7 Reasons You’re Still Hungry—Even After You Just Ate!

7 Reasons You’re Still Hungry—Even After You Just Ate!

Do you sometimes feel ravenous, even though you just polished off a tasty lunch, a full dinner, or a midnight snack? Some food ingredients can trick our bodies into not recognizing when we’re full, causing “rebound hunger” that can add inches to our waistlines. But these simple tweaks can help quiet your cravings:

You Drink Too Much Soda

Sodas, iced teas, and other sweetened beverages are our biggest source of high-fructose corn syrup—accounting for about two-thirds of our annual intake. New research from the University of California at San Francisco indicates that fructose can trick our brains into craving more food, even when we’re full. It works by impeding the body’s ability to use leptin, the “satiation hormone” that tells us when we’ve had enough to eat.

Your Dinner Came Out of a Can

Many canned foods are high in the chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, which the Food and Drug Administration recently stated was a chemical “of some concern.” Exposure to BPA can cause abnormal surges in leptin that, according to Harvard University researchers, leads to food cravings and obesity.

Your Breakfast Wasn’t Big Enough

After following 6,764 healthy people for almost 4 years, researchers found that those who ate just 300 calories for breakfast gained almost twice as much weight as those who ate 500 calories or more for breakfast. The reason: Eating a big breakfast makes for smaller rises in blood sugar and insulin throughout the day, meaning fewer sudden food cravings.

You Skipped the Salad

Most Americans don’t eat enough leafy greens, which are rich in the essential B-vitamin folate and help protect against depression, fatigue, and weight gain. In one study, dieters with the highest levels of folate in their bodies lost 8.5 times as much weight as those with the lowest levels. Leafy greens are also high in vitamin K, another insulin-regulating nutrient that helps quash cravings. Best sources: Romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens, radicchio.

You Don’t Stop for Tea Time

 According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people who drank one cup of black tea after eating high-carb foods decreased their blood-sugar levels by 10 percent for 2 and a half hours after the meal, which means they stayed full longer and had fewer food cravings. Researchers credit the polyphenolic compounds in black tea for suppressing rebound hunger.

You’re Not Staying Fluid

Dehydration often mimics the feeling of hunger. If you’ve just eaten and still feel hungry, drink a glass of water before eating more, and see if your desires don’t diminish.

You’re Bored

Researchers at Flinders University in Australia found that visual distractions can help curb cravings. To test yourself, envision a huge, sizzling steak. If you’re truly hungry, the steak will seem appealing. But if that doesn’t seem tempting, chances are you’re in need of a distraction, not another meal.

Adapted from The New American Diet

Chopped Salad

Serving Size  : 4    

2      heads       Romaine Lettuce, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1      can           garbanzo beans

1      pound      cooked turkey breast, cut into 1/2″ pieces

4      oz            mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1                      cucumber, peeled and diced

4                      Roma tomatoes, diced

                        Dressing:

3      tbs           vinegar (balsamic, red wine, apple cider vinegar, etc.)

1/2  cup                       extra virgin olive oil

1/2  tsp each    sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2      tbs            Dijon mustard

Combine all salad ingredients and toss with salad dressing.

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Avoid Ruining Your Testosterone Levels

Avoid Ruining Your Testosterone Levels

Testosterone is a hugely important hormone for not only men but women also. We all need it to survive and it is especially important as we age when our levels start to steadily decline if we do not look after ourselves. Besides being a potent aphrodisiac testosterone provides us with a stable emotional state, controlling our mood and allowing us to avoid becoming a “grumpy old man” with age. For Women testosterone helps with decision making and providing general enjoyment of life. Along with this Testosterone holds several other benefits for both men and women:

  • Keeps bones solid and dense
  • Allows you to maintain a good level of muscle mass
  • Fends off excess fat gain
  • Keep disease at bay
  • Provide vigor and mental sharpness

So basically it is pretty good stuff and something we want to keep at a solid level throughout our lives. And while testosterone declines naturally with age there are a few things that can be taken into account……

Avoid Plastic

There is no need to become militant about getting plastic out of your life but every little helps. Studies are showing that the estrogenic compounds leached by fluids and food from plastic packaging can have a pretty detrimental effect on human health.

“We must have identified just the tip of the iceberg in that plastic packaging may be a major source of xenohormone* contamination of many other edibles. Our findings provide an insight into the potential exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals due to unexpected sources of contamination.”

Now Estrogen itself is not bad and it is needed to compliment testosterone. The problem comes with the man made Xenohormones which have a testosterone lowering and oestrogen triggering effect. This is bad news for both men and women…. Try avoiding some of the following common sources of Xenohormones:

  • § Microwaving or cooking food in plastic containers
  • § Drinking water from plastic
  • § Plastic cups and plates at home
  • § Plastic spoons for cooking food

Remember every little helps in this department so the more you can do to remove plastic from your life the better.

Processed Soy

The oestrogenic effects of processed Soy and well documented, mice have shown to have significantly lower testosterone levels when eating soy products.

These results suggest that in adult males, genistein induces the typical estrogenic effects in doses comparable to those present in soy-based diets.

Sadly processed soy products are documented as a health food, which they certainly are not. Avoid things like Soy Milk, Tofu and pretty much any food with Soy in the ingredients (it seems to be sneaking it into health/protein bars very often now). This point is especially applicable to female readers who are more to likely to be using some sort of Soy products as they are more promoted and aimed toward the female market. Soy is fine used in its traditional context, so things like tempeh, edamame, miso and other natural soy products. These may even hold benefits……

Drink

I am not talking about drinking water but rather alcohol, especially binge drinking. We can get away with this to some extent when younger but with age alcohols detrimental effects when over consumed catch up with the human body. Drinking large amounts also has a detrimental effect on the immune system and can de-regulate our sleep cycles and ability to manage body composition (causing stored fat and muscle loss). Studies show that exercising before drinking alcoholic beverages has one of the biggest testosterone blunting effects:

“Physical stress immediately before alcohol administration prolonged the depressant effect of alcohol on testosterone secretion.”

Take into account these subjects drank quite a bit of alcohol. So do not worry about having a glass of wine or a beer with your post dinner run or gym session…… Also let’s not forget that some alcohol has been shown to have an anti-oestrogenic effect to some extent, this is thanks to the polyphenols resveratrol found mainly in red wine. So again this one comes down to a fine balance in that drinking moderately probably will not affect testosterone and it is binge drinking that we should worry about…..

Over Exercising and Stress

Over exercising is a real deal breaker in terms of hormones. Running your body down in any sense is likely to have a detrimental effect on not only testosterone but your body’s immune function and mood. Essentially exercise is stress on the body, it is something we do to break ourselves down to get stronger and fitter. We need to rest after bouts of exercise especially “High Intensity” stuff which is everywhere now. As the old adage goes “Muscles are made in the kitchen, not the gym” so make sure you get plenty of rest between exercise sessions. If you are exhibiting any signs of overtraining:

  • Feeling “Blah” or down
  • Persistent muscle soreness, taking longer to recover
  • Irritability
  • Reduced heart rate upon waking
  • Constant infections, reduced immunity

Then it is probably a good idea to back off training of any kind for a week. Maybe limiting things to some Long Walks, Yard Work, Stretching and maybe Light Cycling. Once you start to feel better and vigor returns, your body is ready to go again. Remember to eat well during times of stress as calorie restriction (which often happens without noticing when stressed) acts as another stressor on your body.

Everything in Moderation including Moderation itself….

These 4 points should serves as an indication of things that have a detrimental effect on not only testosterone but probably our general endocrine system having a knock on effect on many hormones. Like everything do not get too caught up. Use this post as a guide as to what to avoid to maintain a healthy hormonal system. Unfortunately many of these things are hard to avoid in today’s world especially plastics. So just keep things in mind and do the best you can…..

Written by Chris of Zen to Fitness.

Four Healthy Alternatives To Chicken…..

Four Healthy Alternatives To Chicken…..

Eating chicken has become synonymous with eating healthy, and it’s a common assumption that chicken and fish make up the gamut of healthy protein.  But there are several alternatives to chicken that offer flavors all their own.  If you don’t have a local hunter buddy, these foods may take some work to locate, but they’re worth checking out if you want to expand your menu into other healthy protein sources.

Rabbit

Because of its extremely low saturated fat content, rabbit is one of the foods of choice for heart disease patients and the elderly.  The meat is 100% white meat, and you can expect rabbit to have a very mild flavor, with very little “gamey” taste.  Recipes for rabbit commonly call for extended cooking times, and the FDA suggests cooking rabbit in the oven for not less than one hour, and making certain the meat achieves a temperature of at least 160-degrees Fahrenheit.  Owing to its exceptionally low fat content, may recipes for rabbit recommend stewing.

A single 3-ounce serving of rabbit contributes just 3-grams of fat, and so contains just 147 calories.  However, at 28-grams of protein, that 3-ounce serving is a muscle building powerhouse.  Rabbit is also a great source of iron, with a single serving contributing about 23% of your recommended daily allowance of iron.

Venison

Derived from another North American game animal, venison is the meat harvested from deer, and was a favorite of Native American Indian tribes.  A 3-ounce serving of venison contains even less fat than rabbit, contributing just 2-grams of fat to your diet.  Like rabbit, the low fat content demands careful attention in the kitchen.  Recipes commonly include slow cooking methods to tenderize the meat, with the crockpot being a favored kitchen tool.  Slow grilling can provide very tasty meals if careful attention is given by the chef.  Venison goes well with red wine, making for an antioxidant laden meal.

Owing to the extremely low fat content, a 3-ounce serving of venison has even fewer calories than a serving of rabbit, coming in at a mere 128-calories, less than 2-grams of saturated fat, and 26-grams of protein.

Bison

Estimates suggest that at one time, there were as many as 30 million prairie bison in the United States.  Commercial hunting pressure in the early 1900’s, encouraged by the U.S. government, decimated those numbers, but restoration efforts over the last 30-years have allowed these massive creatures to return to their home range.  Interest in bison for commercial purposes has increased again, and from a nutritional standpoint, it’s understandable.  A 3-ounce serving of bison contains about 5-grams of fat, and has just 145-calories.

Although bison has a low fat content, it’s slightly higher in fat than venison or rabbit, which makes cooking bison slightly more forgiving to the chef.  Still, most recipes call for slow cooking, and careful attention is required on the grill.  Recipes for bison burgers often recommend mixing bison with fats to keep them juicy, but this should be avoided when possible, as it adds unnecessary calories.  When cooking steaks, most experts recommend the use of tongs, rather than a fork, for turning bison on the grill.  Using tongs avoids puncturing the steak, which would release the all-important tenderizing juices.

Quail

Once favored by kings, quail are the closest cousins to chicken on this list, and one of the easiest to locate.  Quail are very small birds, so a single quail breast is typically between 3-5 ounces in size, making it the perfect serving size.  It’s not uncommon to see quail, usually in 2-breast packages, in the frozen meat section at your local grocer.

In sharp contrast to the recommended slow cooking methods for the other protein sources on this list, most experts recommend cooking quail on intermediate heat for no more than 10-minutes.  The short cooking time will seal in flavors and keep the meat from drying out.  If you want to try your hand at roasting, try sealing the meat first by searing quickly over high heat and then popping them in the roaster.

Expect your efforts to reward you with a meat that is slightly more gamey than you’ll expect from chicken, but also sweeter, and in contrast to chicken, well complimented by red wine.  Nutritionally, quail is lower in fat than chicken, with a single serving providing just 2-grams, and no saturated fat.  Although lower than the other foods on this list, quail still has more protein than a single serving of chicken (13-grams), and the low fat content means a single serving of quail has a mere 69-calories.

As you can see from this short list, the options for someone who wants to eat healthy, yet still enjoys steaks and burgers, extends well beyond chicken or fish.  Cooking these foods requires some adjustment on the part of the chef, as the low fat content makes it very easy to overcook these foods.  But with a little effort, there are many options that can provide meat lovers with alternatives that even exceed the health benefits of chicken.

About the author: Greg Hayes is the author of Live Fit Blog, a blog about healthy living, weight loss, and what it means to be a father, friend, husband, and much more.
 
Here is a simple recipe using bison…looking for more recipes check out my cookbooks 

Salsa Chili

   2      tablespoons   extra virgin olive oil
   1      clove         garlic minced
   3      oz            ground turkey, buffalo or chicken
     1/4  teaspoon      cumin
     1/4  teaspoon      chili powder
     1/2  cup           chunky salsa
   1 1/2  teaspoon      coarsely chopped roasted cashews
     1/4  cup           red kidney beans, drained and rinsed1. Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce to low and add garlic
and turkey.  Cook about 3 minutes, stirring constantly to break up meat
until meat is no longer pink.2. Add cumin, chili powder, salsa and cashews, stirring to combine.  Cook 1
minute.  Stir in beans and continue cooking 1 more minute or until heated
through.

The Truth Behind 5 Food Myths

 

The Truth Behind 5 Food Myths

It goes like this: A client looking to lead a healthier life hires me, a culinary-trained nutritionist, to help him improve his diet. I analyze what he’s been eating, factor in his food preferences, and together we create an eating plan that fits his lifestyle and goals. Soon after, he’s noticeably leaner and more energetic—a happy customer. 

That’s when the trouble starts. After a coworker asks him for the details of his diet, my client suddenly finds himself in a heated interrogation. Doesn’t your nutritionist know red meat causes cancer? And that potatoes cause diabetes? Shouldn’t he tell you to eat less salt, to prevent high blood pressure?

The upshot: Myths just made my job a lot harder. That’s because nutrition misinformation fools people into being confused and frustrated in their quest to eat healthily, even if they’re already achieving great results. Thankfully, you’re about to be enlightened by science.

Here are five food fallacies you can forget about for good.

Myth #1: “High protein intake is harmful to your kidneys.”

The origin: Back in 1983, researchers first discovered that eating more protein increases your “glomerular filtration rate,” or GFR. Think of GFR as the amount of blood your kidneys are filtering per minute. From this finding, many scientists made the leap that a higher GFR places your kidneys under greater stress.

What science really shows: Nearly 2 decades ago, Dutch researchers found that while a protein-rich meal did boost GFR, it didn’t have an adverse effect on overall kidney function. In fact, there’s zero published research showing that downing hefty amounts of protein—specifically, up to 1.27 grams per pound of body weight a day—damages healthy kidneys.

The bottom line: As a rule of thumb, shoot to eat your target body weight in grams of protein daily. For example, if you’re a chubby 200 pounds and want to be a lean 180, then have 180 grams of protein a day. Likewise if you’re a skinny 150 pounds but want to be a muscular 180.

Myth #2: “Sweet potatoes are better for you than white potatoes.”

The origin: Because most Americans eat the highly processed version of the white potato—for instance, french fries and potato chips—consumption of this root vegetable has been linked to obesity and an increased diabetes risk.

Meanwhile, sweet potatoes, which are typically eaten whole, have been celebrated for being rich in nutrients and also having a lower glycemic index than their white brethren.

What science really shows: White potatoes and sweet potatoes have complementary nutritional differences; one isn’t necessarily better than the other. For instance, sweet potatoes have more fiber and vitamin A, but white potatoes are higher in essential minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and potassium. As for the glycemic index, sweet potatoes are lower on the scale, but baked white potatoes typically aren’t eaten without cheese, sour cream, or butter. These toppings all contain fat, which lowers the glycemic index of a meal.

The bottom line: The form in which you consume a potato—for instance, a whole baked potato versus a processed potato that’s used to make chips—is more important than the type of spud.

Myth #3: “Red meat causes cancer.”

The origin: In a 1986 study, Japanese researchers discovered cancer developing in rats that were fed “heterocyclic amines,” compounds that are generated from overcooking meat under high heat. And since then, some studies of large populations have suggested a potential link between meat and cancer.

What science really shows: No study has ever found a direct cause-and-effect relationship between red-meat consumption and cancer. As for the population studies, they’re far from conclusive. That’s because they rely on broad surveys of people’s eating habits and health afflictions, and those numbers are simply crunched to find trends, not causes.

The bottom line: Don’t stop grilling. Meat lovers who are worried about the supposed risks of grilled meat don’t need to avoid burgers and steak; rather, they should just trim off the burned or overcooked sections of the meat before eating.

Myth #4: “High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is more fattening than regular sugar is.”

The origin: In a 1968 study, rats that were fed large amounts of fructose developed high levels of fat in their bloodstreams. Then, in 2002, University of California at Davis researchers published a well-publicized paper noting that Americans’ increasing consumption of fructose, including that in HFCS, paralleled our skyrocketing rates of obesity.

What science really shows: Both HFCS and sucrose—better known as table sugar—contain similar amounts of fructose. For instance, the two most commonly used types of HFCS are HFCS-42 and HFCS-55, which are 42 and 55 percent fructose, respectively. Sucrose is almost chemically identical, containing 50 percent fructose. This is why the University of California at Davis scientists determined fructose intakes from both HFCS and sucrose. The truth is, there’s no evidence to show any differences in these two types of sugar. Both will cause weight gain when consumed in excess.

The bottom line: HFCS and regular sugar are empty-calorie carbohydrates that should be consumed in limited amounts. How? By keeping soft drinks, sweetened fruit juices, and prepackaged desserts to a minimum.

Myth #5: “Salt causes high blood pressure and should be avoided.”

The origin: In the 1940s, a Duke University researcher named Walter Kempner, M.D., became famous for using salt restriction to treat people with high blood pressure. Later, studies confirmed that reducing salt could help reduce hypertension.

What science really shows: Large-scale scientific reviews have determined there’s no reason for people with normal blood pressure to restrict their sodium intake. Now, if you already have high blood pressure, you may be “salt sensitive.” As a result, reducing the amount of salt you eat could be helpful.

However, it’s been known for the past 20 years that people with high blood pressure who don’t want to lower their salt intake can simply consume more potassium-containing foods. Why? Because it’s really the balance of the two minerals that matters. In fact, Dutch researchers determined that a low potassium intake has the same impact on your blood pressure as high salt consumption does. And it turns out, the average guy consumes 3,100 milligrams (mg) of potassium a day—1,600 mg less than recommended.

The bottom line: Strive for a potassium-rich diet, which you can achieve by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and legumes. For instance, spinach, broccoli, bananas, white potatoes, and most types of beans each contain more than 400 mg potassium per serving.

From Men’s Health article

Summer Potato Salad

   6 small  or medium potatoes boiled until soft and drained. Let cool 10-15 minutes while assembling the rest of your ingredients, then cut in quarters or thick slices.
   5  scallions sliced
   1   garlic scape sliced thin
   1  Handful snap peas- tops and veins removed, then sliced
   2 ears corn cut off the cob (raw)
   1  bunch parsley chopped
   Sea Salt/pepper to taste
  Dressing:
  2 Tbs prepared mustard
  1/4  cup extra virgin olive oil
  1 large handful basil or cilantro chopped fine

1. Combine all ingredients above in a large bowl. *Don’t stir the potatoes
too much or they will fall apart.

2. Whisk together dressing ingredients
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The Best Foods For Every Part of Your Body

The Best Foods For Every Part of Your Body

Today’s busy, high-stress lifestyles often lead to a diet of convenience—one that’s lacking in vitamins and minerals, and overloaded with sugar, fat, and calories. The result: a body that never realizes its full potential. But you can fight back with food; start today and you’ll hit your peak from head to toe.
 

Skin

Carrots are loaded with vitamin A, which helps balance the pH of your skin’s surface, making it just acidic enough to fend off harmful bacteria. Plus National Cancer Institute researchers found that people with the highest intakes of carotenoids—pigments that occur naturally in carrots—were six times less likely to develop skin cancer than those with the lower intakes.

Hair

Low iron levels can lead to baldness, according to a Cleveland Clinic review. Researchers looked at 11 studies on the relationship between iron intake and hair loss, and concluded that treating iron deficiency may help regrow hair. Feed your mane iron-packed foods such as lean red meat, turkey, egg yolks, dried beans, dried fruit, whole grains.

Eyes

The National Institute of Health found that people who consume the most lutein—a carotenoid found in plant foods—are 43 percent less likely to develop macular degeneration. Lutein helps filter blue light, preventing it from damaging retinal tissues. Eat two servings of greens each day. Consider one serving to be ½ cup of cooked spinach, broccoli, or brussels sprouts.

Heart

Cornell University researchers found that eating one Red Delicious apple a day can block LDL oxidation, resulting in an 8 percent drop in levels. Bonus: Apples (and their skins) contain soluble fiber, the kind that scrubs artery walls clean. Cut one up and mix it into your oatmeal, another top source.

Muscles

To maximize muscle growth, you need the right raw materials. Beef is the perfect muscle food because it’s packed with protein, zinc, and creatine. Down a hefty portion of each with this taco-salad recipe from Men’s Health cover model Gregg Avedon:
 
Brown ½ pound of extra-lean ground beef over medium heat. As it cooks, sprinkle it with black pepper, 2 teaspoons of chili powder, and a couple dashes of Tabasco. Place the cooked beef, one diced tomato, and 2 tablespoons of low-fat cheese over a bed of lettuce, and top with salsa.

Bones

Bones are a lot like reclusive coworkers; until one snaps, you aren’t likely to give them much thought. Drink two 8-ounce glasses of vitamin D-fortified low-fat milk every day. This provides your body with 600 milligrams (mg) of calcium and 5 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D, the perfect combination of nutrients to build break-resistant bones. Plus, in a 20-year study, U.K. researchers determined that men who drink more than 6 ounces of milk a day have half the risk of stroke of men who drink less.

Belly

By snacking on the right foods—those that are low in sugar but rich in protein—you’ll keep your metabolic furnace stoked, and be less likely to binge between meals. Have one slice of hard or semihard cheese—for instance, Cheddar, Swiss, or provolone—two or three times a day. Cheese has 7 grams of protein per slice and contains no sugar. That means it doesn’t raise blood-sugar levels, so your body stays in fat-burning mode. Want an alternative? Opt for a cup of plain yogurt or a stick of beef jerky.

By Men’s Health

The two questions to ask before you indulge.

The two questions to ask before you indulge.

Food is both a comfort and a pleasure and to live a life that denies the ability to use food for those means is called a diet and it’s something that ultimately you’re likely to quit.

Dietary indulgences are a luxurious part of life and given we’re all effectively the best hunters this planet has ever seen, they’re easily obtainable and we can “catch” them anywhere.

While of course there’s no such thing as the eat whatever you want, whenever you want, as much as you want weight management plan, blindly cutting out the less healthy (but often yummy) stuff may well over time lead you to abandon your entire weight management strategy.

So the next time you’re considering an indulgence rather than blindly saying, “I’m not allowed”, or, “Whatever, tonight’s a write-off”, here are the two questions you might try to ask yourself:

1. Is it worth the calories?

To answer the question certainly knowing the calories is important. The fact is, some indulgences simply aren’t worth their calories and asking the question you’ll eliminate a fair percentage.

2. How much of it do I need to be happy?

By asking this question you’re avoiding the “write-off” situation where you throw caution to the wind, pay no attention, eat as much as your body wants, and then wind up feeling guilty about the amount you consumed.

A followup to this question is that if you’ve finished the amount you thought you needed to be happy and you’re still not, simply ask the question again and again until such time as you’re content.

Remember, there are many variables that go into these decisions and some days are worth more calories than others – birthdays, holidays, vacations to name just a few, so the answers to these questions vary day by day.

Ultimately life includes indulgences, and rather than try to blindly restrict them why not work on their thoughtful reduction.

Choose with your brain, not with your body.

By Yoni Freedhoff at Weighty Matters

Need help with your emotional eating, I can help.  Contact me at wendy@fitfoodcoach.com

Foods Rich in This Vitamin Reduce Your Diabetes Risk by 20%

Foods Rich in This Vitamin Reduce Your Diabetes Risk by 20%

With diabetes rates soaring in developed countries, it’s important to be aware of every lifestyle change you can make to reduce your risk.

While a healthy diet and exercise remain at the top of the list for diabetes prevention, simply making a point to include plenty of vitamin-K-rich foods in your diet could lower your diabetes risk by 20 percent.

Why It’s Important to Get Plenty of Vitamin K

Vitamin K is most well known for the important role it plays in blood clotting, but it does so much more than that …

  • Fight Cancer …

Studies have linked vitamin K2 with a nearly 30 percent reduction in your risk of cancer mortality and a 14 percent lowered risk of cancer altogether.

  • Improve Bone Density …

Vitamin K is one of the most important nutritional interventions for improving bone density. It serves as the biological “glue” that helps plug the calcium into your bone matrix.

Other studies have shown vitamin K to be equivalent to Fosamax-type osteoporosis drugs, with far fewer side effects.

  • Prevent Heart Disease …

Vitamin K helps to prevent hardening of your arteries, which is a common factor in coronary artery disease and heart failure. Research suggests that vitamin K may help to keep calcium out of artery linings and other body tissues, where it can be damaging.

  • Stave off Varicose Veins …

Inadequate levels of vitamin K may reduce the activity of the matrix GLA protein (MGP), which in turn has been identified as a key player in the development of varicosis, or varicose veins.

  • Lower Your Risk of Diabetes …

People with the highest intakes of vitamin K from their diet had a 20 percent lower risk of diabetes compared with those with the lowest intakes, according to the latest research from University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands..

How Much Vitamin K do You Need?

Many people are not getting the currently recommended intakes of vitamin K, which are likely already too low to begin with. In fact, according to What We Eat In America, only one in four Americans are meeting the recommended levels of dietary vitamin K.

Further, the Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily intake of 120 micrograms for men and 90 for women are based on levels that will ensure adequate blood coagulation. But vitamin K is important for more than just blood clotting; it impacts the health of your bones, arteries and immune system as well.

Vitamin K1, K2 and K3 … What’s the Difference?

There are three types of vitamin K:

  1. Vitamin K1, or phylloquinone, is found naturally in plants
  2. Vitamin K2, also called menaquinone, is made by the bacteria that line your gastrointestinal tract
  3. Vitamin K3, or menadione, is a synthetic form that is manmade, and which I do not recommend.

You should strive to include both vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 in your diet, as both are beneficial.

K1 is found in dark green leafy vegetables, and makes up about 90 percent of the vitamin K in a typical Western diet. Collard greens, spinach, salad greens, kale, bok choy, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are particularly good sources.

The best natural source of vitamin K2 is derived from an ancient Japanese food called Natto. Natto is made from fermented soybeans and significant amounts of vitamin K2 are produced during the fermentation process. You can find natto at some health food stores and Asian grocery stores.

It’s important to note that vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means that in order for your body to absorb it effectively, you need to eat some fat along with it.

by Dr. Mercoal

Here is a very simple and delicious greens recipe to add to your repertoire…

Kale with Apples & Mustard

 Tart apples, grainy mustard, cider vinegar, and a touch of brown
sugar add sweet-and-sour flavor to kale.

                        * 1 tablespoon oil, olive, extra virgin
                        * 1 1/2 pounds kale
                        * 2/3 cup(s) water
                        * 2 medium apple(s), Granny Smith
                        * 2 tablespoon vinegar, cider
                        * 4 teaspoon mustard, whole-grain
                        * 2 teaspoon sugar, brown
                        * 1 pinch salt

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add kale and cook, tossing
with two large spoons, until bright green, about 1 minute.

2. Add water, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.

3. Stir in apples; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is
tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.

4. Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, mustard, brown sugar and salt in a small bowl.

5. Add the mixture to the kale, increase heat to high and boil, uncovered,
until most of the liquid evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes.

Recipe Source: Eating Well

For more recipes that include greens, tap here.
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