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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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Foods that Promote Lactation

My friend Jennifer asked me about foods that promote lactation.  She absolutely loves breast-feeding and when I read her feedback on it I thought that I need to share her experiences with you. Thank you Jen!

“I absolutely love breastfeeding. It’s the most beautifully bonding thing a woman can experience with her baby. Plus it’s absolutely amazing how I’ve gotten my figure back with not much exercise in the past six months. It burns 500calories a day! My husband is blown away at how amazing nature has a way of such things! It has helped me fall asleep quickly when doing late feedings and has promoted so many happy feel good hormones. No post partum depression that’s for sure!” (Jen T.)

Jennifer and James April 2010

Breast-feeding has tremendous nutritional, immunological, emotional and psychological benefits for the new born and I can just encourage all new mothers to breastfeed as long as possible. You lay the foundation for your child and provide him/her with the most amazing gift.

There are certain foods that promote lactation which include:

  • Asparagus
  • Borage (European herb)
  • Dill (use fresh to garnish foods)
  • Fennel (enjoy a cup of fennel tea in between meals)
  • Nigella (Indian spice)
  • Black sesame seeds (dry roasted),
  • Juice from cooked aduki beans
  • Carrot
  • Sweet potato
  • Fermented soy beans in miso, tempeh and tamari (consumed in moderation)

To promote lactation it is also essential to nourish and strengthen the kidney through adequate rest and relaxation after the delivery (6 weeks minimum) and via the intake of the following foods:

  • Mussels
  • Fish (particularly broths)
  • Millet
  • Legumes (e.g. Aduki beans, mung beans, black beans)
  • Kelp (garnish your foods with it)
  • Kombu (add when cooking soups or stews)
  • Parsley
  • Spirulina
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Almonds (soaked and peeled)
  • Bee pollen (1/4 tsp in your breakfast every 2-3 days)

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The majority of women have not been breast feed by their mothers, they have been exposed to antibiotics and to contraceptives from an early age on and to the new, modern processed foods.  As a results these women, and once they get pregnant, also their baby, have deeply abnormal gut floras according to the findings of Dr. Campbell-McBride.  She states that autism is related to an abnormal gut flora which is related to a low immunity in the embryo.  After the baby is born, vaccinations further attack the already compromised immune system.  In addition, children are exposed to antibiotics from an early age on.  Antibiotics, wipe out all the beneficial bacteria in the gut, leaving the pathogens behind.  These pathogens damage the gut lining which decreases the absorption of vital nutrients from the food.  Nutritional deficiencies can occur.  The leaking of the gut lining leads to food being digested by pathogens which creates toxic substances that are absorbed by the blood stream and once reaching the brain lead to the development of autism.  This shows us how important a healthy gut flora is to prevent autism in our children.

Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride is a British paediatrician with post-grad qualifications in nutrition and neurological surgery.  She has for the last 10 yrs has had outstanding results in dealing with first, autism then ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder etc  and now also asthma, digestive disorders (they all are), MCS, auto-immune disorders, CFS.  After her son was diagnosed at the age of 3 with severe autism, she investigated traditional nutrition and the role of the gut.  Her son is now a normal 14 year old, and she has dealt with thousands of cases.
On U-Tube you find her presentations:
Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride’s presentation on Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) (click this link for her GAPS book) are available on U-Tube and can be purchased from www.westonaprice.org
If you are interested in fermented foods, foods that help us to improve and build up our gut flora, start using Kefir.

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Black Salt

Published on 17 November 2008 by Verena in Blog, Children, Health Topics A-Z, Spices and Herbs

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Black Salt (known as Kala Namak or Sanchal in Hindi) is a special type of unrefined rock salt mined from volcanic regions in Pakistan and India.

It is purple / pinkish / grey in color and has a very distinct sulfurous mineral taste, like hard boiled eggs.  It is appreciated by vegans in dishes that mimic the taste of eggs.  Black salt is extensively used as a condiment in the Indian cuisine.  It adds distinct falvour to fresh salads, chutneys, snacks, pickles and ‘ratas’ (yogurt sauces) and many other savory Indian dishes.  It can be purchased in Indian grocery stores.

Black salt consists of sodium cholride, iron, sulfurous compounds and trace minerals.

According to Ayurveda (‘Knowledge of Life’), the ancient Indian medical system, black salt, a cooling spice, is full of therapeutic benefits.  It is a laxative, digestive aid and cures intestinal gas, heartburn and improves eye sight.  According to Ayurveda, sea, rock and black salt are the most beneficial forms of salt, because unlike ordinary salt, they do not increase the sodium content of the blood.

Do not use in excess as the high sulfur content can decrease the gastric fire, leading to weak digestion.

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Teaching Good Eating Habits

Published on 08 September 2008 by Verena in Blog, Children, Health Topics A-Z

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knife and fork

The number of children suffering from eczema, asthma, allergies, depression, anxiety, poor immunity and hyperactivity has increased markedly in recent years. One of the main contributors to this problem is unhealthy dietary habits. Most parents want the best for their children but many are unaware of the impact their poor dietary patterns have on their children’s health.

Learning good eating habits should be an essential part of every child’s development.

It is recommended that you allow your children to select foods from outside sources when they are older.Help them to learn on how different foods affect their behavior. This may simply involve paying attention to the particular foods that make them feel both well and sick.

A nourishing, harmonious environment is an important factor in a child’s diet. Never air grievances or have angry or disagreeable discussions at mealtime. In addition, share at least one, daily meal together, at a regular time. If possible, lunch should be the main meal of the day because the digestive fire is highest at noon and the food is more efficiently digested, absorbed and assimilated as compared to the evening meal.It is beneficial to dish up small servings and let your children ask for more rather than serving up larger portions.

Even during infancy, encourage children to chew well or at least hold the food in the mouth until it is thoroughly mixed with saliva. Chew together and make every meal or snack enjoyable. Parents who urge their children to eat too much or too fast, or when tired or excited, may be creating finicky eaters. Children should be hungry when eating, especially toddlers who have small stomachs. Children should be provided with small meals and nutritious snacks if necessary.

Sometimes food is too coarse, plain or soggy. It is very important to make children’s food more interesting and delicious. Also, children should never be forced to eat just because the parents think it is healthy. It is normal for children to loose their appetite for a few days at a time. In addition, to stimulate their creativity and interest in food, let your children help you cook (e.g. stirring, modeling dough into fun shapes, etc.).

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