If you haven’t ready, please check out Part 1 here.
Realize I say this with the utmost compassion:
Don’t be another ignorant fool who fails on a vegan or raw vegan diet, because you didn’t get regular bloodwork and supplement where necessary.
I know there are many health gurus saying you don’t need supplements.
And, in an ideal world…
No, you wouldn’t need them.
But if your eyes are open, and you are awake, then you know we are living in CRAZY times.
We sometimes need to do something unnatural (e.g. supplement) to return to homeostasis and natural balance.
I’m not an advocate of supplementing unnecessarily, because a supplement is hot or trendy.
But I am an advocate of supplementing based on the hard facts of blood work, urinalysis, and hair tests.
In this post, I discuss two more nutrients to watch on a vegan or raw vegan diet.
Vitamin K is sub-divided into K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 is found in plant foods like dark leafy greens, and vitamin K2 is found in animal products and fermented foods.
Why We Need K2
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient (one that we do not make ourselves) and fat soluble vitamin for blood clotting, calcium metabolism, and heart health. It protects against tooth decay and chronic disease.
Studies have shown that vitamin K2 supplementation–but not K1–reduced vessel calcification (mineral deposits that build up inside blood vessels and may stick to fatty deposits and plaques) and improved bone and heart health.
Together with vitamins A and D, vitamin K2 plays an important role in dental health.
Anecdotally, fruitarians and raw vegans have horrible teeth, so vitamin K2 would be a good supplement to include, so all the healthy sugar in fruit doesn’t rot your teeth!
In addition, vitamin K2 may protect against cancer.
Research shows that K2 is the real powerhouse for all these health benefits. Unfortunately, K2 a tougher one to get in the diet.
We get more K1 in our diets, and K1 can be converted by the body into K2. But, the process is pretty inefficient.
Moreover, commonly prescribed antibiotics can wipe out vitamin K2 produced by gut bacteria in the large intestine.
If you’re eating animal products, you are most likely consuming lots of antibiotics, because these are given to livestock to keep them “healthy.”
So if you’re eating high fat dairy, eggs, liver, and organ meats to get your K2, you may be killing off your K2 gut bacteria team with the antibiotics in those same foods.
Learn more here.
My current supplementation strategy
Raw vegan sources of vitamin K2 include fermented foods like sauerkraut, natto, and miso.
A couple times a week, I eat a few tablespoons of raw sauerkraut.
I use chickpea miso a couple times a week. It’s harder to find, but usually available at Whole Foods.
In addition, I take 2 capsules of this daily. And, don’t even worry, they are veggie caps, yay!
This is coenzyme Q10. It’s a compound produced by the body to generate energy in the cells. Unfortunately, CoQ10 production decreases with age.
Studies have linked low levels of CoQ10 to heart disease, brain disorders, diabetes, and cancer.
In addition to aging, other causes of CoQ10 deficiency include:
- nutritional deficiencies, like vitamin B6
- genetic defects
- other diseases
- oxidative stress
- statin drugs (used to lower cholesterol)
Why We Need CoQ10
CoQ10 is stored in the mitochondria of cells, which are in charge of making energy. It is involved in making adenosine triphospate (ATP), which is used to carry out all of the body’s functions.
CoQ10 also functions as an antioxidant and protects against oxidative damage caused by free radicals. We need antioxidants to balance out free radicals, and keep the body an oxygen-rich environment.
Some the benefits of CoQ10 include:
- improving heart health
- helping with fertility
- keeping the skin young
- reducing headaches
- improving exercise performance
- improving insulin sensitivity and regulating blood sugar
- preventing cancer
- keeping the brain healthy and protecting against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- protecting the lungs
My current supplementation strategy
I take 2 of these daily.
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