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Healthy Alternatives to Wheat

Wheat  today is not the same as many decades ago and today’s wheat was probably the first GMO food. Although it is regarded as a staple food along with rice there are many health issues where the culprit appears to be wheat based. Intolerance to wheat products seems to be on the increase and many people are seeking alternatives. Gluten, which is derived from wheat, barley and oats appears to be affecting more and more people world wide and even when wheat products are advertised as gluten free there are concerns, as in many cases the gluten is replaced with sugar to give back some taste to the wheat flour. There are many healthier alternatives to wheat as this article shows and although some are not readily available in many shops they can be found without too much difficulty.

Amaranth

Amaranth is a good source of both carbohydrates and fibre. A 1-cup serving of the cooked grain contains 46 grams of carbohydrates and 5 grams of fibre. The fibre in the amaranth can also help with weight control as it increases satiety and helps control hunger. Eating more than 14 grams of fibre a day can help you decrease your daily calorie intake by 10 per cent, according to an article in the journal “Nutrition Review.” For better health, women should aim for 25 grams of fibre a day, while men should get 38 grams. For those over 50, the daily need for fibre is 21 grams for women, and 30 grams for men. One cup of cooked amaranth contains 9 grams of protein. Unlike other grains, amaranth is a complete source of protein, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids — just as meats and poultry do. Protein in foods like amaranth is necessary to help your body build and maintain the proteins found in your cells, muscles and organs

As a whole grain, the amaranth retains its germ, which is a source of healthy unsaturated fats, including the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. A 1-cup serving of cooked amaranth contains 4 grams of total fat. Replacing your saturated fat foods, such as red meat and butter, with foods rich in unsaturated fats like those found in amaranth might help lower cholesterol levels.
Amaranth is a good source of a number of essential vitamins and minerals that you need for good health, including B vitamins, calcium, iron and zinc. The B vitamins help your body turn the food you eat into energy, as well as make blood cells. As a good source of calcium, amaranth helps keep your bones and teeth healthy and strong. The iron in the grain assists with the transportation of oxygen throughout your body, and the zinc helps your body heal cuts.

Breadfruit Flour

According to a study from the University of British Columbia, breadfruit contains “a full spectrum of the essential amino acids and are especially rich in phenylalanine, leucine, isoleucine and valine. Another nutrient group important to disease prevention are antioxidants. Found in a wide variety of foods, antioxidants prevent and reverse oxidative stress, the damage caused by free radicals to body functions. Free radicals, in addition to being a natural by- product of food consumption can be introduced into the body through over exposure to sunlight, chemicals found in the environment and various other sources, but a diet full of high powered antioxidants can slow and even reverse the damage caused by free radicals.

One research study in the spring of 2016 focused specifically on the antioxidant activity of breadfruit as it relates to the toxicity of cadmium, a common environmental toxin and endocrine disruptor. This particular study investigated the effect of cadmium on alterations in sperm count and activity and found that the tested methanol extract of breadfruit caused significant improvement in sperm count, motility (movement) and hormone levels. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant found in breadfruit. Individuals who eat diets rich in fruits and vegetables containing a lot of vitamin C have a decreased risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer, as well as an extended life span compared to those who do not have a high dietary intake of vitamin C

Due in part to its antioxidant content, in addition to other factors, breadfruit is also great for your heart. It’s been found to contain phytochemicals (chemicals from plants) that protect the heart against atherosclerosis, a heart disease characterized by slowly building pockets of white blood cells in artery walls causing them to thicken. Eventually, atherosclerosis can lead to a blockage of the blood supply to the heart resulting in a heart attack. In 2006, breadfruit was termed as a good prospect to use in medicinal protection against this very common disease. Another way it’s beneficial to your heart is by its ability to combat high cholesterol. Breadfruit is also incredibly high in fibre, offering nearly half the daily recommended intake in just one serving. A high fibre diet is associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure, (hypertension) and other diseases associated with the heart..
Breadfruit also contains a fairly large quantity of thiamine, aka vitamin B1. Thiamine helps maintain muscle tone along the walls of the digestive tract, where the majority of the immune system is located. It also assists in the secretion of hydrochloric acid, helping your body fully digest food and absorb the highest amount of nutrients possible. Together, these features make thiamine a valuable nutrient in maintaining a healthy immune system.

Because breadfruit has some incredible anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it has been researched as a potential cancer fighting food. A Taiwan study found it to have significant potential in the fight against skin cancer and an extract from this fruit, applied directly to the skin, decreased the number, size and malignancy of skin tumours. Another cancer that may be fought by the powerful nutrients in breadfruit is pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer operates differently from many other types of cancer because it is not as susceptible to “nutrient starvation” as other cancers often are. This means that the cancer drugs that are commonly prescribed to starve cancer cells of nutrients are even less effective than usual against cancer of the pancreas.
Therefore, when studying possible treatments for pancreatic cancer, scientists must focus on things that can kill these cancer cells and prevent them from pulling nutrients from nearby vessels and cells. In 2014, a pilot study investigating the impact of an extract from the leaves of the breadfruit tree found that the chemical compound had 100 per cent “preferential cytoxicity” against human pancreatic cancer cells known as PANC-1 under nutrient-deprived conditions. This means that the extract successfully killed 100 per cent of the pancreatic cancer cells when subjected to a nutrient-deprived environment, which normally would have little to no effect on these cells.

Another study in Asia published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine studied the effect of an extract from the breadfruit plant on liver cancer cells. The findings were also fascinating, as researchers discovered that the extract did not cause traditional apoptosis (programmed cell death) that’s often seen in anticancer nutrients and pharmaceuticals. Instead, when exposed to the breadfruit extract, the liver cancer cells underwent autophagic death. This alternative method of cell death occurs naturally in the body as it processes proteins and breaks down damaged cells and is a more effective method of stopping cancer in certain cases.
For the purposes of cooking or stewing, mature but unripe fruits are preferred. As breadfruit continues to ripen after picked, you can choose when to eat it at its ripest, which is when it gives to thumb pressure. This fruit should never be refrigerated because it can undergo chilling injury at temperatures below 12 Fahrenheit.

Many fans of breadfruit know that it can be used in a huge variety of ways. You can eat it ripe, which may give a taste similar to custard apples. It may also be stewed, fried, baked, broiled or powdered. Generally, you should peel the outer skin, then split the fruit into quarter slices before discarding the central core, after which you can cut it into the appropriate size for whatever dish you plant to prepare. When baked, the taste is more closely related to freshly baked bread (which is how it earned its name).
Breadfruit has incredible potential in many areas, including the creation of a much better-tasting gluten free flour than many other food products.

Cassava Flour

Similar to those mentioned above cassava flour is gluten free. People with celiac disease can readily consume starch or flour from cassava because of this. So they can still enjoy bread or cake made from cassava flour or other savoury dishes which may need flour to thicken the gravy.

The fibre in cassava flour slows down the process of absorption of sugar into the bloodstream thus reducing the spike that would occur from the ingestion of simple carbohydrates. Good news for those suffering from diabetes. Cassava contains some antioxidants which play very important roles in reducing the risk of cancer. These include vitamin C, beta carotene and saponins. These antioxidants are known to help protect your cells from damage by free radicals and repair broken DNA. A study by scientists from Tianjin University found that saponins, which are derived from by plants, may help prevent cancer. Potassium plays a very important role in the reduction of blood pressure and the regulation of heart rate and cassava is very high in this mineral.

Chickpea Flour

Anyone who has gone on a diet knows that hunger pangs can weaken even the strongest willpower. The challenge is to lower your caloric intake without starving yourself. Enter chickpeas. 1 cup contains just 269 calories, but half your daily value of fibre and 30% of your protein, both of which monitor the insulin that causes your body to store fat. So eat a cup of chickpeas for lunch and you will feel full until dinner. That’s why one study found that participants who snacked on chickpeas reported greater levels of satisfaction and ate less snack food in-between meals.

Just 2 cups of chickpeas contain your entire daily value of dietary fibre. Better yet, they are full of both soluble and insoluble fibre, the latter of which helps lower LDL cholesterol. One study even found that chickpeas lowered cholesterol levels even more than other foods with comparable levels of fibre. Fibre helps keep your digestive system working. It is the part of plants that do not dissolve. That’s why doctors suggest 40% of your diet come from fibre-rich foods, which definitely includes chickpeas. Unfortunately, more and more people struggle with type 2 diabetes. If you are one of the millions of people across the world who need to regulate blood sugar, incorporate legumes like chickpeas into your diet. Doctors recommend starchy legumes and vegetables for their phytochemicals and fibre. Chickpeas digest slowly without spiking blood sugar and lower haemoglobin A1C levels. The protein in chickpeas also helps with nervous system health. Protein amino acids affect neurotransmitters in the brain and help them function properly.

Chickpeas are an important source of selenium, a mineral that supports liver enzyme function and detoxifies cancer-causing compounds from the body. Selenium is also very important for good prostate health. Chickpeas are also a source of folate, which helps in formation of cancer preventing cells in the body.

Coconut Flour
Coconut flour’s biggest attraction is its gluten-free status, meaning it contains none of the gluten protein molecules found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. Gluten is highly allergenic and can even be deadly for people with Celiac disease (a condition where gluten damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing nutrients in food). However, growing evidence – particularly that compiled by Dr. William Davis in his 2011 book, Wheat Belly – suggests that gluten is unhealthy for everyone, and is a leading cause of lethargy, bloating, brain fog and more. Fortunately, gluten-free diets are becoming much easier to adopt thanks to the growing availability of gluten-free flours like coconut flour and others mentioned in this article.

A study published in the December 2006 suggests that adding coconut flour to your diets can significantly reduce your risk of developing heart disease, lower your cholesterol levels and guard you from cancer and diabetes. The researchers, based in the Food and Nutrition Research Institute in the Philippines, claim that these benefits stem from coconut flour’s unusually high levels of dietary fibre, almost, double that of wheat bran.

Since it is derived from the flesh of the coconut, coconut flour retains a large number of the fats for which coconuts are so beloved by health enthusiasts. A 100 gram serving of coconut flour contains 8.7 grams of fat, of which 8 grams are saturated. Most of these fats are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) – essential protective fats with noted anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. MCTs have also been shown to boost the metabolism, making coconut flour suitable for weight loss diets. Because it is high in fibre yet relatively low in digestible carbohydrates compared to processed flours, coconut flour has a gentle impact on blood sugar levels. This makes it an excellent flour for diabetics, pre-diabetics and anyone else who wants to avoid blood sugar spikes.

Though it is free from gluten proteins, coconut flour contains an impressive number of other proteins. In fact, 100 grams of coconut flour contain 19.3 grams of protein or 38 per cent of our RDI (recommended daily intake) far more protein per serving than other leading flours such as wheat, cornmeal or rye. Consequently, coconut flour is a valuable cooking ingredient for vegan or vegetarian. One downside of coconut flour is that on its own it does not bind and needs the addition of some other flour such as millet, cassava, barley, teff or eggs. Coconut flour also absorbs copious amounts of oil or water.

Fonio
Fonio is one of the preeminent African super foods and holds an honoured place in West African, and particularly Sahel, culture. Nutritionally, it rivals the Ethiopian grain teff. There are two types, white and black but both are actually a type of millet. White fonio is grown in the Sahel area that borders the Sahara Desert, and it does well in dry and grassy savannah as well as in richer climates. Black fonio is found in Benin, Niger, Nigeria and Togo and is less common and more nutritious. Although fonio is found all over West Africa, it is especially prized in the Fouta Djallon region of Guinea and Senegal and the Akposso region of Togo and Central Nigeria.

The fonio plant is fast-growing and can mature from seed to harvest in only 6-8 weeks. It doesn’t need a lot or water or rich soil, which makes it a good crop for soil-depleted and dry land areas that border the Sahel. After they are mature, fonio’s tiny grains must be dried and removed from their husk before they are ready to cook. Before machines did this, the fonio was de-husked with a mortar and pestle, where the grains were pounded. Fonio could also be slowly toasted in a large pan until it popped out of its husk, and then pounded to separate the grain from its covering. Fonio is becoming increasingly popular as a gluten free, nutritious grain that can be used in cooking and baking. It has been an important crop in some parts of Africa because it is highly nutritious, it grows very quickly and it can be grown on land where other cereal crops won’t grow. Even though fonio is highly nutritious and is now gaining a reputation as a superfood, up until recently, it had been very difficult to mass produce because, the grain is so small it was too difficult to remove the husk. Now, however, modern technology has found a way, and the grain that is known as “The Hungry Rice” is now far more readily available. Fonio has more nutritional value than most other grains and is rich in calcium, magnesium and zinc. Here are ten.

The essential amino acids that fonio contains, especially cystine and methionine, help to detoxify the liver and the body. They help the liver to function properly and remove unwanted toxins from the bloodstream. Early studies have suggested that eating fonio could help prevent liver disease and colon cancer. Fonio is often recommended in Africa as a food for pregnant women. It has a high concentration of iron, so it helps to stop anaemia developing, and it also contains folic acid and other amino acids that are beneficial for women during pregnancy.

Fonio has a beloved place on West African plates. It is so full of protein that it even has amino acids that other grains don’t, making it a much more complete protein source. Fonio is rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and manganese, and has more of these nutrients, serving-per-serving, than other grains It is also very high in fibre, which makes it a good carbohydrate as it releases its sugar slowly into the blood stream, making for consistent, high energy over a longer period of time.

Green Banana Flour

Because the young bananas are picked before they ripen, their sugar content never fully develops, so they’re lower in natural sugars than when they are ripe. Also, unlike other starchy ingredients such as pasta and white bread – which are rapidly digested, get absorbed as glucose into the bloodstream, and spike up insulin levels – the resistant starch in green bananas slows the release of food through the gut. This slows the insulin response and prevents that sugar spike and consequent sugar crash. Resistant starch is not just any fibre, but prebiotic fibre. Prebiotics support the good bacteria present in the gut, bowel, and colon and are far more powerful and beneficial for our bellies than probiotics as they act as a fertilizer for existing good flora, helping them to grow and work more effectively. This can help with everything from poor digestion to IBS, and it can even help you get a flatter stomach.

Lower in calories than most wheat flours and alternatives like oat and almond flour, it’s an excellent choice for those watching their waistlines. Because of its fibre content, it keeps you feeling fuller for longer, making you less likely to reach for that packet of biscuits an hour after lunch. It is also great for those suffering with diabetes for this very reason. High in essential minerals and vitamins including zinc, vitamin E, magnesium, and manganese, green-banana flour is also abundant in potassium – so much so that just two tablespoons contain the same amount as seven whole bananas! It also helps lower cholesterol, boosts heart health, and aids nerve and muscle activity. So if you’re gluten-intolerant, hooray! Green-banana flour is also grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free, making it perfect for vegans.

Millet

Millet is quite similar to wheat when it comes to the structure of its protein. The one glaring exception is that millet is a non -gluten grain. Wheat contains copious amount of this hard to digest plant protein. When plain millet flour is used for baking bread the resulting loaf is light, white, and quite similar in texture to wheat bread. As a result, people who wish to avoid gluten tend to immediately gravitate to millet bread as the most logical and palatable substitute.

While millet may not contain gluten, it does contain goitrogens. Goitrogens are substances in food that suppress thyroid activity and can lead to goiter, an enlargement of this very important gland which resides in the throat. Low iodine intake can also lead to goitre.
Hypothyroidism, is a serious and sometimes debilitating condition that accompanies a weak, under active or enlarged thyroid such as what occurs with goiter. Depression, difficulty losing weight, loss of hair, cold hands/feet, and fatigue are common hypothyroid symptoms. While the goitrogens in foods that contain them are usually reduced by cooking (such as cruciferous vegetables), cooking actually increases the goitrogenic effect of millet! Therefore, when folks begin eating large amounts of millet bread with a wholesale switch over from wheat, the goitrogenic effects of this simple dietary change can be profound. So go easy on the millet.

Despite this side effect millet has many health benefits. It is one of the few grains that alkalize the body. It also hydrates the colon, decreases triglycerides, is low on the glycaemic index and contains magnesium, is a pre-biotic (food for good gut bacteria) and contains serotonin which contributes to your “feel good” mood.

Sorghum/guinea corn

Because it’s gluten-free, sorghum grains offer a safe alternative to wheat if you follow a gluten-free diet. One nutritional highlight of guinea corn is its mineral content. A 1/4 cup serving contains 13 milligrams of calcium, 2.1 milligrams of iron, 138 milligrams of phosphorus and 168 milligrams of potassium. Calcium and phosphorus are essential minerals needed for bone health and strength. Adequate intakes of iron support the transportation of oxygen in your body, and help promote cell growth and development.

Potassium helps maintain fluid balance, and high intakes improve blood pressure. Guinea corn contains about the same and sometimes more protein than many other grains. However, the protein is not as readily absorbed because each protein in the grain is surrounded by a tough protein wall that requires more time to digest. About 46 per cent of the protein in the guinea corn is absorbed. Sorghum/guinea corn is full of fibre, vitamin B6, magnesium and manganese. It lowers cholesterol, is good for diabetics and according to the University of Missouri it can inhibit the growth of cancerous tumours. It is also said to prevent blood platelets from clumping together by containing a compound called policosanol.

Teff

Teff, which is grown in Ethiopia and used to make injera, the sourdough flatbread, is a small grain with a long list of health benefits. Teff is a gluten-free grain so it can be a great alternative for those living with celiac disease or crohn’s disease, having gluten intolerance or choosing a gluten-free lifestyle.

Along with being gluten-free, high in iron and super tasty, teff has also recently been recognized as a new super-food and in some cases is referred to as the new quinoa. Teff is also known to help with weight reduction and assists with PMS. It is also ideal for vegetarians looking for sources of non-dairy protein. But one thing to bear in mind is that this super grain is not cheap. Teff is high in protein with a great combination of eight essential amino acids needed for the body’s growth and repair. It has high amounts of calcium, manganese, phosphorous, iron, copper, aluminum, barium, thiamin, and vitamin C, which is not normally found in grains. The iron from teff is easily absorbed and is also recommended for people with low blood iron levels.

If you are diabetic, you might want to consider adding teff to your diet to control blood sugar levels. Teff contains approximately 20 to 40 per cent resistant starches and has a relatively low glycemic index that can help diabetics better regulate their sugar levels. The fibre content in this tiny little grain can help you regulate your bowel movements and keep you feeling fuller longer. Naturally, this grain is very low in saturated fat.

Because it is low in sodiumTeff is also great for those seeking to lower their blood pressure and maintain a heart healthy diet. Unprocessed teff is a better alternative compared with pre-processed, cooked teff which often comes with preservatives or additives that are high in sodium. If you’re worried, always double check nutritional labels. Part of eating a nutritionally adequate diet is being able to incorporate superfoods like teff into all of your meals. Teff is a versatile grain and can be eaten whole, steamed, boiled or baked. Nowadays, teff is found in a variety of products like pancakes, breads, cereals, snack bars and many other foods. Traditionally, it is used to make Ethiopian injera (sourdough bread). Looking very much like poppy seeds, teff has a nutty, grainy taste and texture that can add dimension to your recipes and cooking. Most Ethiopian platters are served on injera bread.

Quinoa Flour

Quinoa, pronounced “keen wah” is one of the world’s most popular health foods. It is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fibre, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various antioxidants. The Incas referred to it as the “mother of all grains” and believed it to be sacred.
These days, you can find quinoa and products made with it all over the world, especially in health food stores and restaurants that emphasize natural food. It is non-GMO, gluten free and is usually grown organically. Technically, quinoa is not a grain but is generally regarded as such. It is high in fibre. One study that looked at 4 varieties of quinoa found a range of between 10 and 16 grams of fibre, per every 100 grams. This equals 17-27 grams per cup, which is very high, more than twice as high as most grains. Boiled quinoa contains much less fibre gram for gram, because it absorbs so much water. Most of the fibre is insoluble fibre, which brings different health benefits to the body from soluble fibre.

The health effects of real foods go way beyond the vitamins and minerals we’re all familiar with. There are thousands of trace nutrients in there, some of which are extremely healthy. This includes interesting molecules called flavonoids, which are plant antioxidants that have been shown to have all sorts of beneficial effects on health. Two flavonoids that have been particularly well studied are quercetin and kaempferol, and they happen to be found in large amounts in quinoa. In fact, the quercetin content of quinoa is even higher than typical high-quercetin foods like cranberries.These important molecules have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects in animal studies. There are numerous studies showing that soluble fibre can help reduce blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, increase fullness and help with weight loss. Quinoa is much higher in fibre than most grains, with one source finding 17-27 grams of fibre per cup. Studies have shown that by using quinoa instead of typical gluten-free ingredients like refined tapioca, potato, corn and rice flour, it can dramatically increase the nutrient and antioxidant value of the diet.

Protein is made out of amino acids. Some of them are termed “essential” because we cannot produce them and need to get them from the diet. If a food contains all the essential amino acids, it is seen as a “complete” protein.The problem is that many plant foods are deficient in certain essential amino acids, such as lysine.However, quinoa is an exception to this, because it contains all the essential amino acids. For this reason, it is an excellent source of protein. It has both more and better protein than most grains. With 8 grams of quality protein per cup, quinoa is an excellent plant-based protein source for vegetarians and vegans.

The glycaemic index is a measure of how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels. It is known that eating foods that are high on the glycaemic index can stimulate hunger and contribute to obesity Such foods have also been linked to many of the chronic, Western diseases that are so common today, like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Quinoa has a glycaemic index of 53, which is considered low. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it is still pretty high in carbs, so it is not a good choice for a low carbohydrate diet. There are many nutrients in the modern diet that people tend to be lacking in. This is particularly true of some minerals, especially magnesium, potassium, zinc and (for women) iron. Interestingly, quinoa is very high in all 4 minerals. It is particularly high in magnesium with one cup having about 30% of the RDA. The problem is that it also contains a substance called phytic acid, which can bind these minerals and reduce their absorption. However, by soaking and/or sprouting the quinoa before cooking it, you can reduce the phytic acid content and make these minerals more bioavailable. Quinoa is also pretty high in oxalates, which reduce the absorption of calcium and can cause problems for certain individuals with recurring kidney stones.

A human study found that using quinoa instead of typical gluten-free breads and pastas significantly reduced blood sugar, insulin and triglyceride levels. A study on rats found that adding quinoa to a diet high in fructose almost completely inhibited the negative effects of fructose. Quinoa also happens to be very high in antioxidants which neutralize free radicals and help fight aging and many diseases. Allowing the seeds to sprout seems to increase the antioxidant content even further In order to lose weight we need to take in fewer calories than we burn. It is known that certain properties of foods can facilitate this process, either by boosting metabolism (increasing calories out) or reducing appetite (lowering calories in). Quinoa has several such properties. The last one is not a health benefit, but still incredibly important. It is also tasty and goes well with many foods. Depending on the type of quinoa, it can be important to rinse it with water in order to get rid of saponins, which are found on the outer layer and can have a bitter flavour. It should now have absorbed most of the water and gotten a fluffy look. If done right, it should have a mild, nutty flavour and a satisfying crunch.

Now that you know what a wide alternative choice there is to wheat flour, you can try some of them to find out which ones best suit your needs by way of taste and health benefits. You may have to shop around a bit or even go on line to get some of them but your health is worth it, isn’t it?

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are not intended to replace a one to one relationship with your health practitioner nor are they meant as medical advice. You are encouraged to do your own research and make your own decisions in partnership with your medical practitioner.

Health Benefits of Sugar Cane Juice

Sugarcane juice is considered an alkaline forming food because of the high concentration of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and manganese in it. Diseases like cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment and that’s why studies show that it is effective in fighting cancer, especially prostate and breast cancer. It’s rich in iron, magnesium, calcium and other electrolytes so it’s great for dehydration. It helps cure the common cold and other infections and also fights fever as it boosts the body’s protein levels. Besides these, there are a few more great health benefits of sugarcane juice that you should know about.indexsugar-cane-with-arrows

Sugarcane juice has no fats. It is, in fact, a 100% natural drink and has only about 30 grams of natural sugar. Hence, you do not have to add extra sugar for sweetness. Sugar cane is a grass plant of the genus saccharum and has 36 varieties. A mature sugarcane plant can grow up to 30 feet tall and a single sugarcane plant can take 9-24 months to become mature, depending on the climate, variety of sugar cane and the type of soil. Sugar extracted from sugarcane juice contains only 15 calories and an 8-ounce serving of sugarcane juice without any additives has a total of 180 calories, which is quite low. Sugarcane juice is made up of sucrose, fructose, and many other glucose varieties, hence, it is sweet to taste. Raw sugarcane juice contains a total of 13 grams of dietary fibre per serving, which is essential in carrying out a lot of body functions.

Why Sugarcane Juice Is  so Healthy

Sugarcane juice can help in rejuvenating your skin within no time. Sugarcane juice is a good source of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid, which helps to increase cell turn over . Also, acne results from blocked skin pores that sugarcane juice helps to remove by exfoliating your skin and thinning down the accumulation of dead cells.indexsugar-cane-juice

Protect Your Skin from Aging

If you are worried about wrinkles that are making you look much older than your age you can delay the signs of aging with the help of sugarcane juice. The presence of antioxidants, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds makes sugarcane juice a good option to achieve glowing, soft, and moisturized skin. Sugarcane juice can help in rejuvenating your skin within no time. Sugarcane juice is a good source of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid, which helps to increase cell turn over. Acne results from blocked skin pores that sugarcane juice helps to remove by exfoliating your skin and thinning down the accumulation of dead cells.

Instant Energy Booster

If you are experiencing dehydration, sugarcane juice is one the best sources of instant energy. It is capable of lifting up your spirits and mood within no time leaving you all refreshed and charged. Imagine the benefits of adding it to coconut water. Sugarcane contains simple sugars (sucrose) that are easily absorbed by your body. These sugars are utilized to replenish the lost sugar levels in the body.

Ensures Safe Pregnancyimagescutting-cane

Sugarcane juice has been found to be a great addition to a pregnant woman’s diet. It facilitates quicker conceptions and safer pregnancy. This amazing juice contains trace amounts of folic acid or vitamin B9 that is known to protect from neural birth defects like spina bifida. Research has also discovered that sugarcane juice minimizes ovulating problems in women, thereby increasing chances of conception.

Prevents Bad Breath and Tooth Decay

Bad breath is a major cause for social embarrassment. If you have a history of tooth decay leading to bad breath, you should consider sugarcane juice as a home remedy. Sugarcane contains a host of minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, which help build your teeth enamel. The consistent flow of nutrients prevents decay and strengthens your teeth. Also, bad breath is another symptom of nutrient deficiency that sugarcane juice helps counter. Hand a piece of sugarcane or a glass of tasty sugarcane juice to every growing child, and you can gladly forget teeth-related and bone-related problems. Sugarcane is an extremely rich source of calcium that helps build your skeletal strength, including bones and teeth. This makes it one of the best ingredients that contribute to a child’s growth.

Cures Febrile Disorder

Sugarcane juice is known to be extremely beneficial for curing instances of febrile disorders that are extremely common in growing kids. Febrile disorders are notorious for causing fevers with high temperatures. They cause protein loss, thus making it a risk for the body. Sugarcane juice is known to replenish this loss of protein.

Aids Liver Functioningimagessugar-cane-knobs

Sugarcane juice is regarded as one of the best treatments for liver-related sicknesses like jaundice. All you need is a glass of sugarcane juice and a dash of lime. Drink this twice a day. Jaundice occurs due to poor functioning of the liver as well as clogged bile ducts. Sugarcane juice maintains the glucose levels in your body and ensures speedy recovery. Also, being alkaline in nature, sugarcane juice helps maintain electrolyte balance in your body, and thus stops your liver from going into overdrive.

Acts as a Digestive Tonic

If you have been suffering from digestive distress, you should consider including sugarcane juice in your diet for a healthier and stress-free life. Potassium, present in sugarcane juice, helps balance the pH levels of your stomach and facilitates the secretion of digestive juices.

Combats Cancer

This might come as a surprise to you, but sugarcane juice can also be a comprehensive deterrent to fatal diseases like cancer, especially prostate and breast cancer. Recent research has discovered that the presence of flavonoids in sugarcane inhibits the multiplication of cancerous cells in the mammary glands, thus reducing risks of breast cancer.

Helps Control Diabetes

Is sugarcane juice good for diabetics? If you think sugarcane juice is a bad choice just because you are suffering from diabetes, then you are wrong. Sugarcane can, in fact, be consumed by people with diabetes, but in moderation. Sugarcane contains sucrose that has a low glycaemic index. This helps to keep your blood sugar levels in control.

Treats Sore Throat

If you feel a sudden itching or irritation in your throat, drink a glass of sugarcane juice with a dash of lime and black salt to soothe it. Vitamin C is found abundantly in sugarcane juice and is the main reason that makes it a good remedy for a sore throat. Sugarcane juice is also a rich source of antioxidants that ward off any viral or bacterial infections.index-young-cane-field

Heals Wounds

Other than boosting your immunity, sugarcane juice also helps in speeding the recovery of wounds. Sugarcane juice contains sucrose that is naturally capable of healing any kind of wound in a small span of time. You can also dab some sugarcane juice over the wound for better results.

Strengthens Body Organs

Regular consumption of sugarcane juice assists in strengthening the main organs of your body so that they can work in synergy with your other organs. Since sugarcane juice is full of essential sugars which help strengthen the sensory organs, reproductive organs, and the brain.

Prevents DNA Damage

Sugarcane juice can protect you from radiation-induced DNA damage that can affect your brain and all the cells in your body. It is full of antioxidants that prevent the oxidative degradation of cellular fats and lipids and control DNA damage. This is very important in these days of increased radiation.

Aids Weight Loss

Even though it is sweet, sugarcane juice can help you shed a few extra pounds. Sugarcane juice is known to reduce the bad cholesterol in our body, which is one the main reason for weight gain. It is also high in soluble fibre which helps manage weight and provide food for the good bacteria which make up a large part of our immune system.

Eliminates Toxins from Your Body

Having sugarcane juice on a regular basis helps in cleansing the body of harmful toxins and other foreign elements and boosts your metabolism. This detoxification process gradually leads to weight loss and improved liver function.

Beneficial In Treating UTI

Sugarcane juice helps maintain kidney health and prevents problems associated with Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). Drink a glass of sugarcane juice mixed with lemon and coconut water twice a day as an effective cure for UTI. Sugarcane juice is known to increase the protein levels in the body. This prevents many kidney-related diseases like stones, UTI, STDs, and prostatitis. It also relieves the burning sensation that accompanies these disorders.sugar-cane-20834122

Good for Nail Health

Do you have discoloured and brittle nails that need to be camouflaged with a variety of nail arts and paints? Try having sugarcane juice to combat this problem. The lack of nutrients makes our nails lifeless and brittle. Since sugarcane juice is full of nutrients, it nourishes your nails and makes them healthy.

Increases Muscle Power

Having sugarcane juice twice a day is known to increase your muscle power by providing much-needed glucose to the body. You may not know this, but sugarcane juice is actually helpful in treating fever. Drinking sugarcane juice can prevent protein loss, which may lead to weakness and pain.

Treats Acidity

Since sugarcane juice is alkaline in nature, it can soothe acidity and burning in your stomach and intestines. It also helps maintain the acid-base balance in our body.

Boosts Our Immunity

Sugarcane juice is full of essential antioxidants that help in strengthening our immune system. These antioxidants strengthen the immune system enabling it to fight against a number of diseases, including those of the liver and digestive system. These antioxidants also neutralize the bilirubin levels in the body.

One of the best parts of sugarcane juice is that it can be blended with any other juice to form a very tasty cocktail.
You can mix sugarcane juice with..pomegranate juice, watermelon juice, coconut water or musk melon juice

Storage

When you are purchasing large stalks of sugar cane, it is best to cut them into smaller pieces so that you can refrigerate them. Make sure you rinse the stalks thoroughly and wait till they are completely dry before keeping them in the refrigerator. Also, wrap each cut end of the stalks with a plastic wrap and securely fix it with an elastic band. This will prevent moisture loss from the stalks and keep them juicy fresh. If proper care is taken, they will be good to go for two weeks.

Consume freshly made sugarcane juice within half an hour as it can spoil fairly quickly. Also, avoid having un-refrigerated juice if it isn’t freshly made. Storing for more than a few hours in the fridge is also not advised.sugarcane-1

Un-sulphured Blackstrap Molasses Health Benefits

No article on sugar cane would be complete without mentioning molasses, a by-product of sugar cane refining. Molasses is considered a super-food due to the many health benefits it brings with it.

Super-foods are considered super because they are more nutrient dense than most other foods. One super-food, un-sulphured blackstrap molasses, is among numerous super-foods receiving little recognition when it should be in everyone’s home. Read on to learn about blackstrap molasses benefits and what this super-food actually is.

Ironically, molasses is the by-product or “waste” from processing sugar cane into un-healthy table sugar. Refined table sugar creates blood sugar and insulin instability while providing no nutrients. It actually robs nutrients, especially minerals, out of the body if consumed enough.

Once sugar canes are harvested, machines are used to press the juice out of the cane. Sugar cane roots go very deep into the soil allowing them to bypass nutritionally depleted topsoil, which has become the norm with mono-culture and chemically induced agriculture.

The juice is boiled then put through centrifugal machinery to convert it into sugar crystals. Sun ripened sugar cane is processed without using sulphur, which makes it ideal for human consumption as opposed to the sugarcane which is harvested early and sulphur is used in its refining. A third boiling is necessary to extract table sugar from sugar cane juice. This produces a thick dark substance known as blackstrap molasses, which is the most nutrient dense of all.
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Blackstrap molasses has a low glycaemic index. This means the glucose and carbohydrates are metabolized slowly, demanding less insulin production and stabilizing blood sugar. This results in less lipids or fats being stored in the liver while reducing your risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

Because of its high iron content, many use blackstrap molasses to holistically overcome anaemia. Iron is essential in the creation of red blood cells. In addition to iron, blackstrap molasses contains folate, a natural source for folic acid, along with some other B vitamins, which all combine to form the synergistic mix that promotes red blood cell production.

imagesblackstrapmolasses-2Then there is magnesium in abundance, along with calcium. Magnesium is important for balancing calcium for bone production and energy and is necessary for the smooth function of our nervous system. It is also essential for over 300 metabolic processes and the synthesis of almost all the other minerals and vitamins. Magnesium is also helpful for maintaining heart health. Insufficient magnesium levels can result in muscle spasms, including the heart muscle, which of course relates to arrhythmia or even heart attacks.
Potassium is another mineral abundant in blackstrap molasses. A deficiency in potassium results in weak muscles and is considered a factor in causing arthritis. Potassium also helps maintain a calmly functioning nervous system, boosts heart health, maintains energy levels and reduces blood pressure.

Manganese, a trace mineral, is very high in un-sulphured blackstrap molasses. Manganese ions function with a number of enzymes, and are essential to combating free radicals. Like magnesium, manganese also supports cellular absorption of nutrients, and is beneficial to the nervous system. Other minerals that are abundant are copper and zinc. Zinc has been tagged as the male mineral because it helps support a healthy prostate. Working with zinc, copper helps eliminate oxidation damage.

All the minerals and nutrients of un-sulphured blackstrap molasses are in their natural, balanced form to create a bio-accessible, nutritional synergy unavailable from supplements that are not really food..

Taste Concernsindexmolasses

Un-sulphured blackstrap molasses can be incorporated with many food items as a sweetener despite its distinctive flavour. It works in teas or hot cereals, on pancakes and waffles or dessert items, or used as a glaze for cooking. Some people take right to it. Others, especially those who have taste buds conditioned for years by sugar and artificial sweeteners, find it lacking as a sweetener.

Just like any transition from unhealthy processed “tasty” foods to healthier real foods, taste can be acquired even to a point of wondering why the junk food was consumed with so much relish in the first place! Un-sulphured blackstrap molasses is easily managed as a tonic. Mixing a tablespoon or two of blackstrap molasses with a glass of warm water works well as a mineral tonic. Use this mix three times a day. Restoring or maintaining health through natural whole foods requires a sustained intake over time, but it’s still less expensive than medications or even synthetically derived supplements. And the results are real and permanent without side effects.

Click on the banner on this page. Buy your coconut oil, molasses and other healthy wholefoods and have them delivered to your door within two days.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are not intended to replace a one to one relationship with your health practitioner nor are they meant as medical advice. You are encouraged to do your own research and make your own decisions in partnership with your medical practitioner.

 

How to Protect and Repair Your DNA

DNA contains all the instructions that transform us from a fertilized egg into a full human being. DNA also contains all the programming that facilitates biological growth and repair, fights infection and disease and aids the normal function of vital organs like the heart, brain and gut. Unfortunately, DNA and genetic expression can be damaged by diet, stress, lifestyle, emotions and injury, which may advance the physical and mental deterioration often associated with aging.
However, limiting the factors that cause the most genetic damage can help reverse disease and restore proper biological function. The most common causes of DNA damage include:index-triple-strand-dna
• Free Radical Damage – Free radicals form in the body as a by-product of the proDNAcesses that break down food for energy, fight infection and  hazardous chemicals. They are highly unstable molecules that encourage oxidation, or cellular rust, that interferes with energy production and may be related to symptoms of extreme physical and mental fatigue in the elderly.
• Mistakes in DNA Replication – Mistakes can be made during DNA replication that result in the accumulation of genetic mutations that increase the amount of time it takes to repair and replace “old” DNA.
• Errors during DNA Transcription – When various amino acids are missing during DNA transcription, the process of encoding specific information into our genes, which are used in the creation of enzymes and proteins, vital components of health and biological repair, can be altered that may encourage the development of disease.

Most people today are consistently exposed to substances that are known to damage our DNA. Radiation (from the sun , increased radiation from mobile phone masts or x-rays), viruses, toxins, pollution, plastics, cigarette smoke, chemicals in soft drinks, pesticides, and many more common substances have all been found to damage our DNA. It’s unfortunate because when our DNA is damaged, we are subjected to numerous health problems. Our cells become inhibited in producing what our bodies need and our bodies become challenged in re-growing healthy cells. Some results of damaged DNA are: premature aging, cancer, diabetes mellitus (diabetes itself may cause DNA damage), Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, chronic fatigue syndrome, and many other conditions. Worse yet, the effects of our chemical exposure and lifestyles are passed to our children and our children’s children. Fortunately though, our DNA has the ability to repair itself and below are a few easy ways to start your DNA on the road to repair. Vibrational or physical control, by others, is established through various means, one of which is toxic additives in the food supply and products that we use. For example, fluoride which is added to drinking water is a highly toxic, poisonous, neuro-suppressant. It calcifies the pineal gland and interferes with DNA functioning (see my article on the dangers of fluoride). The world’s most prestigious medical journal, the Lancet, has recently categorized fluoride as a neurotoxin.dna-24559__180

In fact, there are endless food additives that disrupt normal DNA functioning, which is why they are placed into so many products, to prevent the human being from functioning at his/her optimal. Genetically modified organisms, or GMO crops are being forced into the food chain and these organisms also disrupt DNA functioning. After looking at the data on how the human body processes these and other forms of GMOs, a team of researchers discovered that DNA from GMOs is not completely broken down by the body during the digestion process. What would normally be degraded into smaller constituents like amino acids and nucleic acids was found to remain whole. Not only this, but these larger DNA fragments were found to pass directly into the circulatory system, sometimes at a level higher than actual human DNA.

Cells cannot function properly if the DNA is damaged. However, the cells CAN, through chemical processes, reverse the damage themselves. It is estimated that, on average, there are 800 incidents of DNA damage in our bodies per hour. That’s 19,000 hits to our DNA every day. And that DNA damage can cause mutations that can give rise to cancer—if not repaired. Thankfully, the regulation of DNA repair may be added to the list of biological processes that are influenced by what we eat and, specifically, that this might constitute part of the explanation for the cancer-preventive effects of many plant-based foods.

Nine fruits and vegetables were tested to see which were better for boosting DNA repair: lemons, persimmons, strawberries, oranges, choy sum (which is like skinny bok choy), broccoli, celery, lettuce, and apples. Which ones came out tops? Lemons, persimmons, strawberries, apples, broccoli, and celery each conferred DNA protection at very low doses. Lemons cut DNA damage by about a third. Was it the vitamin C? No, removing the vitamin C from the lemon extract did not remove the protective effect. However, if you boiled the lemon first for 30 minutes, the effect was lost. Now you can see another benefit of drinking lemon juice with water or green tea first thing in the morning. A combined group of carotenoid nutrients known as xanthophylls, combat DNA damage and boost DNA repair mechanisms. This in turn slows the development of cancer and other age related disorders such as advanced macular degeneration (gradual loss of eye sight).dnacropcircle

Hempseed and hempseed oil have been found to be a factor in DNA repair. Hemp has the perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) needed by the human body. One ‘job’ of Omega 3 is cellular repair. Hemp is 65% protein, 35% of which is globulin edestin protein. It is the protein that is closest to human globulin, and is very easily digestible by the body.The protein is a major factor in DNA repair, as the cells use that protein to correct the DNA damage. Because hemp is the highest source of edestin protein AND is responsible for boosting the immune system, it is a perfect addition to the diet. Vitamins B3 (Niacin), B9 (Folate), and B12 (Cobalamin) have also been found as essential for DNA metabolism..

What are the causes of cancer? What makes us older? If lifestyle choices like smoking cigarettes or drinking cola increase our risk of cancer, what can we do to try reverse or slow aging? Are cancer and aging related? Adequate, or more than adequate, levels of vitamins and minerals are thought to play a significant role in DNA repair and protection. The repair and protection of DNA is then thought to play a critical role in preventing cancer and slowing aging. Carotenoids (vitamin A precursors) such as beta-carotene are now conclusively considered anti-oxidants which ensure genomic stability. Their role in preventing cancer, however, is still considered somewhat controversial, with some studies reporting that carotenoids prevent cancer, and other studies reporting no effect. Vitamin D has also been shown to play a role in stabilizing DNA structure, and has been proven to help in bone health, multiple sclerosis, hypertension and possibly cancer. Vitamin E is a lipid scavenger which makes it very effective at reducing chromosome damage.snapshot-silence-meditation
It can also happen if a person is exposed to radiation through x-ray imaging, nuclear power, or fallout from nuclear weapons. If severe enough, radiation damage may cause cancer, birth defects, heart disease, and other serious health problems. Doctors try to protect people undergoing radiation therapy for cancer by using low doses, being precise about targeting the radiation, and minimizing side effects.

Radiation damage can cause a number of symptoms. These are common side effects when a person undergoes radiation treatment for cancer:
• Hair loss
• Stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
• Low white blood cells (leucopenia)
• Itchy skin at the site of the radiation
• Sore mouth or mouth ulcers (oral mucositis)
Radiation sickness or radiation emergency happens after exposure to a large amount of radiation. Acute radiation sickness occurs within 24 hours of exposure. Chronic radiation syndrome is a range of symptoms occurring over a period of time. These symptoms can happen immediately or months or years after exposure to radiation:
• Radiation syndrome includes fatigue, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, fever, headache with bleeding and complications affecting the digestive system, nervous system, heart, and lungs.
• Central nervous system diseases
• Kidney, liver, or gastrointestinal problems
• Poor growth in children
• Skin conditions
• Pericarditis (inflammation of the sac around the heart)
• Lung infections or conditions, respiratory failure
• Vision problems, including cataracts
• Problems with the reproductive organs
• Heart disease

Damage happens when radiation interacts with oxygen, causing certain molecules to form in the body. These molecules can damage or break strands of DNA in cells. The cells may die. Apart from chemicals in the food, air, water and clothes we wear the greatest threat to our health is from radiation.
People who have been exposed to radiation and who also have the following conditions or characteristics are at risk for developing radiation damage:
• High dose of radiation exposure
• Young age at time of exposure
• Use of chemotherapy, antibiotics
• Exposure to radiation before birth (while in the womb)
These nutritional tips may help reduce side effects from radiation therapy:
• People undergoing radiation and that means everyone in the world should maintain a healthy diet. It is best to work with a nutritionist who understands the unique needs of people with cancer and people receiving radiation therapy.
• Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil. Avoid cooking olive oil at high temperatures to prevent carcinogens from forming.
• Reduce or eliminate trans fatty acids, found in commercially-baked goods, such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.

Supplements may be helpful in terms of managing the side effects of radiation therapy while others may interfere with the effectiveness of certain cancer treatments. Another supplement you may want to consider is a probiotic supplement containing 5 to 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) a day. Probiotics may help reduce diarrhoea in people receiving radiation therapy for cancer in the pelvis or abdomen.snapshot-sun-gazing
Herbs are generally available as standardized, dried extracts (pills, capsules, or tablets), teas, or tinctures/liquid extracts. Mix liquid extracts with your favourite beverage. Dose for teas is 1 to 2 heaping tsp. per cup of water, steeped for 10 to 15 minutes (roots need longer).
If you are undergoing radiation therapy for cancer, ask your oncologist before taking any herb.
• Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) standardized extract, 80 to 200 mg, 1 to 3 times a day, may offer some protection from radiation damage, although more research is needed. Milk thistle may interact with a variety of medications, and may even have estrogen-like effects in certain people. Speak with your doctor.
• Green tea (Camellia sinensis) standardized extract, 250 to 500 mg daily, for antioxidant effects. You may use caffeine-free products. You can also prepare teas from the leaf.
• Panax ginseng (Panax ginseng) standardized extract, 100 to 200 mg, twice daily, may offer some protection from radiation, although more research is needed. Some studies show that ginseng may reduce fatigue, which is a common side effect of radiation therapy. Ginseng may interact with a number of medications, so ask your doctor before taking it. You should not take ginseng for more than 3 months. If you have diabetes, heart disease, an autoimmune disease, insomnia, or schizophrenia, you should avoid ginseng.
• Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) standardized extract, 400 mg daily, may offer some protection from radiation, although more research is needed. You can also prepare teas from the root. Holy basil may increase the risk of bleeding if you take blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin.
• Chamomile oral rinse (Kamillosan), used 3 to 4 times daily, for mouth soreness or ulcers due to radiation therapy.
• Calendula (Calendula officinalis) topical cream, apply externally to irritated skin, 2 to 3 times daily. One study of women undergoing radiation therapy for breast cancer found that using calendula ointment at least 2 times a day reduced skin irritation, pain, and redness.
• Aloe vera (Aloe vera) topical gel or cream, applied externally to irritated skin, 2 to 3 times daily. Studies are mixed about whether aloe helps reduce skin irritation and pain from radiation.

Other foods that repair DNA are…. Selenium, kale, broccoli, spinach, water cress, guavas, kiwi fruits, beans (red kidney beans, black beans, split peas, lentils and chick peas, all very good sources of fibre, protein and folate which is an excellent source of vitamin B. Avocados and asparagus are also high on the list. If you are undergoing radiation therapy for cancer, ask your oncologist before taking any herb. Pulses, seeds of legumes that use nitrogen from the atmosphere to make protein are an important protein source worldwide. So valuable in ancient Rome, prominent families derived their names from beans and peas; for example, Cicero is from the Latin word for chickpea.1780645_10201507347347138_78346458_nancestors-dna

Cosmic radiation (galactic radiation) reaches earth every single moment. Human DNA is holding ALL information needed to build and “run” the human body. Human DNA is the software of life. The main role of DNA molecules is the long term storage of information. Molecules interact at atomic level with incoming radiation. But the mechanism of how highly energetic radiation interact with the DNA structure is not yet properly understood.

The effects depend on the characteristics (frequency, speed of particles, etc.) of the interacting radiation and how it is absorbed or deflected by the “guest” structure. Sun-gazing is a very effective way to consciously change your DNA for the better but you have to adhere to some simple, basic guidelines. The best times are an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset as the sun’s rays are not powerful enough at that time to damage your eyes. This process is even more beneficial if you are standing barefoot on grass, naked earth or sand at the same time, a process known as earthing or grounding. You can begin by doing this for about ten seconds and gradually work your way up and the health benefits are said to be tremendous. Protecting your DNA is not only important from a physical perspective but also spiritually as it works with your pineal gland in raising your level of consciousness and connectivity to your inner being,, your fellow man and the greater consciousness that controls the universe.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are not intended to replace a one to one relationship with your health practitioner nor are they meant as medical advice. You are encouraged to do your own research and make your own decisions in partnership with your medical practitioner.

Magnesium the Missing Mineral

Magnesium is an essential mineral for staying healthy and is required for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Multiple health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth. Magnesium is one of the six essential macro-minerals that comprise 99% of the body’s mineral content. It helps build bones, enables nerves to function, and is essential to the production of energy from food.
Magnesium has been shown to have therapeutic value in treating conditions such as headaches, chronic pain, asthma, and sleep disorders and in a recent large scale study, magnesium has been linked to a reduced incidence of conditions such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.imagesBeetroot juice

Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function, or it will perish. Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system, well- functioning detoxification pathways and much more depend upon cellular magnesium. Soft tissue containing the highest concentrations of magnesium in the body include the brain and the heart—two organs that produce a large amount of electrical activity, and which can be especially vulnerable to magnesium insufficiency.
Fluoride in drinking water binds with magnesium, creating a nearly insoluble mineral compound that ends up deposited in the bones, where its brittleness increases the risk of fractures. Water, in fact, could be an excellent source of magnesium—if it comes from deep wells that have magnesium at their source. Urban sources of drinking water are usually from surface water, such as rivers and streams, which are low in magnesium. Even many bottled mineral waters are quite low in magnesium, or have a very high concentration of calcium, or both. Here are some of the things magnesium does:

It gives rigidity and flexibility to your bones (more important than calcium in many cases), increases bioavailability of calcium, regulates and normalizes blood pressure, prevents and reverses kidney stone formation, promotes restful sleep, helps prevent congestive heart failure, eases muscle cramps and spasms, lowers serum cholesterol levels and triglycerides, decreases insulin resistance, can prevent atherosclerosis and stroke, end cluster and migraine headaches, enhances circulation, relieves fibromyalgia and chronic pain, treats asthma and emphysema, helps make proteins, encourages proper elimination, prevents osteoporosis, proper Vitamin D absorption, protection from radiation, to aid weight loss, lessen or remove ADD or ADHD in children, in proper digestion of carbohydrates, emerging evidence is showing a preventative role in many cancers.imagesBlack woman with grapefruit

Some surveys have associated higher blood levels of magnesium with lower risk of coronary heart disease. In addition, some dietary surveys have suggested that a higher magnesium intake may reduce the risk of having a stroke. There is also evidence that low body stores of magnesium increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which may increase the risk of complications after a heart attack. These studies suggest that consuming recommended amounts of magnesium may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system.

Are You Low in Magnesium?
Low magnesium levels are often diagnosed by symptoms alone as there is no blood test that detects low magnesium levels. The reason for this is that about 99% of the magnesium in your body is stored in your bones, muscles and soft tissue and only about 1 % is actually in your blood. Early signals of magnesium deficiency include: Appetite loss, headaches, nausea, tiredness and weakness. On- going or more severe magnesium deficiency can lead to more serious symptoms, such as numbness and tingling, cramps, seizures, behavioural changes, abnormal heart rhythm and coronary spasm.

The following symptoms can also point to low magnesium levels: Inability to sleep or insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to noise, mental disturbances, anxiety, depression or restlessness, muscle soreness or spasms, infertility or PMS, high levels of stress, headaches, heart “flutters” or palpitations, fatigue or unusual tiredness, coldness in extremities, fuzzy brain or difficulty concentrating, allergies and sensitivities, lack of appetite, back pain, body odour, bad short term memory, poor coordination, insulin resistance, carbohydrate cravings, constipation, frequent cavities or poor dental health, gut disorders, kidney stones, thyroid problems.

If you have more than one of the above symptoms and especially if you have more than five, it is highly likely that you could benefit from having more magnesium in your diet. Some conditions known to impact magnesium availability include: Individual variations in amount of stomach acid, commonly reduced in older adults, excessive use of alcohol, Crohn’s disease, celiac sprue, and any disorder of the digestive or intestinal function, kidney disorders, genetic magnesium absorption disorders, stress, surgery, and chronic disorders such as diabetes, diarrhea and vomiting.

How To Get Enough Magnesium
Unfortunately, magnesium is often not well absorbed by the digestive track, and is even more difficult to absorb if you are deficient or are low in vitamin D, have poor gut bacteria or suffer from a number of other conditions. On top of that, most foods are depleted of their natural magnesium levels and the water supply is lacking also. There are several ways to supplement, and a mixture of more than one type of magnesium supplementation seems to be most effective. It is important to start slow and work up, as high doses will not be completely absorbed at first and most will be wasted. There is also evidence that over half of all magnesium taken internally is not used and leaves the body as waste.indexAsparagus

Leafy green vegetables, sea vegetables, kelp, and especially nettle are good dietary sources of magnesium, though if you are deficient it will be difficult to raise your levels enough through diet alone. One of the best food sources of magnesium is pumpkin seeds – of which a quarter cup contains almost 50% of the RDA of magnesium! I would suggest you go for the organic ones – typically darker in colour because of their higher mineral content. Note that calcium and magnesium also need to be balanced with vitamin D3 and vitamin K2. In other words, any time you’re taking any of magnesium, calcium, vitamin D3, or vitamin K2, you need to take all four into consideration, since they all work synergistically.
Disorders linked with Magnesium deficiency

The following disorders have been linked with moderate to severe magnesium deficiency:
• Migraine headaches
• Type 2 Diabetes
• Osteoporosis
• Hypertension
• Atherosclerotic vascular disease, also commonly known as hardening of the arteries
• Colon cancer
• Asthma

Since all living life forms need magnesium to survive, fruits and vegetables usually have an abundance of it if grown organically in good soil. Levels of magnesium in crops can vary depending on how they were grown, since deficiency in the soil can cause poor magnesium uptake in produce. Asparagus, beets, beans, broccoli and cabbage are vegetables rich in magnesium. Apricots, bananas, pitted cherries, grapefruits, and oranges also have high magnesium content. You can also add dry almonds and Brazil nuts, cashews and roasted peanuts to salads for a magnesium-rich meal.magnesium-absorption

Magnesium deficiency is especially prevalent in older populations and is linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and osteoporosis. Several studies have confirmed the inverse relationship between magnesium intake and the risk of diabetes. For every 100mg/day increase in magnesium intake the risk of developing type 2 diabetes decreases by approximately 15%. Most magnesium intake in these studies was from dietary sources, not supplements. Clinical studies have shown improvement in insulin sensitivity with magnesium intake between 300 and 365 mg/day.

Researchers were also able to show that low magnesium levels resulted in impaired insulin secretion and lower insulin sensitivity. Since magnesium plays an important role in carbohydrate and glucose metabolism, it is no wonder magnesium status has an effect on diabetes. Magnesium is needed for the health of muscles, including the heart, and for the transmission of electrical signals in the body. Adequate magnesium intake has been associated with a lower risk of atherosclerosis and hypertension. More recently, several studies have found that a high intake of calcium without sufficient magnesium could increase the risk of arterial calcification and cardiovascular disease, as well as kidney stones.

Magnesium has a medium level of bioavailability – the degree to which a nutrient is absorbed and retained in the body for use. Magnesium is predominantly absorbed within the small intestine, with the efficiency of absorption depending on the amount of magnesium in the diet, the health of the gastrointestinal tract, the overall magnesium status of a person and their diet as a whole. On average about 20% to 50 % of ingested magnesium is absorbed. Unabsorbed magnesium is excreted in the faeces. These days there are different ways of getting magnesium into the body. Epsom salts baths are one way and applying magnesium topically, known as transdermal magnesium as it is applied to the skin either through lotions, gel, sprays or baths is another ways of getting magnesium into the system. Reports also suggest that using magnesium topically also benefits eczema and psoriasis.images.jpg Intermittent fasting

Magnesium supplements are available, but it is best to obtain any vitamin or mineral through food, as this increases the likelihood of ingesting optimal levels of other required and beneficial nutrients. Many vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients work synergistically, i.e. their benefits for health when taken together are greater than simply their individual benefits. As such, it is recommended to focus on meeting daily requirements for magnesium from foods before resorting to supplements as a backup. If, however, you have decided to take a magnesium supplement the best forms are magnesium malate, magnesium carbonate, magnesium chloride and magnesium glycinate. These are all readily absorbed by your body.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium depends on age and gender. The National Institutes of Health recommend that children 1-3 years of age get 80 milligrams of magnesium a day, rising to 130 mg for children aged 4-8, and then 240 mg for children aged 9-13. After age 14, RDA recommendations diverge for men and women, with men typically requiring more magnesium than women due to a larger average body mass. The RDA for males aged 14-18 is 410 mg and 360 mg is recommended for females aged 14-18. Adult females are advised to get 310-320 mg per day. An RDA of 350-400 mg is advised during pregnancy, and 310-360 mg when breastfeeding. The RDA of magnesium for adult males is 400-420 mg.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are not intended to replace a one to one relationship with your health practitioner nor are they meant as medical advice. You are encouraged to do your own research and make your own decisions in partnership with your medical practitioner.