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Obtain a Healthy Bone Mass: The Magnesium Connection

Calcitonin is a hormone which increases calcium in the bones and keeps it from being absorbed into the soft tissues. Magnesium increases calcitonin production and therefore increases calcium in the bones while drawing it out from the soft tissues. A magnesium-rich diet of whole foods is generally the cure for most forms of calcium deficiencies.

The food groups in order of their magnesium content are:

  1. Dried seaweed (dulse, arame, wakame, kombu, kelp, hijiki and most others)
  2. Beans including mung, aduki, black and lima beans and lentils
  3. Whole grains, particularly buckwheat, millet, wheat berries, barley, rye and rice (brown and wild)*
  4. Nuts and seeds, especially almonds, cashews, filberts and sesame seeds
  5. High chlorophyll foods such as wheat and barley grass products
  6. Micro-algae including spirulina and chlorella (beneficial for calcium utilization)

Note: Beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds should be soaked overnight to eliminate phytates and increase magnesium and calcium absorption.

References

Regtop, H. Is magnesium the grossly neglected mineral? International Nutrition Review? International Clinical Nutrition Review 3: pp 18-19, July 1983

Levine, B. and Coburn, J. Magnesium: the mimic/antagonist of calcium. New England Journal of Medicine 310: pp 1253-1255, May 10, 1984

Pitchford, P. Healing with whole foods: Asian traditions and modern nutrition (ed 3). Berkley: North Atlantic Books, 2002

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7 Tips to Increase Calcium Absorption

Published on 18 March 2012 by Verena in Blog

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7 Tips to Increase Calcium Absorption

Seven tips to increase your calcium absorption:

  1. Get sufficient vitamin D from sun light
  2. Eat calcium-, magnesium-, chlorophyll-, and mineral-rich foods, especially grains, legumes, leafy greens (including cereal grasses and micro-algae), and seaweeds.
  3. Avoid calcium inhibitors (chocolate, coffee, alcohol, sugar and excess consumption of any sweetener (e.g. honey, rice syrup, etc.), excess meat consumption)
  4. Exercise regularly and moderately to halt calcium loss and increase bone mass.
  5. Presoak grains, legumes, nuts and seeds before cooking/consumption to neutralize their phytic acid content, which otherwise binds the calcium, zinc, iron and other minerals in these foods.
  6. Use oxalic acid foods sparingly – rhubarb, cranberries, plums, spinach, chard and beet greens
  7. If dairy is used, they fermented forms are easier to digest – kefir, etc.

Calcium is not only an important mineral that is essential to strengthen and build our bones.

Calcium also

  • calms the nerves
  • relaxes the liver and
  • benefits the heart.

Absorption and Utilization of Calcium

When we want to improve our calcium status to maintain a healthy bone mass it is not only crucial to eat calcium rich foods. We need to make sure that we absorb and utilize the calcium from foods effectively. As all the minerals in the body are in a delicate and dynamic balance, an improvement in calcium absorption will also improve the effective use of other minerals in the body. Calcium absorption requires adequate dietary magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin A, C and D. Without certain of those nutrients, it appears that calcium can not be absorbed at all.

Dairy Foods as the Synonymous for Calcium

Calcium in our diet is perceived as almost synonymous to the use of dairy products. However, dairy foods are generally not of good quality and this is perhaps one of the main reasons that so many people in the Western World, who consume large amounts of dairy (25% of the average diet), still have widespread calcium deficiency problems such as osteoporosis and arthritis. In China and areas of Southeast Asia where diary consumption is minimal, arthritis and bone deteriorations are not the major health problems as they are in the wealthier countries.

References

Regtop, H. Is magnesium the grossly neglected mineral? International Nutrition Review? International Clinical Nutrition Review 3: pp 18-19, July 1983

Levine, B. and Coburn, J. Magnesium: the mimic/antagonist of calcium. New England Journal of Medicine 310: pp 1253-1255, May 10, 1984

Pitchford, P. Healing with whole foods: Asian traditions and modern nutrition (ed 3). Berkley: North Atlantic Books, 2002

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Ingredients

  • 10 ml of Liquid Chlorophyll
  • 10ml of Aloe Vera Juice
  • 1 tsp of Bee Pollen
  • ½ tsp Acai berry powder
  • 1 tsp of Barley Grass Powder
  • 1 tbsp of sunflower seeds (soaked)
  • ¼ cup of almonds (soaked)
  • 4 fresh dates
  • ½ cup of water

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until you receive a smoothie consistency.

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Gluten & Yeast Intolerance

Increasing numbers of people today are suffering from gluten intolerance, wheat and yeast sensitivity and related health conditions such as indigestion, lethargy and headaches. A primary cause of many of these health conditions is the continued over-consumption of refined grains (e.g. yeast breads, rice, couscous). Refined grains lack many essential nutrients such as vitamin E, B vitamins and iron because of the removal of the nutrient-dense bran and germ during milling and processing. Further, the combination of wheat and yeast, as found in virtually all commercial breads, can cause our system to clog up, inhibit absorption by the intestine and contribute to the production of toxins.

Whole grains such as quinoa, millet, buckwheat and amaranth are nutritionally superior to refined grain and yeast products. These whole grains contain an abundance of beneficial antioxidants, phytochemicals, and essential nutrients, and are therefore protective against various chronic diseases, ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to cancer. Whole grains are also well metabolized by the human body when properly prepared via soaking, roasting and other forms of preparation.  In addition, they have to be chewed well.

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Summer Food Habits

During summer, the sun is at its strongest and increases our internal fire.  The diet should consist of more cooling sweet foods and drinks such as cucumber, asparagus, beet greens, broccoli, cabbage, celery, cilantro, fennel, green beans, kale, lettuce, okra, parsnip, peas, sweet potato, summer squash, sprouts,  zucchini, sweet fruits (e.g. apples, berries, avocado, coconut, dates, figs, grapes, mango, strawberries, pears) fruit and vegetable juices (not acidic or the citrus variety), mung beans, aduki beans, black-eyed peas, chick peas, pinto beans and soy beans, soaked and peeled almonds, sunflower seeds, seaweed, spirulina, chlorella, barley or wheat grass, quinoa, barley, amaranth and millet, as well as more cooling herbs (mint, coriander, cumin and fennel).

It is also important to consume a lot of water (8 glasses minimum) at room temperature to stay hydrated.  Salty, sour and pungent foods should be avoided.  Hot, spicy, fermented and acidic foods such as chilies, onions, and garlic should also be excluded from the diet or used in small quantities.  Tea, coffee, alcohol and smoking should be avoided or limited to keep the body and mind healthy and balanced during summer.

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Your Body Craves Water

For optimum health and wellbeing our body needs to be hydrated through the right intake of water every day (6-8 glasses is minimum).  Also, the quality of water is crucial for our health and vitality.  Water should be alkaline (ph ≥ 7), without any added chemicals and consumed at room temperature in between meals to maintain a healthy metabolism and digestion.

Drinks that contain caffeine such as tea, coffee, or cola stimulate fluid loss and promote dehydration.  Particularly black tea consumption may cause iron and calcium deficiencies when over consumed like any other stimulant (e.g. coffee or chocolate).  The tannin in black tea may contribute to constipation and other digestive problems.  In comparison, the sweet taste of water calms the mind and supports healthy bowl movements.

Exercise and prolonged physical activity cause you to lose vital electrolytes, which are critical for nerve impulses and muscle contraction.  It is essential that fluid and electrolyte losses are replaced via the right amount of high quality water.

Your body does not need caffeinated tea, an excess of herbal tea, coffee, juices or soft drinks; it purely craves and needs water.

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Seven Super Foods for to Stay Young & Healthy
  • Barley Grass juice of the chlorophyll rich grass of young barley plants is one of the most remarkable high chlorophyll foods. It is as excellent a protein source as meat, offers important digestive enzymes, can resolve toxic substances and contains nutrients that abate physiologic deterioration. Enjoy it freshly juiced or mix 1 teaspoon of barley grass powder with a cup of warm water.
  • Alfalfa Sprouts are a cooling herb that detoxify your body, lower cholesterol and improve the urinary system and intestines. It aids in assimilation of protein, fats and carbohydrates, blocks carcinogenesis and eases menopausal distress.
  • Seaweed reduces blood cholesterol, has antibiotic properties, counteracts obesity and strengthens bones, teeth, nerve transmission and digestion. It has anti-aging properties. Read more about the Calcium Superfoods such as seaweed.
  • Turmeric Read more about Nature’s most powerful healer.
  • Almonds are superior to other nuts in terms of their medicinal action. Read more
  • Quinoa is a gluten free grain that is easy to digest and when washed well can be cooked like rice. It has the highest protein content of any grain and contains more calcium than milk. Quinoa strengthens your whole body, in particular, your kidneys and heart. Read more
  • Lentils benefit the heart and circulatory system and increase kidney vitality. Lentils help to reduce blood cholesterol, control blood sugar and lower blood pressure. They contain neutraceuticals that inhibit cancer and help regulate colon function.

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Barley Grass

Published on 02 November 2009 by Verena in Blog

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Barley Grass

Barley Grass juice of the chlorophyll rich grass of young barley plants is one of the most remarkable high chlorophyll foods. It is as excellent a protein source as meat, offers important digestive enzymes, can resolve toxic substances and contains nutrients that abate physiologic deterioration.

Enjoy it freshly juiced or mix 1 teaspoon of barley grass powder with a cup of warm water.

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The Top Seven Allergens

Published on 27 October 2009 by Verena in Blog, Health Topics A-Z

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The Top Seven Allergens

Here is a list of the seven most common food allergens that may challenge and impair your immune systems on a daily basis: (1) Milk, (2) Wheat, (3) Yeast, (4) White Sugar, (5) Eggs, (6) Solanine in potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, (7) Tannin in tea.

If you suffer from difficulty concentrating, tiredness, sleepiness or irritable bowl symptoms shortly after a meal you either ate too much or you ate something that was not compatible with your metabolism.

The next time you eat a meal with similar ingredients, eat only half of what you ate the first time.  If symptoms persist, it means that there could be an ingredient or ingredients in this meal that were responsible for creating various adverse reactions in your body.

You can remedy this by eliminating ingredients from this meal, one at a time to discover your allergens.  This method is very time consuming but valuable, because it prompts you to become aware of, and analyze in some detail, your reactions to food.

For information on Food Compatibility Testing with Dr Verena click here.

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Eat Until Your First ‘Burp’

Published on 26 October 2009 by Verena in Blog, Health Topics A-Z

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Eat Until Your First ‘Burp’

How much should I eat? You may have asked yourself this particular question and may have tried different approaches to manage your portion sizes.  To achieve optimal health and manage your weight it is essential that you know the ideal amount of food that can be digested by your stomach.

When your stomach is completely empty, it is filled with air.  When you chew your food well and eat your meals consciously you will notice your first ‘burp’ will occur when your stomach is half full with food, as air is being released up the esophagus.  For healthy digestion and optimal weight management it is recommended that you stop eating after your first ‘burp’.

You can occasionally eat until your second ‘burp’.  This is your stomach telling you that it is three quarters full.  It is not recommended to eat beyond the second ‘burp’ as the digestive system may become overwhelmed and cause indigestion.  Your stomach would be completely full with food after the third ‘burp’ and no air would remain to aid the digestion process.

You are less prone to overeat when you enjoy a satisfying meal derived from adequate and quality protein, fats, carbohydrates and minerals, unless you suffer from yeast infections, parasites or food incompatibilities.

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