Thursday, February 26, 2015

Benefits of Vitamin K

In recent months I've experienced brain fatigue and difficulty concentrating. In the process of addressing this problem, we discovered that I had a vitamin K deficiency. 

As I did some research, I learned that in fact most people are deficient in vitamin K. Dr. Mercola even calls it "the forgotten vitamin." Yet it's very important for good health, and vitamin K deficiency can lead to all kinds of health problems, including brain challenges.

The good news is that it's easy to optimize your vitamin K levels and receive many health benefits in the process. 

Vitamin K is divided in two types - 
K1 - This is found in green, leafy vegetables, and is responsible for healthy blood clotting.
K2 - This is made by the bacteria in your gut, and has many health benefits (see below). 
Note: There is also a K3 which is a synthetic vitamin that should be avoided because of possible toxicity. 

Vitamin K2 controls where calcium goes in your body. Thus it
- protects your heart by keeping calcium out of arteries and preventing hardening of the arteries
- helps prevent osteoporosis by directing calcium into the bones where it's needed.

K2 also has been shown 
- to prevent certain kinds of cancer
- to improve insulin sensitivity (the opposite of insulin resistance, which leads to many health problems)
- to help prevent dementia and Alzheimer's.

You can get some K2 from food sources, but you can also supplement with it. 

"The best vitamin K2 sources are grass-fed meats, dairy (raw organic certified) and a fermented soy product called natto. Adults need between 90-120 micrograms a day, but taking more won't hurt you (unlike with many other vitamins) as no toxicity has been noted in ingesting surplus vitamin K2. Deficiencies, on the other hand, can be caused by antibiotic use, damage to the large intestine or certain medications and can have serious repercussions including osteoporoses and coronary heart disease. As numerous as natural dietary Vitamin K2 sources are, taking supplements to boost our bone and cardio health or to help prevent cancer or dementia is certainly worth considering."

It's important to remember that vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. So in order for your body to absorb it effectively, you need to eat some fat along with it. (This could be any healthy fat, such as butter, coconut oil, etc.)

"Who should not take vit K?
If you are pregnant or nursing, you should avoid vitamin K2 supplementation higher than the RDA (65 mcg) unless specifically recommended and monitored by your physician. If you have experienced stroke, cardiac arrest, or are prone to blood clotting, you should not take vitamin K2 without first consulting your physician."

Dr. Mercola also notes that vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 work together to improve bone health. So it's important to make sure you have optimum levels of both these essential vitamins. 

I already eat grass-fed beef and raw dairy products, but I've started supplementing with vitamin K and I look forward to reaping it's benefits. 

Additional articles about vitamin K:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Healthier Phraseology

In the old movie The Music Man, the mayor's daughter continually says the craziest things, and the mayor continually reprimands her by saying, "Watch your phraseology!" 

I always laugh when I think of those movie characters. However, the sad reality is that a lot of our common "phraseology" today is very unhealthy. 

Consider these often-used phrases:

"killer headache"
"scared to death"
"you're killing me"
"that kid is a monster"
"that breaks my heart"

I could list many more examples like this, phrases that have infiltrated our culture and become commonplace. When we say them, we know that we don't mean these things literally. But look at how negative these sayings are...all about death, destruction, and evil. 

I've said or heard these kinds of phrases for years. But recently God has shown me how harmful they are. Our thoughts and words have power - far beyond what we usually attribute to them. Are we speaking life over ourselves and others? Or death? 

It's not hard to come up with creative alternatives for the above examples:

"this headache is very unpleasant" (but it's not killing you, don't give it that power)
"I'm fighting the emotion of fear right now" (but I will overcome by God's love that casts out fear)
"you're something special" (even when you act unbecomingly, you are still loved by God)
"that kid is misbehaving" (but he/she is a wonderful creation of God)
"that is a very sad situation" (my heart is continually joyful in Jesus, though my emotions are moved with compassion for that situation)

Words help us express thoughts and emotions. But words also affect our bodies and our health - either positively or negatively. Let's use words that promote health even in the midst of challenges, and words that are good even in bad situations

I want to encourage you this week to pay attention to the words that automatically come out of your mouth. Listen to what other people are saying too. Don't let the devil put words of death in your mouth, even if they are commonly spoken. Watch your phraseology and help others as well. Together let's reclaim this precious gift of words that bring LIFE.

"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." -Proverbs 18:21

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wonderful Coconut Oil

This time of year there are a lot of bugs going around. People are getting sick with colds, the flu, pneumonia, even seasonal allergies. So today I thought I'd repost some information about coconut oil that I've shared before, as well as adding some new thoughts about it. It's a wonderful multi-purpose tool for better health.

For years I used only canola oil and olive oil in cooking and on my food. Some people told me about many dangers of canola oil, while others held that it was healthy for the body. Considering all of the information about the possible dangers of canola oil, I decided it was wiser to remove this oil completely from my diet. 

At the same time, I discovered many health experts recommending coconut oil. This oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral, good for the immune system, and more. It's great for cooking, since it's the only oil stable enough for high cooking temperatures. It is also excellent for baking and for putting on food instead of margarine (which is toxic).

If you want to read more about coconut oil, Dr. Mercola has tons of great information on his website. He also has a list of requirements for the kind of coconut oil you should buy (not all coconut oil is created equal). Here are his recommendations:

• Certified organic by USDA standards
• No refining
• No chemicals added (including hexane)
• No bleaching
• No deodorization
• No hydrogenation
• Made from traditional coconut palms only, no hybrid or genetically modified (GMO) varieties
• Made from fresh coconuts, not the dried "copra" used in cheap oils
• Made without heat processing

If you're still using canola, vegetable, or other possibly harmful oils, I hope you'll check out this info and switch to coconut oil. (I do still use olive oil, but only for putting on my food, not for cooking.) 

In addition to eating coconut oil, you can use it on the skin for many different things.

*If you have a cold, flu, sinus infection, etc. you can rub coconut oil on the affected area, such as throat, sinuses, lungs, etc. It should help fight the infection, clear congestion, etc. 
*You can rub coconut oil on your feet where all your nerve endings are, for general immune boosting. 
*You can use coconut oil during your lymphatic massage, which is a very therapeutic technique. 
*You can use coconut oil daily as a healthy lotion.
*You can use coconut oil on bug bites or bee stings.

Well, I hope this information is helpful and that if you haven't already, you'll begin to benefit from this wonderful tool of coconut oil. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Prayer Needs

Some days it feels like the needs of my friends and family are so great. Every day brings more sad news or more requests for prayer. But I know that God is not overwhelmed by these things. He is MORE than able to care for each person and meet every need with His abundant love and grace. 

Today I want to share a few prayer requests, not in despair, but in believing that God hears our prayers and that He delights to work on behalf of those who love Him. Thank you for praying and believing with me! 

*Please pray for my dear friends S & N, and their mom K. K's mother passed away yesterday at the age of 96. For many years she has been the main help and support for her daughter and grandsons - doing their shopping, handling their mail, praying for and encouraging them, etc. So they are not only grieving the loss of her sweet presence, they are also now without the practical help she provided for them in their very limited EI lives. 
Please pray for divine comfort for their hearts at this time, that God's presence would be sweeter than ever before. Also that God will take care of all their needs somehow. He is able!

*My friend C has had housing challenges for a while. Now in the apartment above where she lives and works from home they just put in new carpeting. She can't sleep in her place because of the toxins seeping in from above. 
Please pray for a better housing situation and for special protection over her health from all the chemicals right now.

*A sweet young friend, A, has been undergoing rigorous lyme treatment for months. It's a miserable process, as well as very expensive.
Please pray for much grace and strength to sustain her through this process, for encouragement and hope, and for provision of her needs.

*My friend D has been sick for many years, still without a clear diagnosis or knowing what has made him ill. He's tried so many things without success.
Please pray for him to have clear direction of what kind of doctor/treatments to pursue, and for grace to be at peace in this long, painful trial. 

*After months of treatment at a special clinic, T and his mom S are headed home. His lab work looks better, but the chronic pain is still persisting.
Please pray for relief from the pain and wisdom for T's parents to know what to do for him next. And for encouragement for them all in this discouraging journey. 

I also want to add a special praise, that last weekend my friend's sister-in-law gave birth to a beautiful baby girl! She had a difficult pregnancy early on and almost lost the baby. We all prayed earnestly for this precious life, and it thrilled my heart to see pictures of her, such a beautiful gift! And what an encouraging reminder for us that God does hear and answer our prayers.

Whatever your need is today, may you look to Jesus and know that He sees, He cares, and He will take care of you.

Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you (Psalm 55:22a). 

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him (Nahum 1:6)