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10 Foods Rich in Vitamin K

Vitamin K

Vitamin-K-Foods

Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble compounds that play a key role in blood clot formation and in the prevention of excessive bleeding. It acts as a co-factor in the synthesis of clotting factors II, VII, IX and X. In addition, it is used to reverse the effects of blood thinning medications when too much is given or is used to treat bleeding that may be caused by certain medications such as salicylates and antibiotics. Also, Vitamin K helps in the prevention of heart disease and is a crucial part of other bodily processes. Vitamin K2 specifically, is taken by mouth as a treatment for osteoporosis and bone loss that is caused by steroids. It is also used to lower cholesterol levels in individuals undergoing dialysis. Thus, it is very important to consume foods that are high in Vitamin K on a daily basis.

 

The three types of Vitamin K are: a) Also called Phylloquinone, Vitamin K1 can be found naturally in plants, especially green vegetables. It goes directly to your liver and aids in maintenance of healthy blood clotting; b) Also called Menaquinone, Vitamin K2 is produced from the bacteria lining the gastrointestinal tract. Vitamin K2 then goes straight to the blood vessel walls, bones, and tissues other than the liver. Although there has not been an exact dosing established yet, it is generally recommended that adults should consume anywhere from 45 mcg to 185 mcg daily; c) Also called Menadione, Vitamin K3 is a synthetic form and is not generally recommended due to reports of toxicity occurring within infants.

 

Below are the top 10 food sources that have the highest levels in Vitamin K with their corresponding specified portion.

1. Kale

1 cup = 1062.10 mcg       1180% DRI/DV

Kale or borecole is a vegetable that is considered to be closer to wild cabbage. It has been regarded as one of the healthiest foods in the world and is popular for its high concentrations of Vitamin K. Additional vitamins that can be found at high concentrations in Kale include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Manganese, and many others.

2. Spinach

1 cup = 888.48 mcg          987% DRI/DV

Spinach belongs to the chenopod family, along with beets, chard and quinoa. It has also been known to            have anti-inflammatory properties, and can help protect you from oxidative-stress related problems,          cardiovascular problems, bone problems, and cancer. Spinach has significantly high levels of Vitamin K and other essential compounds including Manganese, Folate, Vitamin K, Magnesium, and many others.

3. Mustard Greens

1 cup = 829.78 mcg          922% DRI/DV

Along with Mustard Greens’ high Vitamin K levels, it also contains a high percentage of Vitamin             A, Vitamin C and copper. Moreover, there has been a strong connection with mustard greens and the prevention of cancer. This is attributed to the special nutrients they provide to our bodies’ detox, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory systems.

4. Collard Greens

1 cup = 772.54 mcg          858% DRI/DV

Aside from being an excellent source of Vitamin K, Collard greens contain significantly high levels of Vitamin A, manganese, Vitamin C, and other essential compounds. Like Mustard greens, Collard greens also play an important role in cancer prevention by acting on the body’s detox, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory systems.

5. Beet Greens

1 cup = 696.96 mcg          774% DRI/DV

Beet greens are an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. They are also an excellent source for Lutein, a carotenoid that is important for eye heath.

6. Swiss Chard

1 cup = 572.77 mcg          636% DRI/DV

Swiss Chard is not only one of the most famous vegetables in the Mediterranean, but it is also one of the most nutritious vegetables. It belongs to the chenopod family along with Spinach, beets, and quinoa. It is an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and many other essential compounds.

7. Turnip Greens

1 cup = 529.34 mcg          588% DRI/DV

Like all the other vegetables, Turnip Greens are a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and many other essential compounds. It also plays a role in cancer prevention by acting on the body’s detox, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory systems.

8. Parsley

1 cup = 498.56 mcg          554% DRI/DV

Aside from being an excellent source of Vitamin K, Parsley has been found to inhibit tumor formation in the lungs and can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens.

9. Broccoli

1 cup = 220.12 mcg          245% DRI/DV

Broccoli is known to be an excellent source of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Chromium, and many other essential compounds. It influences the development of cancer and its relationship to the three metabolic problems: chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and inadequate detoxification.

10. Brussels Sprouts

1 cup = 218.87 mcg          243% DRI/DV

Brussels Sprouts are known for their high levels of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and folate. It has also been shown to play a role in cancer prevention by acting on the body’s detox, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory systems.

 

What If I Don’t Get Enough Vitamin K?

Although a Vitamin K deficiency is rare, prolonged use of antibiotics can disrupt Vitamin K synthesis or can impair fat absorption. A deficiency in Vitamin K may result in the following:

  • Decreased Calcium in bones and Increased risk of getting Osteoporosis

This is because a Vitamin K deficiency is thought to cause impaired activation of bone matrix protein                  osteocalcin, and reduction of osteoblast function, thus resulting in impaired bone formation.

  • Bleeding and bruises

In general, vitamins and minerals are important components of our diet. They aid in keeping our bodies functioning and in helping prevent various kinds of deficiencies or illnesses. Vitamin K in particular, should not be disregarded in our diet and we should make it a practice to eat foods that are rich in it.

Check out our supplement page for more information on Vitamin K

To Buy Vitamin K as a supplement and make sure your getting your required Daily values, click here.

 

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-983-VITAMIN+K.aspx?activeIngredientId=983&activeIngredientName=VITAMIN+K&source=2&tabno=1

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-vitamin-k?page=2

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/03/24/vitamin-k-part-two.aspx

http://www.wellnessjournal.net/vitamin-k-phylloquinones/

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminK-HealthProfessional/#h3

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=112

 

What is Tryptophan?

So what is Tryptophan?

Also known as L-Tryptophan, is one of the 22 amino acids and is also the largest among them. It can be found in many plant and animal proteins. It is an “essential” amino acid; this means that the body can’t produce it on its own. Therefore, tryptophan should be acquired from our diet. We need Tryptophan in our body to help produce niacin and serotonin. Vitamin B3 or niacin helps the digestive system, skin, and nerves to function normally. It also plays an important role in the conversion of food to energy. Serotonin on the other hand, is the neurotransmitter responsible for maintaining mood, balance and producing healthy sleep. Therefore, a deficiency can lead to depression and other unfavourable health conditions. Trytophan can act as a nootropic, as it effectively alleviates anxiety and depression while enabling you to achieve a restorative sleep. It leaves you feeling fresh when you wake up.

How Do I Get It?

tryptophan

Food sources that are high in tryptophan include oats, walnuts, soybeans, eggs, and turkey. Tryptophan is fat-soluble and has a high degree of bioavailability. Deficiencies in tryptophan may be attributed from unhealthy eating habits and an unhealthy lifestyle; this leads to disturbances in mood and ability to fall asleep.

What are the Benefits that Tryptophan Provide?

Supplementation of tryptophan generally improves your sleeping patterns. This may be attributed to the release and synthesis of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter involved in maintaining healthy sleeping habits. Tryptophan maintains serotonin levels throughout the day and aids in the production and maintenance of melatonin levels at night. This allows you to relax and sleep better. Another benefit is that it has the ability to decrease appetite and reduce symptoms of anxiety (due to the release of serotonin). With low levels of tryptophan, you may be susceptible to depression and various anxiety disorders. Moreover, the niacin that tryptophan produces is used in the processing of fats and carbohydrates along with the production of several other neurotransmitters.

Uses & Effects of Tryptophan

Supplementation has been widely used as a treatment for symptoms of depression. People with depression have an imbalance of serotonin and other brain chemicals. But with added levels of tryptophan to your diet, it can significantly increase serotonin levels in the brain, thus improving symptoms of depression. On the other hand, tryptophan has also been prescribed for anxiety, sleep apnea, premenstrual syndrome, and many other problems.

How Does Tryptophan Work?

After absorbing tryptophan from food, our bodies convert it to 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), and then to serotonin, a hormone that transmits signals between nerve cells. It then causes blood vessels to narrow. As mentioned previously, changes in the serotonin levels in the brain can alter mood.

Dosing

Various conditions require different tryptophan dosages and dosage intervals. It would be best to consult your doctor before starting tryptophan supplementation. However, studies have shown that adults may take 8-12 grams of tryptophan per day, with divided doses three to four times daily. As for children, it would be better to consult your doctor for appropriate dosing.

 

What Other Medications Should I Take Note Of When Supplementing Tryptophan?

Tryptophan should definitely not be taken with the following medications, as it may interact with them and yield negative results:

  1. Anti-depressants (medications for depression) – Anti-depressants can also cause an increase in serotonin levels. When these two medications are taken together, it may pose a serious risk for serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome is a condition that is caused by excessive serotonin in the brain; symptoms include shivering, anxiety, and heart problems, to name a few. Examples of anti-depressants include citalopram, desvenlafaxine, fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), amitryptiline (Elavil), and many others.
  1. Monoamine oxidase inhibitor (medications for depression) – As mentioned previously, anti-depressants can also cause an increase in serotonin levels. When these two medications are taken together, the risks are similar to the ones mentioned above.  Examples of MAOIs include selegiline, tranylcypromine (Parnate), phenelzine (Nardil), and many others.
  1. Sedatives or Tranquilizers (CNS Depressants) – Similar to sedatives, tryptophan also causes sleepiness and drowsiness. When these two are taken together, it may cause too much sleepiness.  Examples of these sedatives include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and many others.
  1. Drugs that make you sleepy such as alcohol, muscle relaxants, and pain medication would increase Tryptophan’s sedative properties. Thus when taken with these sedative compounds, it would cause you excessive sleepiness.

 

Special Considerations

 Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any unusual or allergic reactions to these medicines or supplements. With regards to pregnant and nursing mothers, it is best to consult with your doctor and avoid tryptophan intake, as there aren’t adequate studies to determine its safety both to the mother and the child. Also, the presence of other medical problems may affect the use and effectiveness of this medicine. Make sure to contact your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Achlorhydria or malabsorption (digestion problems)- May cause breathing problems in patients with some kinds of digestion problems
  • Bladder Cancer- Tryptophan may increase the risk of bladder cancer
  • Cataracts- Tryptophan may cause cataracts
  • Diabetes Mellitus- Tryptophan may cause diabetes in people with a family history of diabetes
  • Eosinophilia- Tryptophan might make this white blood cell disorder even worse
  • Liver or Kidney disease- Tryptophan might make these conditions worse

Side Effects

There have been a number of adverse effects associated with tryptophan usage. This includes weight loss, dizziness, dry mouth, headache, nausea, and improper sexual behaviour. Other side effects are agitation, confusion, diarrhea, fever, overactive reflexes, poor coordination, restlessness, shivering, sweating, shaking, twitching, and vomiting.

Summary

Tryptophan promises to be a powerful supplement. It acts as a mood and sleep enhancer through the stimulation and release of serotonin levels in the brain. If you think that you are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety or have sleep disturbances, then you might want to consult your doctor before adding it to your diet. It is important to note that you are able to perform better, both physically and mentally, when you are well rested and in a good mood!

Considering supplementing on Tryptophan, click here to buy it from us.

Additionally, you can check out how other trackmystacker’s are stacking Tryptophan.

References:

Parker G, Brotchie H. Mood effects of the amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine: ‘Food for Thought’ III. Acta Psychiatr Scand

. 7th edition. Washington, DC. US Dept. of Health and Human Services and US Dept. of Agriculture: 2010.Dietary Guidelines for Americans – 2010

http://www.medicinenet.com/tryptophan-oral_capsule_tablet/index.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/tryptophan-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20064453

http://www.drugs.com/sfx/tryptophan-side-effects.html

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-326-l-tryptophan.aspx?activeingredientid=326&activeingredientname=l-tryptophan