When it comes to bone health, calcium tends to get most of the attention. But vitamin K2 is also a key player in keeping bones healthy. In bone tissue, vitamin K2 promotes calcium uptake. Low levels of this vitamin have long been associated with an increased incidence of osteoporotic fractures and poor mineral density. Moreover, population-based analyses have consistently found widespread vitamin K deficiency.
The exciting synergy about vitamin K2 is that it adds calcium to the bones, where it belongs, and removes it from the arteries, where it should not be. However, it can be difficult to get adequate vitamin K2 levels in our diet. One of the best sources of this vitamin is natto, an ancient feudal Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans. Natto is unprecedented in its ability to support bone health.
Natto is an acquired taste for many due to its powerful smell and sticky consistency. For optimum value, it’s best not to heat or cook it to maintain high nutrient levels. Experts recommend combining a little low-sodium tamari soy sauce and mustard with the natto – and this may be served atop a bowl of cooked oats or lentils. Another way to serve natto is to mix it with a little yogurt, fresh fruit and nuts. The good news is that eating natto two to three times a week is enough for it to confer its comparable heart and bone benefits. So try adding a little natto to your diet, your bones will thank you!