Those milk ‘stache advertisements made calcium very popular, and vitamin C is ever-present in our health lingo. But how familiar are you with these lesser-known nutrients that are just as vital to your health?
Read on to spruce up your health vocabulary—and then your health itself!
Are you overlooking these important nutrients?
Iodine. Iodine supports the health of many organs in the body, and when it’s taken in milligram quantities, it’s found in nearly every tissue. Hallelujah Diet Research Director Dr. Michael Donaldson explains why you need iodine: “The thyroid cannot function properly without an adequate supply of iodine. Iodine is necessary for optimal function of the breasts, ovaries, endometrium and prostate. Iodine balances estrogen levels, thus supporting ovary health. Sufficient iodine is needed for a stable, rhythmic heart beat. Iodine attaches to insulin receptors and improves glucose metabolism, which is good news for people with diabetes. Iodine is essential for the development of the central nervous system. Women need a good supply before becoming pregnant.”
Vitamin K2. You can find Vitamin K2 in natto, a Japanese fermented soy food, and in much smaller amounts in some animal foods and fermented vegetables. So what are the benefits of Vitamin K2? Hallelujah Diet Research Director Dr. Donaldson recently released a report, “Vitamin K: The missing link to prostate health,” in the journal Medical Hypotheses, underscoring Vitamin K2 as a direct contributor to the health of the prostate, as opposed to something that simply alleviates symptoms. This is following a study by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition which concluded that an increase in the amount of Vitamin K2 intake can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 35%. Beyond that, Vitamin K2 is also associated with healthier, stronger bones and brain performance, while decreasing the chances of heart disease and even cancer. Better yet? Vitamin K2 promotes a smooth, radiant complexion. In fact, there are several studies that focus on the youthfully resilient skin of the Japanese, as they consume a lot of soups made with natto.
Get Your Vitamin K2 HERE.
(Note: Do not confuse Vitamin K2 with Vitamin K1. Vitamin K2 is much more bioavailable, and some scientists even think they should be considered as two separate vitamins altogether!)
We admit you’ve probably heard of the following nutrients, but we thought we’d share a few facts you might not know…
Magnesium. A whopping 80% of Americans are said to be deficient in magnesium. You’ve probably heard of magnesium from time to time, but most people actually get too much calcium and not enough magnesium—which can cause muscle spasms and even a heart attack. Magnesium plays a huge role in nerve and muscle function, energy production and digestion of the macronutrients: carbs, proteins and fats. To get your dose of magnesium, stock up on dark leafy greens such as spinach, swiss chard and kale as well as certain types of seeds like squash and pumpkin.
Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is essential for nerve health, brain function, metabolizing homocysteine (an amino acid that’s a building block of protein) and energy production. Dr. Donaldson was the first ever to test Vitamin B12 on vegans, as they are at high risk for a B12 deficiency. This is because plant foods, including marine-based foods such as seaweed nor barleygreens, do not contain much B12. But research studies have shown that even non-vegans, especially as we age, are low in vitamin B12. Because natural foods do not provide sufficient levels of Vitamin B12, supplementation is the best and easiest way to get your body what it needs.
Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 plays a huge role in helping your nerve and brain cells communicate efficiently with one another. This allows for optimal functioning in many ways, including the proper metabolism of protein and fats. It’s also especially critical for maintaining the immune system in older adults. So what happens when you don’t get enough Vitamin B6? Not only can B6 help with premenstrual syndrome, memory loss and even depression, a deficiency is also linked to ADHD, diabetes, kidney stones and lung cancer. Insufficient B6 can also cause nerve damage in your feet and hands. Many people who don’t take enough Vitamin B6 experience cracked lips, mental fog, insomnia and dermatitis. Women using oral contraceptives especially are low in Vitamin B6 and folate.
Color. We know, color isn’t exactly a nutrient, but did you know the colors in your favorite fruits and vegetables are actually phytonutrients? If your dinner plate is mainly brown or white, there’s a very good chance you’re not getting the healthy array of nutrients you can find in vivid, rainbow-colored foods. Carotenoids are usually what make foods yellow, orange and red. Turmeric is a bright yellow spice. Chlorophyll gives you lots of green. As a simple rule of thumb, the more color the better.
While our brains have been wired to ensure we get our Vitamin C, calcium and other well-known nutrients, it’s important we pay attention to those with less “press.” They are, after all, an integral part of the spectrum of nutrients that exist to keep you in great health. The good news is you’re already getting many of these nutrients as long as you’re eating plenty of vegetables in their raw form; however, due to a variety of factors, including the way modern food is grown and your changing needs as you age, you need to make sure you compensate for any deficiencies. Start filling in your nutritional blank spaces today.
If you have any questions at all about how to incorporate the right amount of these nutrients into your diet and via supplementation, please reach out to us at 800-915-9355 (USA), 704-481-1700 (Local & Intl.) or 866-478-2224 (CANADA).