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health - Page 2

4 mins read

Quick Beginners Guide to Vitamins A to K

Vitamins are organic nutrients that our bodies need to function correctly. Most vitamins cannot be produced by us, at least not in sufficient quantities to meet our needs. As a result, they must come from the food we eat as well as multivitamins.

Read on to learn about the importance of each vitamin from A to K and the foods that contain them.

A Quick Guide to Vitamins A to K

Vitamin A


Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient that helps your body form healthy teeth, bones, soft tissues, and skin. Additionally, you can prevent bacterial and viral infections, keep your hair and nails healthy, and prevent night blindness.

Vitamin A is exceptionally high in the following foods:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash
  • Carrots
  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kale, spinach, and collard greens

Spices such as paprika, red pepper, cayenne, and chili powder are also high in vitamin A.

Vitamin B


Vitamins B-6, B-12, and B-9 are necessary for your body to function appropriately, synthesize DNA, and form red blood cells. Additionally, they help maintain brain function, prevent anemia, and support metabolism.

The following foods contain particularly high levels of vitamins B-6 and B-12:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Meat, poultry, and fish
  • Seafood, including mussels and oysters

Leafy green vegetables and poultry are exceptionally high in B-9 or folic acid. Certain breakfast cereals, fruit juices, and other products are fortified with folic acid.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the health of your cells. It also improves your body’s iron absorption and ensures healthy teeth and gums. Besides that, it heals wounds and helps you resist infection.

The following foods contain Vitamin C:

  • Papaya
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Peppers
  • Citrus fruits
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Dark leafy greens, such as kale, mustard greens, and chard

Vitamin D


Vitamin D is a unique nutrient. Besides absorbing it from food, your body can synthesize it from sunlight. Your bones, immune system, and calcium absorption depend on vitamin D. According to the National Cancer Institute Trusted Source, it may also lower your risk of colorectal cancer.

Although vitamin D comes mainly from the sun, foods that also provide this nutrient include:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Some seafood, such as salmon, herring, catfish, trout, and oysters

Vitamin E


Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that protects your cells from damage. It is also essential for your body’s ability to use vitamin K and repair muscle cells.

Vitamin E is abundant in the following foods:

  • Bell peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Sunflower seeds and almonds
  • Spinach, swiss chard, and turnip greens

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is essential for your body’s ability to form blood clots. Without it, you could die from a simple cut. Older adults may also benefit from vitamin K for maintaining bone strength.

Among the foods that are particularly high in vitamin K are:

  • Parsley
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, turnip greens, and mustard greens

With dozens of alternatives on the market, picking the right multivitamin can be tricky. Problk Health Vitamins is a Black doctor-owned company that can assist you in determining which vitamins you require to strengthen your diet.

Visit their website or email them at for detailed information.

6 mins read

This Couple Started a Vitamin Business to Reduce Vitamin Deficiency in the Black Community

Problk Health Vitamins is a doctor and veteran-owned health company on a mission to improve health and wellness in the Black community.

The Atlanta-based business was started by husband and wife team Dr. Karleena Tuggle-McDaniel and Darian McDaniel. Both HBCU grads (Howard Medical School and Morehouse College) decided that in order to promote healing in the Black community, they would have to be the change they wanted to see.

We caught up with Problk Health Vitamins co-founder Dr. Karleena Tuggle-McDaniel to find out more.

Problk Health
Dr. Karleena Tuggle-McDaniel

What inspired you to start Problk Health Vitamins?

(Dr. K) If we could boil down this answer into two words, they would be ‘need’, and ‘purpose’. The need being that I have trained, worked in, and served majority Black communities for over 20 years.

Whether it be New York where I was raised, D.C. where I received my education, or Atlanta where I settled and now practice, a common theme that I see almost daily is that Black people do not focus on preventative care.

We are young in age and old in disease while being plagued with illnesses that are often preventable if addressed before progressing to more harmful stages. We do not prioritize our most valuable asset which is our health. 92% of Black people have at least one vitamin deficiency.

After watching an episode of Shark Tank where a company was highlighted that donated a percentage of its profits from the sales of beach towels to benefit marine life, we thought if they could do that for fish, imagine what we could do for Black people.

The purpose is that Darian and I wanted to have a passion project or leave a legacy that would outlive us and benefit the Black community for generations to come.

The combination of these factors helped shape our vision were educating and providing vitamins for people both helps the individual’s health, and the health of the community by donating 50% of the net profits to non-profit organizations that work on improving the health in the Black Community.

Problk Health


How does your vitamin company differ from those that already exist?

We use the highest quality ingredients to create our premium vitamins and supplements. We make a conscious effort to use select formulas that fill the most nutrient gaps for our customers.

Problk Health Vitamins also donates 50% of its net profits to non-profit organizations that have missions that focus on irradicating health disparities in the Black Community.

It’s a win-win scenario that most people should be able to get behind. We often like to ask people, “Does your current vitamin give back to the community?” We have yet to hear ‘yes’ as a response.


Describe your individual personalities and how you fuse them to make the business work.

Darian is the strategic, business marketing guru that is the key to catapulting our growth. He is moved more by logic than emotion which helps us to choose the most appropriate and beneficial partnerships. He is a genius at curating the brand from aesthetic details to scaling opportunities.

I, on the other hand, am a way more emotional person. Much of my passion or zeal for this endeavor is my daily encounters with people who look like me or someone I love who is suffering from preventable illness or haunted by suboptimal lifestyle choices that result in inferior health.

I wholeheartedly believe that part of living our best lives is harnessing and enhancing our health to truly maximize our potential, longevity, and happiness. Together we are like the Wonder Twins cartoon from back in the day that can adapt to any obstacle or situation. It works to be able to see things from different perspectives.

Problk Health
Dr. Karleena Tuggle-McDaniel and Darian McDaniel.

Where do you see the company in 5 years?

In 5 years we hope to be a well-respected household name that is synonymous with quality vitamins and supplements, education and community give back.

We want to potentially have mobile health vans that can visit different neighborhoods, fostering the idea of prioritizing our health through healthy habits and preventative care.

We would like to grow the business to the point that we are able to donate millions of dollars in support of nurturing our people and the communities we come from. The sky is the limit, and Black people need to enlighten and improve their health more so than ever.

To learn more about Problk Health Vitamins, visit their website and get 15% off Your first order using code “shoppeblack”

3 mins read

New research shows link between Vitamin D and COVID-19

According to a recent study by researchers from the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University in Safed, Israel and the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, Israel—vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the severity of the disease from Covid-19 infection.

The role of vitamin D in protecting against severe COVID-19 is less well established. Continue reading to find out the link between vitamin D and COVID-19.

What Does the Research Suggest?

When comparing patients who had sufficient vitamin D levels before contracting COVID-19 with those who did not, scientists found “striking” differences in the chances of serious illness.

According to a study published in the journal PLOS One, people with vitamin D deficiency before getting COVID-19 were more likely to develop a severe illness than those who had an adequate amount of vitamin D in their blood.

Dr. Amiel Dror, a physician at the Galilee Medical Center and author of the study, said, “It was quite remarkable and striking to see the difference in the chances of becoming a severe patient when one lacks vitamin D as opposed to when one does not.”

The findings are based on 253 admissions to Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, Israel, between April 7, 2020, and February 4, 2021—before the highly contagious Omicron variant emerged.

Is Vitamin D Effective against COVID-19?

ACCORDING TO DROR, Vitamin D is believed to be a key player in the immune system’s ability to deal with viruses that attack the respiratory system.

According to the UK Health Security Agency, the research does not advocate avoiding vaccinations and taking supplements instead. Vaccines reduce the risk of Omicron hospitalization by up to 90%, especially after a booster shot.

The many health benefits of vitamin D include:

  • Promoting healthy bones and teeth.
  • Lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Supporting the immune system.

During the pandemic, physicians advised their patients to take vitamin D to boost their immune systems. However, there is little evidence to support this advice.

The majority of vitamin D is obtained from direct sunlight on the skin. It can also be found in foods like fatty fish, mushrooms, egg yolks, and supplements.

For most people, vitamin D levels of over 20 nanograms per milliliter are considered sufficient, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—which is also the benchmark used by researchers at Bar-Ilan University and Galilee Medical Center.

Research conducted before the emergence of COVID-19 found that vitamin D reduces the risk of other respiratory infections compared to dummy drugs.

In their published report, the researchers concluded—”Our study contributes to a constantly evolving body of evidence that suggests a patient’s history of vitamin D deficiency is a predictive risk factor associated with poorer COVID-19 clinical disease course and mortality.”

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5 mins read

Your Mental Health Matters: Here Are Some Tips For Managing It

There is no doubt that racism and discrimination have an adverse impact on mental health. Systemic racism has had a persistent and profound effect on countless members of the Black population. The increasing number of media reports and images of police brutality and violence has only made matters worse.

Inhabiting a Black body can come with challenges and stressors no one else can understand. That’s why we must do all we can to practice self-care and engage in effective strategies to protect our mental health.

Here are essential self-care tips you can incorporate into your day to feel more at ease.

How to Look After Your Mental Health

1) Limit your time on social media.

Whether you’re a reporter covering the current political turmoil, a peaceful protester at the frontline, or simply a Black person being bombarded with news—limiting your social media presence is vital.

You should also not feel obligated to respond to questions from Non-Black friends and allies about how they can best support you right now. Besides the wealth of information that’s available online (books, podcasts, etc. ), it’s not your job to soothe guilt nor provide answers.

2) Create a Black-Only virtual group as a safety net.

If limiting your social media time seems a bit hard to do, especially if it’s a field you work in, never underestimate the solace you can receive from an intimate group chat that lets you speak your mind.

Having a private group can help alleviate the stress and trauma resurfacing in the Black community today. Venting, sharing resources, expressing your rollercoaster of raw emotions, and supporting others as they do the same is one of the most fundamental steps on this shared journey.

3) Look for low-cost or free therapy sessions.

If you believe you are suffering from anxiety or are eager to speak to a qualified professional, there are programs available to help those most in need. There are many organizations out there that were created specifically for Black people experiencing mental health issues.

For instance, Chicago-based company Sista Afya provides virtual, low-cost guidance; Black Men Heal has limited, and selective free mental health service opportunities for Black men.

Additionally, Therapy for Black Girls has Black counselors on their rosters, so make sure to consult them when looking for a therapist or beginning a new course of therapy.

mental health

3 Tips for Seeking Mental Healthcare

1) Remember you have nothing to prove.

Those of us who are experiencing psychological and emotional health challenges have nothing to prove to anyone but themselves.

Of course, there are obligations to loved ones that must be fulfilled, but prioritizing mental and physical wellness so that you can be more present for those who love and depend on you is essential, but always remember to put yourself first.

2) You can pick your mental health professional.

No matter what your biological sex or racial or ethnic background, sitting down and sharing your deepest secrets can be challenging.

However, one benefit to seeking services is that, in most cases, you can choose the professional with whom you feel most comfortable. If you are uncomfortable with the first person selected, you can, and should, request someone else.

3) It is perfectly ok—and healthy—to seek psychiatric treatment, therapy, and counseling.

We need to retire this taboo stereotype about mental health resources once and for all. Any person who wants to speak with an objective and non-biased professional in a confidential setting should feel like they can be comfortable considering counseling without judgment.

For more mental health services geared towards the Black community, check out NAMI. They also have more articles on mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, and PTSD.


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1 min read

Morris Chestnut and Fitness Expert Obi Obadike Launch Ethical Inc., a Science-based Supplement Brand

Award-winning actor, Morris Chestnut has teamed up with globally recognized celebrity fitness expert Obi Obadike to launch Ethical Inc, a science-based supplement brand created to support people living their best life with ethically-made health products.

This is the second time the duo has teamed up on a health and fitness-related venture. The first was their collaboration on their #1 best-selling book, “The Cut”.

In this interview with Morris and Obi, we discussed Morris’s personal reasons for being interested in health and fitness, his new TV Show, “Our Kind of People” and his upcoming projects, including the return of critically acclaimed, “The Best Man”.

Obi, a certified fitness trainer and nutritionist, shares why he and Morris created the brand. He also offers some advice to those in the 40-plus club who are trying to get in shape and lose weight.

They both shared what it’s like working together and why they’ve decided to collaborate once again.

Don’t forget to LIKE the video and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel!

Tony O. Lawson

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4 mins read

5 Fat Loss Tips That Actually Work

In the United States, nearly 48% of African-American adults are obese. Compared to those with a healthy weight, obese individuals are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes.

Despite these sobering facts, there are some proven ways to overcome the negative effects of obesity. Each of the methods below has been proven to contribute to reducing excess calories and improving fat loss as a result.

Start Resistance Training

Resistance training is not just for professional athletes. Building lean muscle helps you to burn excess calories even when you are at rest. Muscle tissue is lean and denser than fat, and not only will it allow you to burn calories while you exercise, but it comes with health benefits that help you have more energy.

Reducing the fat around organs is vital to living well and is an added benefit of resistance training.

Increase the Protein in Your Diet

Protein builds skeletal muscle but also functions in building strong hair, skin, and nails. Proteins allow you to have a sense of fullness longer and can help reduce cravings.

In addition, protein protects the body by making antibodies that bind to and remove foreign particles from the body.

Have More, Better Quality Sleep

In a study reported by the Mayo Clinic, adults who slept just four hours per night reported much more frequent cravings and an increased appetite when compared to those who slept 10 hours. An increase in hormones responsible for managing appetite may be the cause.

Improve sleep hygiene by going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time. Be sure to keep the room dark, quiet, and free of distractions like TVs and brightly lit screens. This sleep schedule will lead to improved recovery from exercise but also from the business of the day.

Reduce or Eliminate High-Calorie Drinks

With no nutritional value, high-calorie drinks are easy options for flavor but not the best when it comes to reducing your appetite. Those calories get stored as fat and can cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin. This further increases your appetite and makes you feel sluggish.

Alcohol comes with excess calories, but it also slows your body’s fat-burning and turns up your appetite. Usually, when you have an alcoholic drink, your cravings are met with food choices that are not consistent with losing weight and dropping excess fat. In addition to the significant health risks of overconsumption of alcohol, it is not a wise addition to a plan for weight management. Cut out high-calorie drinks.

Adding Fiber to Feel Fuller

Fiber adds bulk to the things you eat and allows your body to rid itself of waste better than if you had too little. Drawing more water into your digestive tract means you will not be feeling those cravings so soon, and it can protect you from excess weight gain.

Fighting against unhealthy levels of weight gain is part of a plan that can work for anyone. Partnering with a professional care provider can even help address condition-specific challenges that stand in the way of your weight loss efforts. Take charge of your life and fight for your vitality.

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4 mins read

Thinking About Trying Weight Loss Pills? Try These 5 Healthy Lifestyle Changes First

If you are a woman who’s: 1). breathing and 2). also has social media, then you’ve likely been bombarded with ads featuring weight loss tummy teas, pills, and other trendy diet plans.

Of course, weight loss pills have perpetuated diet culture for decades, but now that social media is around, it’s easier to fall susceptible to this potentially dangerous trend.

weight loss pills

Are weight loss pills safe to take?

Weight loss pills are often marketed as natural health aids, but if you look closely at the ingredients list of some of these bottles, they are far from healthy. According to National Capital Poison Control, many weight loss pills contain contaminated, ineffective, and dangerous ingredients that could lead to serious side effects.

So, if you’re interested in trying out these pills for yourself, proceed with caution and consult your doctor because many popular pills are unregulated by the FDA.

Committing to lead a healthier lifestyle is great, and doctors and scientists recommend making lifestyle changes to achieve sustained weight loss and other improved health outcomes. So, before you tap “Add to cart” on that random diet pill, try out these five healthy lifestyles changes instead:

Take charge of what’s around you

One of the first steps to a healthier lifestyle is taking a hard look at your current habits and your “cues.” Think of your cues as triggers that make you want to eat certain foods or partake in certain activities. Once you identify your triggers, try to replace your usual response with a healthier one! For example, if watching TV makes you snack on unhealthy foods, try reaching for a new, more nutritious snack instead.

Move those muscles

Just 30 minutes of brisk walking for 5 days out of the week will help you reach the optimal physical activity for each week, which is 150 minutes. Many of us have been less active than usual this year, so make it a point to add physical activity to your routine gradually.

Watch how you eat

When we eat in a distracted state, it’s easy to miss our body’s signals. Instead, focus on eating more mindfully, pay attention to if and how you enjoy the food you’re eating, and most importantly, notice when you feel full.

Find your healthy eating style

Who says healthy eating has to be boring? Make the switch to eat more nutrient-dense foods like whole fruits, veggies, whole grains, and protein, but have fun with it! Switch up your proteins weekly, or try cooking frozen veggies when you need a break in the kitchen. Find your unique healthy eating style and stick to it!

Drink more water

Are you staying hydrated enough? If you’re constantly fighting off fatigue, headaches, and dry skin, that’s your cue to drink more water! Staying hydrated can help suppress the appetite, boost metabolism, and make exercise easier.

Weight loss becomes much more sustainable when you commit to making healthier lifestyle changes. If you’re interested in any type of diet pill, remember to always consult your doctor first.

Written by Reese Williams

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5 mins read

A Five-Step Skincare Routine Guide For Beginners

If you’re not into skincare yet, it’s time to step up your personal care. A consistent skincare routine helps keep your skin happy and healthy, and it’s the perfect excuse to show yourself some much-needed TLC two times a day.

Everyone’s skin is different, so naturally, every skincare routine will be unique to the individual. However, every skincare regime should consist of the most basic steps that you’ll learn about below. So, if you’re ready to take your self-care to the next level, here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a simple skincare routine.

Step 1: Cleanser

Cleansing your skin helps eliminate dirt, sweat, and other impurities that rest on your face and clog your pores. If all else fails in your skincare routine, this step is the most important. You can pick out the right skincare for yourself by assessing your skin type (oily, dry, or normal) and your skin concerns.

How often should I cleanse my face?

You should cleanse your face at least twice a day, once in the morning and then again at night. If you’re active, be sure to wash your face immediately following a workout to cleanse the skin of sweat and other dirt.

 Step 2: Toner

Toners are liquid-based products that can help tighten the pores, exfoliate the skin, and provide additional cleaning. Some skincare experts say this step isn’t essential, but toners come in handy for giving the skin some additional nutrients.

How often should I apply toner?

Always apply your toner after cleansing your skin and before applying serums. Usually, toners are best used by soaking a cotton pad or ball with the product and then gently spreading the product over the face.

 Step 3: Serums

Time for the fun part! Think of serums as the “treatment” part of your skincare routine because these powerful products directly target the skin’s concerns by deeply penetrating the skin.

When do I apply serums?

Every serum is uniquely made to address everyday skincare problems, so it’s best to read the bottle for instructions. In addition, some serums require night-use only or morning, so it’s crucial to follow the directions on the package to make sure your serums are working for you and not against you.

Step 4: Moisturizer

Depending on the time of day, this is your final step in a basic skincare regimen. Applying your moisturizer at the end of your routine helps keep your skin hydrated and supple.

When do I apply moisturizer?

You should use a moisturizer every time you cleanse your skin. Light moisturizers are great for daily use, but you can opt for thicker creams for the nighttime.

Step 5: SPF

Contrary to popular belief, those of us with dark skin are still vulnerable to the sun’s harmful UV rays. Therefore, it’s crucial for everyone to wear sunscreen daily, whether it’s cloudy or sunny out. The sun can cause premature aging, wrinkles, and, even worse, skin cancer. So, the secret to keeping your melanin poppin’ is slathering on the SPF!

When do I apply SPF?

Apply your SPF in the morning as the final step of your skincare routine. If you wear makeup, your SPF goes on before you start makeup application. Squeeze a generous amount, and apply two fingers (index finger and pointer finger) worth of sunscreen to both your face and neck.

Ready to get your skincare TLC on? Well, now you know exactly where to start, and you can continue to build on your routine from here. Happy skincare!


Use code SHOPPEBLK for a FREE sampler pack of several different herbal soaps from Herb’N Eden

1 min read

$20 Million Agriculture and Food Investment Fund Aims to Improve Black Health and Wellness

TPP Capital Holdings (TPP) is a Black owned impact fund manager and healthcare real estate development firm on a mission to change the face of Black health by investing in agribusiness, agriculture, indoor vertical farms/greenhouses, farmland development, health-focused food and beverage enterprises with Black and Brown ownership located in federally qualified opportunity zones throughout the country.

To date, TPP has commitments to provide direct investments through Fund I, including a $2M investment commitment in Vertical Harvest LC3, a Jackson, Wyoming, agri-business that has built a profitable sustainable model for urban hydroponic farms. Other commitments include a $5M equity investment in the construction and operation of a 70,000-square-foot greenhouse that will grow one million pounds of fresh produce annually. The site will be accompanied by 50 affordable units housing for farm workers.

In this interview with founders Anthony Miles and Clinton Bush, we discuss TPP’s plan to reduce food deserts, health disparities, and burdens of chronic medical conditions in the Black community. We also discuss how they can help Black entrepreneurs manufacture healthy food and beverage brands.

Don’t forget to LIKE the video and SUBSCRIBE to the channel!

Tony O. Lawson

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2 mins read

This Black Owned Mental Health Platform Just Raised $5 Million

Hurdle, a Black owned mental health platform,  announced yesterday that it has successfully closed a $5 million series seed financing.

Established in 2018, Hurdle is a digital mental health platform revolutionizing mental health care by providing mental health services with a focus on culturally sensitive self-care support for people of color.

black owned mental health
Kevin Dedner, Founder and CEO of Hurdle | Photo Credit: Paul Newson

According to the American Psychiatric Association, African Americans often receive poorer quality of care and lack access to culturally competent care. Only one-in-three African Americans who need mental health care receive it. Hurdle is working to break down the barriers to mental healthcare for people of color to create an equitable behavioral health service with culturally responsive care and resources.

“With depression spiking in Black and minority communities, this year is an inflection point in mental healthcare. The events of 2020 present a unique opportunity for Hurdle to create solutions that work for anyone, but most importantly, for the most underserved populations,” says Kevin Dedner, Founder and CEO of Hurdle. “With this financing, Hurdle will significantly expand its reach and be able to help corporate and payer customers cement their Diversity & Inclusion commitments by providing broader access to culturally-responsive mental health services.”

Hurdle’s suite of services includes:

  • Self-care digital apps (daily motivations, mediations, assessments);
  • Wellness workshops (managing stress, cultivating resilience, coping with grief);
  • Teletherapy (individual, couples and group therapy).

The funding will enable Hurdle to expand its leadership team and solidify its position as the gold standard for culturally sensitive teletherapy.


Tony O. Lawson

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