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The Health Benefits of Vitamin K12

Jan 12, 2012 at 4:20 PM Chime in now

Vitamin K12

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SWEEETSPOT.CA/SWEETFIT

We all know that calcium and vitamin D can improve our bone health. But did you know that a nutrient called Vitamin K2 can strengthen bones, promote whiter, stronger teeth and also potentially ward off everything from wrinkles to diabetes?

Canadian naturopathic expert Dr. Kate Rhéaume-Bleue, author of the new book Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life tells us more about the super-nutrient that has remained under wraps for the past 70 years.

What is Vitamin K2?
Vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin that directs calcium exactly where we want it - into bones and teeth and away from arteries where calcium can accumulate and cause harm. It’s a key nutrient to fight osteoporosis and heart disease as well as potentially making the body less susceptible to wrinkles, varicose veins and diabetes.

Why should we make Vitamin K2 part of our diet?
Vitamin K2 has been overlooked for decades because the scientific community confused it with another form of vitamin K (K1) whose main role is blood clotting. Research shows that the majority of adults are deficient in Vitamin K2, vastly increasing our risk of heart disease and osteoporosis.

Why haven’t we heard anything about Vitamin K2 until now?
Industrialization changed our dietary patterns from consuming natural foods to eating processed foods which made it challenging to get Vitamin K2 into our diets; when we removed animals from the pasture and confined them to grain feeding, K2 was almost eliminated from the food supply.

What are five foods rich in Vitamin K2?
Vitamin K2 is very high in some unusual foods like natto (a Japanese fermented soybean food) and goose liver pâté. More easily accessible sources include Dutch Gouda cheese, Brie cheese, egg yolks and butter, although the Vitamin K2 content of these last two varies depending on the amount of green grass the hen and cow have in their diet. Natto, however, has the highest amount by far.

Is there a recipe that you can recommend that’s high in Vitamin K2?

Natto Fried Rice

Ingredients
1 packet natto, thawed
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 cups cooked white or brown rice
2 tbsp chopped scallions
Salt and pepper to taste
Soy sauce to taste

Directions
1. Stir the natto for 1 minute. In a bowl, combine natto with eggs and mix well.
2. Heat stir-fry pan over medium-high heat and add vegetable oil. Coat pan and then drain and reserve excess oil. Add sesame oil. Add the egg and natto. Sauté, stirring frequently, until egg is fully cooked and set.
3. Remove the natto mixture and set aside. Return the reserved vegetable oil to the pan, along with the cooked rice. Sauté rice. Add scallions to the rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Season to taste. Serves 1 to 2 people.

Before adding supplements to your daily regimen, check with your doctor to ensure that Vitamin K2 is right for you.

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