Posts tagged magnesium

Magnesi-yum by Steph Jackson

Magnesi-yum by Steph Jackson
http://www.stephjackson.com

Magnesium

So essential for so many of our daily activities and yet somehow so lacking for so many people. I attribute it to a combination of poor digestion/absorption and what I call the beige-food diet, lacking in fresh greens. Today we will discuss why magnesium is so amazing for us, where to get it from whole raw vegan foods and what it sometimes looks like to not have enough of this wonder-mineral.

More than half of the magnesium in our bodies is in our bones, a quarter of it in our soft tissues and fluids and another quarter in our muscles. Magnesium is partly responsible for maintaining cells’ electrical charges and also enables our cells to reproduce. Magnesium is important in energy production and protein forming. Magnesium is responsible for proper muscle function and proper insulin function. Now that’s important! With the ability to alter our metabolism and make our muscles (including our hearts) work properly, magnesium is the second-most prevalent mineral in our bodies after potassium.

A University of Virginia study followed people with adequate levels of magnesium for a fifteen year period and found that they had a 31% lower chance of developing Metabolic Syndrome compared to the rest of the population studied. Insulin resistance also burns up magnesium in the body leading to quite the downward spiral. In a separate double-blind study supplementation with Magnesium was shown to improve markers for metabolic syndrome in individuals that were previously deficient.

Some foods that are highest in magnesium are spinach, kale, collard greens, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, dried figs and chocolate. The nuts and seeds can be soaked and sprouted to reduce the phytic acid, making the magnesium more absorbable but soaking chocolate doesn’t really work out. I try to remember that chocolate is high in magnesium but much of it is difficult for us to absorb. Of course I love green juice but green smoothies and soups can also be great ways to get some green power. Popeye obviously had the right idea, strong and smart too 🙂 Watch this video http://stephjackson.com/videos/ to learn more about how magnesium boosts the brain.

Magnesium deficiency can appear in the form of blood sugar dysregulation as we discussed above and also in poor memory, fatigue, dizziness, constipation, high blood pressure, anxiety, tremors, cramps, weakness and deficiencies of other minerals such as potassium and calcium. Magnesium can help with sleep and depression. There is a reason why the brand “natural calm” has that name. Magnesium can also be rubbed into the skin “transdermally” or, of course obtained from our favourite green foods.
See this recipe http://stephjackson.com/green-homous/ for a magnesium-rich dip.

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Nutrition to Balance Hormones That Affect Your Mood

Nutrition to Balance Hormones That Affect Your Mood
From Herbal Papaya Newsletter – http://www.herbalpapaya.com

Now that summer is on the way, you’re undoubtedly ready to get outside and start doing “summer things.” You’ve probably noticed that you’re feeling better and that your mood is a bit more buoyant.

That’s not just a coincidence; vitamin D deficiency has been linked solidly to being moody, and sunshine is the only natural source of vitamin D. Therefore, when you’re out getting plenty of it, it’s entirely possible that your mood improves, too!

You may be surprised how much a healthy diet contributes to balanced hormones and helps with your mood, but there’s plenty of solid research to back up the theory that you are what you eat.

B vitamins are also being studied for their link with unhappy mood. Specifically B12, and to a lesser degree B6 and folate, have been linked strongly to feeling sad. This is a particular concern for vegetarians and vegans because B12 is found almost exclusively in animal products. Supplementation is necessary for that part of the population.

Vitamin C has historically been known as the vitamin that boosts the immune system. However, people who are unhappy often report significant boosts in mood after taking vitamin C. The studies here are fairly new but are promising.

One particular group of nutrients called carotenoids are linked significantly to brain, prostate, heart, eye and mental health. Carotenoids are phytonutrients found in yellow, red and orange fruits and vegetables and are powerful antioxidants. Some, but not all, convert to vitamin A in the body. Others, such as lycopene, may not convert but are still extremely valuable for their ability to bond to free radicals and help keep you healthy.

For instance, the minerals zinc and magnesium are being closely studied in relation to brain health. Both seem to play significant, though largely mysterious, roles in assisting with mood chemical production and uptake in the brain. A notable percentage of people who suffer from mood swings are found to be deficient in one or both of these minerals.

The carotenoids lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin were studied in a group of almost 1800 people age 20-85. People with the highest levels of circulating carotenoids were a whopping 37% less likely to suffer from mood swings than those who had low levels.

A Japanese study of men only showed that men with the highest levels of carotenoids were an astounding 67% less likely to suffer from mood issues than those with the lowest levels. The studies are piling up.

Carotenoids are found in high amounts in foods that are bright orange, yellow, red or green such as:

sweet potatoes
papayas
red peppers
mangos
green leafy veggies
carrots
squash
dried apricots
cantaloupe

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Why Sea Vegetables? by Brian Hetrich, Greenhouse Manager at Hippocrates Health Institute

From The Garden by Brian Hetrich, Greenhouse Manager at HHI – Hippocrates Health Institute http://www.hippocratesinst.org

Why Sea Vegetables?

Sea vegetables are more commonly known as seaweed. They grow in salt water oceans all over the world. There are thousands of different types of sea vegetables, which are classified into categories by color, known either as brown, red or green sea vegetables. Each is unique, having a distinct shape, taste and texture. A wide range of sea vegetables are enjoyed as foods. This includes Kelp, nori, dulse, wakame, arame, Irish moss, kombu, hiziki, and many more.

Sea vegetables are among the World’s healthiest foods because of their incredibly rich mineral content and other unique health benefits. Sea vegetables are exploding with nutrients, including: Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K. They are rich in minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, iodine, sodium, potassium, silica, germanium, and phosphorus to name just a few. Sea vegetables also contain Proteins, Fiber, Carotenes, Enzymes, Oxygen, Phytonutrients, and Phytohormones.

The use of sea vegetables for food is not a new concept. Archaeological evidence suggests that Japanese cultures have been consuming sea vegetables for thousands of years. In ancient Chinese cultures, sea vegetables were a noted delicacy, suitable especially for honored guests and royalty. In fact, most regions and countries located by waters, including Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and coastal South American countries have been consuming sea vegetables since ancient times. And they taste great!

Most food produced for commercial distribution on factory farms are on a life support fertilizer usually consisting of just three nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The other 95 minerals needed for good human health such as iron, calcium, copper, zinc, and magnesium, are missing. Minerals are missing from our foods because of soil depletion. As a result, the ocean is now the most fertile area for plants to grow. Sea vegetables absorb these minerals and convert them into a living form that our bodies can recognize and utilize.

Only plants, including sea vegetables, can convert dead, inorganic mineral compounds into living, organic mineral compounds that can be assimilated by the human body. When you supply the body with all the necessary raw materials to reconstruct tissues and organs correctly, everything gets better. All your organs, tissues, cardiovascular system, neurological system, and immune system get stronger and function with greater efficacy. Every aspect of your physical, mental, and spiritual health will improve when you supply the body with an adequate supply of the correct nutrients and remove toxins from your environment. That includes brain function, energy levels, physical appearance, and vitality.

Dulse is a popular one at Hippocrates. It is a delicious purple sea vegetable harvested off the Atlantic coasts for the U.S., Canada, and British Isles. It is rich in trace minerals and as a condiment, gives a slightly salty flavor to your other foods. Two tablespoons gives you many times the US RDA of iodine, which is just one of the highly desirable rare minerals contained in dulse. Iodine is an essential component of the thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones regulate many important biochemical reactions, including protein synthesis and enzymatic activity, and are critical determinants of metabolic activity. They are also required for proper skeletal and central nervous system development in fetuses and infants. Sea vegetables are able to accumulate iodine many times more concentrated than sea water alone!

And people need it now more than ever. Sea vegetables protect the body from radiation exposure by attacking radiation and neutralizing it. Sea vegetables also protect the thyroid against the damaging effects of fluoride, and they boost your immune system. About two tablespoons a day is all that an adult needs, and one tablespoon a day for children.

While fresh is always best, sea vegetables are very tough for general use when fresh. They are typically eaten in small quantities finely chopped or powdered. Larger pieces are commercially distributed in dried form which should be soaked in warm water for 10-20 minutes until they are soft enough to slice – this also removes some of the excess salt. Discard the soak water because it has an extremely high salt content. The drained sea vegetable can then be dried in a dehydrator until it is crunchy.

Since sea vegetables detox, I also recommend drinking copious amounts of pure, filtered water – at least ½ ounce of pure, filtered water for every pound of body weight per day. A squeeze of a fresh lemon wedge will alkalize you and help you to absorb the water more efficiently.

I use kelp and dulse as a garnish on my salad or I use them in homemade salad dressing to give a salty flavor. I use nori sheets to make raw vegan “sushi” wraps. Or, in powder form, I sprinkle a little kelp or dulse powder on my salad or I use them in homemade salad dressing to give a salty taste to my meals. I eat a lot of sprouts, a land vegetable, as well, because sprouts are live foods.

Here are some specific health benefits attributed to sea vegetables:

Detoxifier
Helps remove radioactive particles and heavy metals from the body
Rejuvenate gastrointestinal health and aid digestion
Blood purifier
Relieves arthritis stiffness
Promotes adrenal, pituitary and thyroid health
Normalizes thyroid-related disorders like overweight and lymph system congestion
A demulcent that helps eliminate herpes outbreaks
A decongestant for excess mucous
Helps normalize blood pressure
Powerful skin healing
Helps reduce breast and uterine fibroids and adhesions
Normalize menopausal symptoms
Promotes soft, toned, wrinkle-free skin
Enhances glossy hair and prevents its loss
An excellent adrenal stimulant
Recovery from arthritis
Recovery from gout
Effective in combating the herpes virus
Valuable for increased intimacy
Boosts metabolism
Strengthens hair, skin and nails

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The Value of Organic Foods by David Wolfe

The Value of Organic Foods by David Wolfe

The value of organic raw foods, superfoods, and herbs is critically
important for a safe, healthy, and happy future for all of us, our children,
and our children’s children. The evidence is increasingly pointing towards
an organic future.

Organics foods are known to have the following characteristics:

Organic food is richer in minerals:

Organic farmers, in general, are more interested than conventional farmers
in growing mineral-rich produce. The famous Rutgers study demonstrated that
organic food was superior in the following minerals: phosphorus, calcium,
magnesium, potassium, sodium, boron, manganese, iron, copper, and cobalt. It
all starts with mineral-rich soil. When more minerals are available to the
plant, the plant’s vitamin, polysaccharide, and enzyme content, as well as
overall immune system are improved. When we eat mineral-rich food we absorb
the nutrients that made the plant healthy. We also enjoy more conscious
choices and freedom as the cells throughout our body become healthier and
more vital. Entire books have been written on how rich soils help build
enormous civilizations and how subsequent mismanagement of crops and the
soil leads to a loss of soil minerals and the subsequent collapse of these
civilizations.

Organic agriculture is sustainable:

Organic food production has existed for thousands of years. It will continue
as long as humans walk the planet. Organic agriculture is non-toxic (it
leaves no permanent toxicity). The pesticide and artificial fertilizer
industries are toxic and not sustainable. These industries have covered the
entire planet with dangerous chemicals. The story of DDT is known to nearly
all of us. DDT went into commercial distribution in 1948. Because of its
unsustainable toxicity, DDT was banned in the United States in 1972 and soon
after was banned worldwide. DDT is a known neurotoxin and carcinogen. Who
was brought to justice after the facts about DDT were revealed? How many
people, children, and animals were (are) injured by this chemical? How much
longer is it possible to continue to spray the Earth with poisons?

Organic agricultural supports being chemical-free:

With the explosion of cancer and disease in Western culture, who has the
authority to say that any artificial chemicals are safe on our food?

Consider the summary from the following 2003 research article in which
pesticide exposure was at least six times higher in the diets of children
eating conventional food (as compared to organic food):

“We assessed organophosphorus (OP) pesticide exposure from diet by
biological monitoring among Seattle, Washington, preschool children. Parents
kept food diaries for 3 days before urine collection, and they distinguished
organic and conventional foods based on label information. Children were
then classified as having consumed either organic or conventional diets
based on analysis of the diary data. Residential pesticide use was also
recorded for each home. We collected 24-hr urine samples from 18 children
with organic diets and 21 children with conventional diets and analyzed them
for five OP pesticide metabolites. We found significantly higher median
concentrations of total dimethyl alkylphosphate metabolites than total
diethyl alkylphosphate metabolites (0.06 and 0.02 µmol/L, respectively ; p =
0.0001) . The median total dimethyl metabolite concentration was
approximately six times higher for children with conventional diets than for
children with organic diets (0.17 and 0.03 µmol/L ; p = 0.0003) ; mean
concentrations differed by a factor of nine (0.34 and 0.04 µmol/L) . We
calculated dose estimates from urinary dimethyl metabolites and from
agricultural pesticide use data, assuming that all exposure came from a
single pesticide. The dose estimates suggest that consumption of organic
fruits, vegetables, and juice can reduce children’s exposure levels from
above to below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current
guidelines, thereby shifting exposures from a range of uncertain risk to a
range of negligible risk. Consumption of organic produce appears to provide
a relatively simple way for parents to reduce their children’s exposure to
OP pesticides.”

Taken from “Organophosphorus Pesticide Exposure of Urban and Suburban
Preschool Children with Organic and Conventional Diets” by Cynthia L. Curl,
CL, RA Fenske and K Elgethun, 2003. (www.ehponline.org/docs/2003/5754/abstract.html)

Organic food is safer on our hormone system:

The endocrine or hormone system may be more susceptible to toxicity than the
nervous system. A growing body of research is indicating that an
inappropriate exposure to certain pesticides during the developmental cycle
of growth in humans and animals can cause serious long-lasting endocrine and
hormone disorders.

The Environmental Working Group recently published the following statements
(www.foodnews.org/reduce.php): “Many pesticides are now considered
‘endocrine disrupters,’ in part because the term is something of a catch
phrase for chemicals that cause a variety of changes in normal hormone
signaling. Some better known examples of highly toxic endocrine disrupting
pesticides are DDT (and its metabolite DDE) which are now known to exhibit
much of their toxicity through anti-androgenic (de-masculinizing)
properties, vinclozolin, a heavily used fungicide that is also
anti-androgenic, endosulfan, a DDT relative with estrogenic properties that
is found more often in food than any other pesticide, and atrazine, a weed
killer with broad hormonal activity, that contaminates the drinking water of
about 20 million people in the United States.

Eating organic foods, superfoods, and herbs is safe, easy, and fun!

You can grow organic foods anywhere with seeds, nice soil, sunshine,
sufficient moisture, smiles, and lots of love. Gardening skills are
attractive and make for a safe, healthy hobby. Organic foods have
been proven over thousands of years to be safe to eat.

Conventional foods have been proven over 50 years to be unsafe to eat. I saw
a conventional lettuce farmer near Santa Barbara, California climb out of
his tractor in a space suit on in order to protect himself from the
chemicals he was spraying. Does this sound like progress or a bad horror
movie?

Remember, you vote with your dollar. Cutting corners cheats everyone. Let’s
vote for organic farmers.

TIP OF THE WEEK:
SHOPPER’S GUIDE – BUY ORGANIC & AVOID THE “DIRTY DOZEN” FRUITS & VEGETABLES
According to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) analysis of data from over 43,000 tests on pesticides in conventional produce, over 90% of ingestion of pesticides in foods can be eliminated by avoiding the most contaminated foods. The “Dirty Dozen” most contaminated foods are peaches (97 percent tested positive for residue), apples (92 percent tested positive), sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, imported grapes, spinach, lettuce and potatoes. The “Consistently Clean” are onions (90 percent tested negative), avocados (90 percent), sweet corn (90 percent), pineapples, mango, asparagus, sweet peas, kiwi, bananas, cabbage, broccoli and papaya. “Federal produce tests tell us that some fruits and vegetables are so likely to be contaminated with pesticides that you should always buy them organic. Others are so consistently clean that you can eat them with less concern.” Says EWG Senior Vice President Richard Wiles. Download your wallet-sized shopper’s guide here: http://www.foodnews.org

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