintain its tone, snap, and health. One reason choline is so crucial for heart health is because without it, the muscles all over the body lose something called creatine phosphokinase, an enzyme vital for the proper functioning of the muscle.
Loss of this important enzyme spells death to muscle cells and, therefore, loss of that organ’s health more and more as time goes on. Choline is also crucial for superior brain functioning, as it is required for the methylation of DNA in the brain. It also lowers homocysteine levels, helping older adults to enjoy a clearer, quicker mind for longer and to prevent neurodegeneration.
Adult men need 550 mg of choline a day, while adult women need 425 mg.
The best plant-based sources of vitamin B4 are:
- Broccoli (1 cup cooked): 63 mg
- Brussels sprouts (1 cup cooked): 63 mg
- Lentils (1 cup cooked) 65 mg
- Chickpeas (1 cup cooked) 70 mg
Once again, it’s clear: the right nutrition has a wonderful effect on our health and overall wellbeing. Never overlook its importance.
Sources for this article include: