It’s safe to say we all know the importance of calcium for strong bones. Likely because of all of those milk ads on tv in the 90s. What I did not know is that the body removes small amounts of calcium from the bones and replaces it with new calcium. Our skeleton actually replaces itself every 7-10 years. I love how our bodies work. Our bones literally go through a cycle and renew as we age. The health of our bones is right in our hands and we, at any point in time, can take steps towards fostering improved bone health. How do we do it? The key is in helping the nutrients get to our bones.
Vitamin K has been identified as the missing link between Vitamin D, calcium and healthy bones. Vitamin K is known to play a role in bone formation while Vitamin D helps the bone absorb calcium.
What you need to know about Vitamin K
- There are two forms of vitamin K
- Vitamin K1 is found in plants
- Vitamin K2 is found in animal products and fermented foods
- Vitamin K is essential for bone health
- It extracts calcium from the blood and helps it find its way to the bone
- Vitamin K is a fat-soluble nutrient
- Give your body some good fats (like coconut oil or avocado) when you have high Vitamin K rich foods
Help your body absorb these essential nutrients
In our awareness of how these nutrients play together, we want to pay attention to their bioavailability. A balanced combination of foods makes them easy for the body to extract and absorb their nutrients. Bioavailability is the degree and rate of this absorption. Calcium and Vitamin D are two nutrients that have been associated with bone health for a long time, and new on the scene is our awareness of the vital role played by Vitamin K.
Bioavailable Green Smoothie Equation
When I have my morning smoothie, I try to follow a simple equation as I throw things together:
Leafy greens + Lettuce + Fruit + Gut friendly bacteria + Nourishing fat + Protein
This takes the guesswork out of the effectiveness of my smoothies for my nutrient needs. If I fill each item group and rotate my food choices from week to week I feel peace of mind about my morning punch of green goodness.
Bioavailable Vitamin K, Vitamin D, and Calcium smoothie
Here’s a green smoothie I’ve added to my rotation recently:
kale (high in vitamin K)
spring mix lettuce
½ avocado (nourishing fat)
vanilla kefir (source of calcium and good bacteria, and 99% lactose-free)
I take a Vitamin D supplement while I drink this smoothie
New to green smoothies? Check out my favorite green smoothie to get started.
What are your thoughts on bioavailability and the way your body absorbs nutrients for bone health?