Spring is here and together with the change it brings (change in climate, length of daylight, food availability), the body is challenges to adapt. Every season has different requirements on the body, but the transition from winter to spring is one of the most dramatic. Probably you are feeling it happen with yourself – spring fatigue, lack of strength, some people lose appetite, others have a strong urge to eat something without being able to define exactly what it is.
I remember three years ago, when every time May came I was feeling a strong urge to eat chocolate. No matter what I used to do nothing could satisfy it – besides chocolate. What is the reason behind this?
When seasons change the body needs to adapt. It needs different nutrients and sometimes the long winter and our unhealthy habits can exhaust the storage of micronutrients. We are way too focused on the ratio of macronutrients (fats, protein and carbs), but we rarely give it a thought if the food we eat contains the micronutrients we need.
As I wrote in one of my previous articles, the hunger we feel (the illogical hunger for something particular) is due to a deficit of some micronutrients. From an evolutionary perspective, this is something like an instinct – we instinctively know which food contains the micronutrient we need and our body is urging us to eat it.
Before I go ahead and share the most common deficits and the hunger for particular foods, I will emphasize on 4 reasons why nowadays, besides having an abundance of food, it seems we are eating enough, yet our body is actually starving.
1.Contemporary food has lack of nutrients
We eat a lot of food, but when it comes to its calorie content and not when it comes to its micronutrient density. Usually, it turns out that we eat too much, yet we starve our body. We eat our food by choice, led by pre – learned mental models and convictions and not because we rely on our instincts and what they cue us is good for our body. How often do you happen to eat the same food every single day because you’ve decided that you must or you just love it? Do you know that by doing this, especially when we talk about modern foods, we run out of the enzymes that are responsible for the digestion of these foods? This leads to gut issues, having allergies to the foods we eat on a daily basis, even though we do not have apparent symptoms of it, these allergies are digging in our body and causing a sequence of issues.
In the past food used to be with higher quality, it was richer in micronutrients and for 450 calories of food, people used to get more nutrients than we get for 450 of the food we eat today.
2.Contamporary foods contain anti-nutrients, that lock nutrients, as well as toxins that interfere with absorbing micronutrients
I’ve written a lot about grains and anti – nutrients:
Grains are the main food group most people eat. Thus, we are once again eating, yet starving our body. In short, grains can be considered a living organism – they have a seed that from an evolutionary perspective needs to survive, in order to guarantee the distribution of the plant. For this goal, evolution has built defensive mechanisms, which protect the germ, which in turns gives life to the next generation. Such are the lectins and phytic acid ( plant’s storage form of phosphorous). Grains and legumes have toxins that interfere with digestion. They hamper the breakdown of proteins into amino acids.
Thus, it once again turns out that we eat, yet the body starves.
3.The water we drink has a bad mineral content
This is true not just about water but also about the food we eat. Processing foods disturbs the chemical balance of food. The way most plants are grown – the soil that is devoid of minerals; the food that animals are fed with and so forth, decreases the nutrient content of food.
4.Contemporary way of cooking removes most of the valuable nutrients in foods
We have become a society that worships hurry. If something can be done in a rush, then it is right. If it takes more time to be cooked, then it is a waste of time.
Traditions and all recipes that have reached us are not by coincidence. Recipes carry a lot of wisdom and every ingredient, time for cooking is not a coincidence. In the past people used to prepare bone stocks that used to be cooked for hours – the reason is that when you cook with water, sauces or dressings from fat, it keeps the water-soluble and fat- soluble nutrients, which enrich the meal. Besides that not all nutrients in food are bio-available and continue cooking makes them bio-available. In the past meals used to contain a roader specter of food products and for example people used to eat every part of the animal, and not just the muscle tissue as we do today. Bone stocks with all the parts from the animal – cartilage, joints, ligaments enriched the meal with minerals that sustained the health of our own joints.
Today we try to get done with everything as fast as possible. We cook at really high temperatures that kill everything active and turn our food in something that the body can’t recognize – tangled molecules, trans fats and so forth, that are just harming us.
It once again turns out that we eat, yet we starve.
Most diseases that we have are due to the lack of micronutrients – the forced starvation of the body.
This week I will start a sequence of articles with different micronutrients – minerals and vitamins that the body needs in order to be healthy. I will talk about the balance between different mineral and vitamins, which foods contain them and how their deficit can lead to diseases and the symptoms we experience. I am sure that you will recognize your condition in some of the micronutrient deficits and I hope that this article will help you discover the reason for the way you feel. The body is created for health and strength. Disease and fatigue are not something to put up with, but just a symptom that we are not doing something right. Let’s find out what!
Vitamin A, D and K2
I have a strong love for these vitamins. For me they are more like hormones, than just vitamins. They play such an important role in the body and they are responsible for so many processes. Their deficit is the reason for a lot of diseases. It won’t be too much if I say that most diseases are due to their deficit.
It is not important to just supplement with them, but also to absorb them. We emphasize way too much on getting synthetic vitamins and we think that we are doing enough for our health. In reality it is more important to get these micronutrients from food. Vitamins are nothing if we do not take them with the whole complex of nutrients, required for their absorption. This is completely true for vitamin A, D and K2, which are fat- soluble – i.e. you need fats in order to absorb them. You are already guessing why so many people have a deficit of these nutrients, aren’t you?
The propaganda that fats are bad, planted the notion that we need to remove every drop of fat from our food – to cut fat from steaks, to get rid of the egg yolks, to throw away butter from the fridge. The more we believe these notions, the more our health is getting worse.
Have you heard about Weston Price? For sure! This man dedicated his life to establishing which are the key nutrients for the health of the teeth and bones. It turns out that the key is exactly in vitamin A, D and X-factor (K2).
Most of you will say that you eat enough carrots and that you get enough vitamin A. Even though I also love carrots, they won’t do the work. Vitamin A has different forms:
-in animal products vitamin A comes in the form of retinol;
-in plant sources vitamin A is in the form of carotenoids.
The difference is that vitamin A from animal sources can be used from the body directly, and carotenoids should be first converted to retinol- i.e. you need a bigger quantity to get the desired dose.
Why do you need vitamin A?
-vitamin A is needed for better vision, immune system, the health of your bones, the health of the skin and so forth. HERE,I wrote how women who have a deficit of vitamin A, while pregnant could give birth to a child that has problems with vision.
Which are the foods rich in vitamin A?
-black liver, egg yolks, butter, colorful veggies
Vitamin D is being produced mainly in the skin, under the influence of the sun. Foods like fermented cod liver oil contain it.
Why do you need vitamin D?
Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for bone mineralization (imagine it like food for your bones) and for the functioning of the immune system.
Vitamin D has different forms, but I won’t bother you with them. What matters is that one of the forms of vitamin D is being produced by sunlight acting on cholesterol in the skin. This is an interesting fact. When I read Dr. Jack Kruse’s book, he mentioned how testing your cholesterol levels, might show different numbers in winter and in summer – i.e. higher cholesterol is normal in winter and lower cholesterol is normal in summer, because of the connection between sunlight, cholesterol and the conversion in vitamin D.
This makes me think about the mistaken conclusion from cholesterol testing – some people rush to conclude that higher cholesterol in winter is due to the consumption of more animal products, and in reality the reason is completely different. Just another proof how many facts play a role and how we shouldn’t take everything for the mere truth.
How could we get enough vitamin D?
The main vitamin D source is the sun. We should spend some time under the sun – on a daily basis. Being exposed to direct sunlight is really important for the proper functioning of the circadian rhythm – it determines all processes in our body. The sun and sun exposure are the main factors that wind up the circadian clock. The main way that the body receives information for the environment and what is taking place.
Vitamin K has different forms, as well. Vitamin K 1 comes from plant sources (mainly leafy greens), and vitamin K2 comes from animal products and bacterial forms.
What is the role of vitamin K2?
Vitamin K2 is required for the activation of certain proteins, like those for the mineralization of bones and it keeps arteries from calcifying. Vitamin K2 is the one that helps for blood clotting. Without vitamin K2, bones can’t calcify, and soft tissues calcify and get atherosclerotic.
How to get enough vitamin K2?
Vitamin K2 is available in egg yolks, liver, butter, fermented veggies and old cheeses.
Have you noticed that all three vitamins are available in foods rich of fats? Coincidence? I doubt it! Probably it is more like the encoded intelligence of nature!
The importance of vitamin A, D and K2 balance
Usually when we know that something is healthy, we think that the more we take, the better it gets. This is a wrong misconception. We always go from one extreme to another and life is balance. Health as well!
Thus, too much consumption of vitamins doesn’t make us healthier. What is important is the ratio between different vitamins. Imagine it like a chemical reaction – if you put the proper proportion of chemicals, you get the desired result. If you get the wrong those, you get a completely different result.
Vitamin A and vitamin D need to be in balance with each other. This is no coincidence – both vitamins work together for the activation of particular genes. The improper ratio between vitamins, may lead to the improper expression of genes. Actually it is not just the absolute quantity that matters, but actually their ratio.
Vitamin D and K2 deficiency might lead to toxicity of vitamin A.
That is why you could find a lot of supplements that don’t contain just vitamin A or vitamin D, but a combination of both.
I wouldn’t recommend you the self-prescription of pills. I’d recommend you to try to get these vitamins from food.
The only supplement that I take is fermented cod liver oil. It is a little expensive, but it is totally worth the investment. For me it is something magical and healing!