What Are Your Vitamins Doing For You?

“Loaded with vitamins and minerals” is a popular catch phrase in seemingly every healthy food or supplement choice these days, it seems, but what exactly are you putting in your body, and why? Understanding why it’s important to fill in certain dietary gaps with a supplement is one of many aspects to achieving better overall health.

Of course, sometimes it seems easier with some vitamins than others. For example, we all know vitamin C is good for the immune system, and therefore we try to boost our consumption of it with plenty of fruits and veggies or, in case of emergency, we might load up on a vitamin C supplement to try to chase off a common cold or flu. What if we had that kind of basic, no-brainer response to more of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are just as important?

That’s the aim of our blog this week: To highlight some of the more important vitamins that can be obtained through regular supplementation. Today, we’ll start off with the underrated, under-consumed powerhouse mineral magnesium.

The USDA claims that only 32 percent of the American population meets the daily requirements for magnesium, and this could be one of many telltale signs behind American obesity rates — magnesium is required for ALL cellular energy (ATP) production, and a lack of it is directly related to a lack of energy, and we all know how tough it is to work out when you can’t bring yourself to get off the couch. Moreover, proper magnesium consumption is shown to reduce risk of stroke and heart attack, while shortening the length and severity of migraine and PMS symptoms. To these ends, magnesium is readily available in NATURE’S FUEL, which is almost completely bioavailable and is one of the most potent daily multivitamins available.

Another important role magnesium plays is in the sleep cycle — simply put, enough of it helps aid sleep while a deficiency hinders it. Stress is often a noted cause of sleep deficiency, and this is partially due to the hormonal response caused by lack of magnesium; when stress hormone levels are elevated, the body’s magnesium and calcium stores are depleted, causing a lack of physical energy but also mental restlessness.  This is why many sleep-aid supplements, like 1-XPM, rely on magnesium as part of their blends to aid recovery and growth hormone production as well.

Magnesium can mostly be found in leafy greens, as it’s abundant in chlorophyll, but is also available in spices, nuts, coffee, cocoa and tea, and taken as food, is almost impossible to over-consume. A good magnesium supplement can go a long way!

 

DHA

naturesEFAWe’ll spare you the long scientific name, but DHA is commonly found in essential fatty acids, particularly fish oils and some fruits and nuts. Perhaps known best for its anti-inflammatory properties, DHA-rich EFA products (like NATURE’S EFAs) are directed at preventing bloating and excess body fat retention. But it has other valuable benefits, too.

Some research suggests that DHA deficiency is linked to ADHD, cystic fibrosis, phenylketonuria and myriad mental imbalances; most of these can be explained by the brain’s dependency on DHA for not only childhood development, but adult maintenance. Found abundantly in fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, DHA’s role in the body seems to be largely beneficial — a decrease in it is linked with the proliferation of Alzheimer’s, and some studies back EFA-rich foods as prevention against hypertension, arthritis and even some cancers. (Source)

VITAMIN K2

One underrated facet of maintaining good health is caring for your bones — honestly, when was the last time you mindfully took a supplement or ate any kind of food with your skeleton as the motivation? Yet bone density is an important part of longevity and health, and can also help prevent injuries and promote the support of more more skeletal muscle.

K2′s largest claim to fame to date is its strong correlation to fighting off osteoporosis. Originally, a calcium deficiency was thought to be the main culprit, and indeed it does play a role in brittle bones, but in cases where there was actually calcium build-up (calcification) around the heart but not the arteries, osteoporosis was still present despite a heavy calcium content in the body. Newer research has shown that this is because of Vitamin K2 deficiency. In one Japanese research example, a particular region of the country that did not eat large amounts of the K2-rich soybean food natto was found to have significantly more broken hip cases.

The relatively rare occurrence of K2 in foods makes it somewhat difficult to get into one’s diet regularly, though. It is found most in natto, which is actually fermented soybeans, but also shows up in other curdled or fermented food protein-rich foods, like cottage cheese. More easily, of course, it can be found in NATURE’S GREENS.

Bolster Your Diet With Zinc, Magnesium

Of the essential minerals we need in our diet, perhaps few are as overlooked as zinc and magnesium. This is a crime — not only do they provide huge support to the bones, muscle growth and the immune system, but each plays an important role in regulating blood pressure and growth hormone regulation and production. Many NUTRISHOP products will help bolster this deficiency, but really, foods rich in these two minerals should also be a part of your diet plans.

The easiest (and tastiest) way to do so is by getting it through your food — and there are a few prime sources you can turn to to do it.

Shellfish are one of the best sources of both minerals there is, oysters in particular. Just 3 ounces of this food (and you can cook it, too, instead of dealing with them raw) provides enough zinc for a 2,000-calorie diet — for 10 days — and a substantial chunk of the RDA of magnesium, too. Crab, scallops and mussels are also prime sources of both minerals.

Not into seafood? Not a problem — nuts, seeds and legumes help provide magnesium and zinc, too. Pumpkin seeds are the best source, followed by sesame seeds; Brazil nuts and cashews lead the way for the nut family. And soybeans, while they should be in enjoyed in moderation because of their pro-estrogen profile, are also a fine source for both zinc and magnesium. An app of edamame, followed by some sushi, is actually quite the muscle-building meal!

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