A healthy heart is one of the most important factors in health and longevity. A healthy and strong heart gives you the energy, vitality and blood flow to important organs and muscles to enjoy life and be able to move. A weakend heart restricts your ability to enjoy life and participate in activities that are too strenuous. Thankfully there are a few vitamins that are crucial in helping your heart stay healthy as well as to prevent blood clots that could lead to a variety of other cardiovascular attacks or issues.
Most vitamins and minerals are overlooked far too often and oddly enough it seems that most supplements on store shelves are formulated improperly or contain an imbalance of nutrition that could even worsen problems further that you may be trying to fix with supplements. It’s important to have a good organic whole food based diet that provides a good base, a solid foundation of nutrition that you can build on. Sometimes though when you are deficient in specific vitamin or mineral groups it may be smart to supplement.
Blood clots, stroke, heart attacks and cardiovascular disease is no exception. If you have a good organic diet you can improve your chances of preventing any of these from happening, but you need to make sure you are eating the right foods with the right nutrients. K-vitamins play a crucial role in the prevention of blood clots, stroke and heart attack, but before you go out and buy a vitamin K supplement please continue reading.
A study from the Netherlands really proves this quite well. The researchers wanted to know how vitamin K2 effected heart and other cardiovascular related diseases. They found that calcification (excess calcium hardens and creates a blocking restriction of the arteries) of the arteries was the best predictor of heart disease. Out of the three groups of people, those in the highest third of vitamin K2 intakes were 52 percent less likely to develop severe calcification of the arteries, 41 percent less likely to develop heart disease, and 57 percent less likely to die from it.
All K-vitamins are not created equal, not even close. First things first, you have vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2. Vitamin K3 I would avoid all together because you’re dealing with other potential issues. Vitamin K1 and K2 are the crucial vitamins for heart, blood and cardiovascular health.
K1 is mainly responsible for reducing and preventing blood clots, but k-2 helps also. They both have anti-coagulation effects on the blood by activating coagulation factors. Simply put, vitamin K1 and K2 help to reduce blood clots by reducing coagulation of the blood. When the blood becomes to coagulated blood clots can occur.
K2 plays another role also. Vitamin K2 plays a role in removing calcium from areas of the body that it shouldn’t be. When you have a sufficient amount of this vitamin in your body it activates certain proteins (dependent on K2) that act as a calcium carrier. This vitamin then acts to move calcium where it needs to be and remove calcium from where it shouldn’t be. For example, your arteries can hold too much calcium which restricts blood flow to the heart and causes the heart to have to pump harder to circulate blood throughout the body making it work harder. When enough K2 is in your body it will begin to decalcify (remove calcium) from the arteries and move it to where it is more needed.
Most people do not know that you can actually have excess calcium in your body, and many people do. Bone spurs, kidney stones, clogged arteries with excess calcium and other conditions are signs of excess calcium and not enough vitamin K2 and other minerals like magnesium and phosphorus potentially.
So you need more vitamin K1 and K2 in your diet, how can you include more in your everyday food choices? Leafy greens are a rich source of vitamin K2. Fermented foods such as Saurkraut, kim-chi and other fermented foods are also a rich source of vitamin K2. Organic free range butter and meat are also rich sources of vitamin K2.
Kale, leafy greens and many other vegetables are great sources of vitamin K1 and K2. By simply eating more fermented foods, leafy green vegetables and if you eat animal products butter and meat are great sources of these K vitamins needed for removing blood clots and preventing heart attack or stroke.
Vitamin D also plays an important role in working with K2 in order to work effectively. If you take vitamin D orally you really need to make sure your vitamin K2 levels are up to par. You can get more vitamin D simply by spending more time in the sun, soaking it in without any sunscreen on so that you can fully soak up the vitamin D without inhibiting it with dangerous sunscreen chemicals.
Get more K1, K2 and vitamin D for good measure and go for more walks to keep your heart and entire cardiovascular system healthy!
P.S. If you do supplement with K2 (paired with consistent sunshine for vitamin D) I recommend this vitamin k2 supplement.