nutrition

Magnesium’s Magnificent Healing Properties

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Magnesium’s Magnificent Healing Properties

Magnesium is a powerful mineral occurring naturally in our body and that many people are severely lacking. This can have a pretty negative effect since it aids in the function of over 300 different enzymes and biochemical reactions in the body. The best way you can tell if you are deficient is to eat foods that are rich in magnesium or try supplementing and see how you feel. You will likely notice a difference right away. Magnesium rich foods are things like assorted nuts, legumes and green leafy vegetables. Another great way to get your magnesium is a secret that our grandparents knew, to soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts.This allows you to directly absorb it through your skin.

What are just some of the great benefits of magnesium?

It supports bone strength. Half of our magnesium is stored in our bones, so supporting those levels is hugely important for us to maintain healthy bones. Magnesium also helps the transportation of calcium, another mineral in our body that prevents the loss of bone density, especially as we age.

Prevention of type-2 diabetes. Magnesium helps with carbohydrate metabolism and directly influences insulin activity, which controls our blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that for every 100 mg of magnesium we intake, there is a 15% decrease in the direct risk of getting type-2 diabetes.

Digestive support. Magnesium plays a big role in the digestive process because it is a coenzyme in the intestines that assists in the natural production of hydrochloric acid in the gut necessary to break down the food we eat. It’s also great to naturally relieve constipation.

Supports heart health. Magnesium aids in maintaining a normal heart rhythm, strengthening our muscles, especially the heart which is one of our biggest muscles, and aids in rebuilding our blood vessels. It plays a key role in the prevention of an irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.

Helps with migraines, insomnia and even depression. It has even worked to cure severe psychiatric issues such as panic attacks, anxiety, and even a difficult agitative state. Magnesium not only significantly reduces the severity of all of these conditions, but also lowers their recurrence rate.

Great stress reliever. When we are hit with stress, magnesium can play a key role in relieving it immediately by relaxing the body as part of a natural hormonal response and naturally lowers blood pressure.

Premenstrual symptoms reliever. As a natural muscle relaxer, magnesium also aids in the relief of premenstrual cramps, and acts as a diuretic eliminating fluid retention that causes bloating and breast tenderness.

It’s hard to believe how much this natural mineral can do for us each day. Try adding it to your diet and see how you feel!

The Soy Debate – Is It Good For You Or Not?

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The Soy Debate – Is It Good For You Or Not?

The soy controversy is highly debated these days among nutritionists. On the one hand, soy has become extremely popular, and on the other hand, the potential health risks have also become widely recognized. So, is it healthy or not so healthy to consume soy products?

The known benefits to soy:

  1. It can be prepared in many different ways as an alternative to meat products.
  2. It’s a source of protein for vegans and vegetarians.
  3. Soy milk is a common alternative to cow’s milk for people who are lactose sensitive or lactose intolerant.
  4. Some studies have shown that consuming soy is helpful in increasing HDL (our good cholesterol) and possibly it has antioxidants that protect an increase in our LDL levels (the bad cholesterol).
  5. Even more recently, there have been some studies done on the isoflavones found in soy. Their estrogen like properties can support bone strength and improve the symptoms of women going through menopause.

The potential health risks to soy:

  1. Soy that is grown in America is genetically modified and usually not labeled as such.
  2. There are recent studies showing that soy contains phytoestrogens. If you consume too much soy in your diet you can actually produce too much estrogen in the body, which is especially unhealthy for young children and males. In women, this can lead to an increased chance of developing breast cancer or uterine fibroids.
  3. Soy phytoestrogens can also cause thyroid disease and an increased risk of autoimmune disease, especially in babies or young children. It’s a very popular alternative formula for infants when they can’t tolerate regular cow’s milk products.
  4. Many of the meat replacement soy products, such as soy burgers, are highly processed containing unnatural toxins and can contain high levels of unhealthy preservatives and high levels of sodium.
  5. Some people have an allergic reaction to soy and don’t feel well after consuming it or even develop hives or general itching. You may not realize it is the culprit because soy is hidden in a lot of processed foods.

The best you can do is educate yourself so you can make your own informed decision on whether or not soy is good for you and your family. If you do choose to consume soy, edamame is a good choice because it is not processed, as well as fermented tofu.

How Important Is Consuming Protein?

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How Important Is Consuming Protein?

Everyone knows what protein is, in general, but most people don’t have a deeper concept of just how vital it is to our body. It is so important to consume enough healthy protein in our diet and from a healthy source. Opinions vary, but it is recommended that it is healthy to consume anywhere from 0.5 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. A bodybuilder’s protein intake recommendations may be higher in order to add the desired muscle mass.

So What Are Proteins?

Proteins are the macronutrients that form the foundation of our diet. Proteins help to build new cells and regulate the metabolism. They actually help all of your cells communicate and shuttle oxygen throughout the body in the form of hemoglobin. They also have the ability to build muscle.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. It is absolutely essential that we consume these daily and in the right way. Our DNA directs the body to join various combinations of amino acids into a variety of sequences, each serving a unique function and feeding our bodies exactly what it needs.

We can store fats and carbohydrates to draw on when needed, but we do not have a storage pool of amino acids. We need to add to it each day in order to build the body proteins that we need. If we are missing a particular amino acid to form the protein it needs, it will pull that amino acid by breaking down existing muscle protein. Consistently lacking certain amino acids means we will lose muscle weight, energy and, eventually, fundamental body functions.

The Main Sources Of Daily Protein:

  • Meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and fish are complete sources of protein. They contain all of the essential amino acids.
  • Nuts, seeds, beans, peas, and whole grains. However, in order to consume all of the essential amino acids, plant foods must be used to complement each other with their amino acid profiles. Beans tend to be low in one amino acid that grains have plenty of, so combining these foods forms a complete protein, like beans and rice.

Be sure and consume your daily healthy protein and remember that centering on a protein diet promotes energy, healthy muscles and even weight loss!

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Organic?

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What Are The Benefits Of Eating Organic?

When it comes to fruits and vegetables especially, eating organic is highly beneficial. The main difference between eating conventionally farmed produce and organic is that organic growers do not spray their farms with herbicides and pesticides. The chemicals used have been positively linked to numerous health problems such as cancer, unhealthy hormone changes and toxicity in the nervous system and brain. These toxic chemicals were designed to kill small pests instantly, so how can it be healthy for people to ingest? Washing the produce before eating it helps, but definitely does not remove all of it. A toxic chemical residue remains.

Some great reasons to eat organic:

  1. You avoid all pesticides and herbicides.
  2. The produce is typically 25% more nutritious with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so it’s worth it to pay a little more! You’re still getting your value from it.
  3. It supports responsible and sustainable farming techniques, eliminating these toxic chemicals from getting into our environment (air, soil and water supply). In turn, the farmers are also protected from their toxicity.
  4. It actually tastes better!

The Environmental Working Group, or EWG, keeps a great list of absolute foods that you should ONLY eat organic, called The Dirty Dozen, and also a list of the Clean Fifteen that are the conventionally grown foods that are safe to eat. Here is a link to their website http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

Based on their recommendation, here are the foods you should always eat organic:

  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Potatoes
  • Hot Peppers
  • Nectarines
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Zucchini

A few of my favorites from the Clean Fifteen list:

  • Avocados
  • Mushrooms
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Papayas
  • Sweet potatoes

You should always wash your fruits and veggies with a veggie wash before eating them, but at least buying all of these foods as organic, assures you that you’re not consuming ANY bad chemicals!


Support a responsible organic farmer and buy organic today!

Kambucha For Your Health

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Kambucha For Your Health

What is Kambucha? If you’ve never heard of it, it is a great drink that can really boost your health. It was believed to have been originally from Asia and spread from the Far East to Europe and today it is practically a staple in the diets of the health and wellness groups all over the world.

It is made from a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), which is a rubbery organism that you put in sweetened green or black tea. You let it ferment in a glass container for about a week or so. As a culture, the SCOBY will digest the sugar in the tea and all its own will produce multiple organic acids, vitamin C and B, enzymes and amino acids. You can then add more tea, fruit juice or fruit to flavor this now fizzy delicious drink.

So what great things does Kambucha do?

  • gives you acidic probiotcs that support the good flora in your gut
  • helps with digestion
  • prevents the growth or overgrowth of candida (yeast)
  • detoxes your body
  • the large number of enzymes supports the pancreas and liver
  • it contains glucosamines that prevent joint degeneration
  • it produces vitamin B3 which improves blood flow
  •  it is filled with powerful antioxidants
  • supports your immune system
  • gives you energy
  • protects your intestines and keep pathogens and parasites away


If you want to have some fun, try making this healthy drink at home!

Avocados And Many Of Their Amazing Health Benefits

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Avocados And Many Of Their Amazing Health Benefits

Avocados have a high fat content, but it is a super healthy fat. They were once put on the bad foods list for this fact and yet now they are one of the most popular foods because of their wonderful nutritional value. They are literally packed with the healthy monounsaturated fat, lutein, potassium, folate and numerous other vitamins and nutrients. Avocados support your entire body, from your heart to your eyes.

What are some specific things avocados can do for you?

  • Heart protection – the high amounts of potassium regulates blood pressure, which helps to prevent heart disease and strokes, and even lower cholesterol. The folate in them also contributes to lowering your chances of getting heart disease and heart attacks.
  • Your vision – A fabulous ingredient in avocados is lutein, numerous antioxidants and zeaxanthin……all that protect your eyes from macular degeneration and even improve your eyesight.
  • Cancer prevention – The numerous antioxidants in avocados are a great cancer prevention. Oleic acid that is prevalent is known protection against breast cancer.
  • Great source of fiber – Consuming healthy amounts of fiber is a major component in the prevention of chronic disease. Avocados are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibers.
  • Low glycemic index – This helps to control your blood sugar levels, preventing the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Rich in Vitamin K – This great vitamin plays an important role in our ability to have functional blood clotting and wound healing. It is also very important to help build strong bones.
  • Rich in Vitamin B6 – This directly supports your nervous system, your teeth and gums and your numerous red blood cells and can reduce morning sickness.
  • A stronger immune system – The high amount of antioxidants directly supports the immune system.
  • Lose weight – The high amounts of monounsaturated fats in avocados actually speeds up your metabolic rate which can help with weight loss.
  • Prevent halitosis – Believe it or not, but avocados can get rid of bad breath! It is able to effectively remove intestinal putrefaction and decomposition which is the actual cause of bad breath and a coated tongue.
  • A protein source – They provide ALL 18 essential amino acids we need for our bodies to form a complete protein, that is just amazing! Also, the protein in an avocado is easy to digest and readily absorbed due to their fiber content.

We all love a delicious guacamole, but adding a little avocado to your daily meals can benefit your health tremendously! Add it to a burger, a salad, slice it up on the side with a little salt and pepper or use it as a condiment.

 

They are delicious and so good for you!

Is There Such A Thing As A Healthy Fat?

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Is There Such A Thing As A Healthy Fat?

In recent years fat became enemy number one and all the experts preached that a low-fat or zero fat diet was the only healthy diet. They believed this was the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol and basically would solve any and all health issues. What happened was the opposite and our population has never been so obese and riddled with health problems, including soaring numbers of people being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Everyone turned to processed foods with very little if any fat and filled with carbohydrates and fillers, to just end up putting on the weight.

As a result of these disastrous results for so many was the new focus to not only make a solid effort not to consume too much fat, but to try to consume a healthy portion of the good types of fat. Diets then emerged like the Atkins diet and the South Beach Diet that are very high in fat and with a definitive protein a focus and yet everyone on these diets started losing weight like crazy. With this new way of eating, the concept of healthy fats has really taken off and all of the great health benefits that go along with it.

So, there is such a thing as a healthy fat! They are essential to our daily physical and emotional health. Fat is not the enemy and can even help you lose weight and improve your health. What gets confusing is that there are good fats and bad fats….oh and trans fats are really bad. They are the biggest cause of weight gain, clogged arteries and so much more.

So what are are some of the good fats?

Monounsaturated Fats:

  • Olive Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Avocados
  • Nuts

Polyunsaturated Fats:

  • Safflower Oil
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Soybean Oil
  • Sunflower, Sesame and Pumpkin Seeds
  • Fatty Fish
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids:

  • Mustard Seeds
  • Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Oil
  • Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon and Sardines
  • Fish Oil

Saturated Fats (but on a limited basis):

  • Beef, Lamb and Pork
  • Chicken (with the skin on)
  • Butter, Milk and Cream
  • Ice Cream
  • Cheese
  • Palm Oil
  • Coconut Oil

Make that special effort to get your healthy fats at each meal and enjoy them guilt free! ( :