TEACHING YOU TO HEAL

We do not suffer from pharmaceutical deficiencies, but from a lack of the building blocks that our bodies require to function.
My goal is to help you understand how to listen to your body's language of symptoms, and empower you with the insight to restore your body to vibrant health.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bones Respond to Thought

Why do Japanese women have markedly lower density of the hip bone, yet their incidence of hip fractures is only 40% of hip fractures in the US.?

Because those who are small-boned may be on the lower end of the density scale, even though their bones are not at risk.  

Bone density does not judge fragility of bone.  

Bone strength and quality, which includes the underlying collagen structure, determine the likelihood of fracture.  


The immune system is regulated through the limbic system.  
Bone health is also regulated by endorphins, through the limbic system.

  • Stress, cancer, depression, autoimmune disorders, and diabetes can all trigger bone resorption. 
  • It is better to work at improving endorphin release than to jump at the "density building" drugs, most of which paralyze some important collagen building enzymes.

How? 

  • By your mindset.  
  • Follow the endorphin building list in first discussions on this topic.  
  • Envision your bones, or other issue, healing and resolving.  
  • Do not focus on removing the problem, but instead focus on its replacement with health.

A woman told me once of her healing journey, which is an excellent example of this..._

She was 17, and had a horrific accident, shattering her leg into many pieces.  Doctors had been working to heal this leg for months, all without any success.  There were starting to be mentions of amputation as the best option, due to the lack of any sign of healing.  

This got her thinking.  On total bed rest  stuck on the sofa, she had been dwelling on missing her senior year festivities, and resentful of the injury.  

She decided to instead focus on seeing her leg healing, all the pieces knitting themselves togetherHer leg long, straight, and healthy.  She continued to envision this.  Her doctor  was surprised to see healing a few weeks later, but that was nothing compared with the next visit--  

The Xray showed complete healing!

What the extensive medical efforts had failed to accomplish, envisioning had achieved!

  • Envisioning is another way thought mediates the responses in our bodies.
  • It is truly amazing what power your thoughts can have, acting through the endorphins.


Candace Pert’s audiobook To Feel Go(o)d  addresses this topic very well.  My favorite site for her audiobooks is SoundsTrue.

The power your thoughts have to heal your body is truly amazing!  

All through the endorphins.


Feed Your Bones for Strength 

Why do countries with the highest calcium intake (US, Canada, Scandinavia) have the Highest Rates of Osteoporosis?

    Because it’s all about Balance!

  • There are more than 12 main minerals in bone, with trace amounts of 70 others.
  • The body can only utilize the amount of calcium that is balanced with other minerals, the chief one being magnesium.
  • Oversupplementation of calcium results in mineral imbalances, causing deficiencies in other minerals--especially of magnesium. 
  • Magnesium protects the body, keeping calcium in suspension.  

Imbalance created by focusing on calcium causes hazardous calcium deposition in soft tissues, vessels, organs, causing:
  • Cellulite, scar tissues, bone spurs
  • Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke
  • Kidney and Gallstones
  • Increase in plaque, tartar, and gum disease

It is very important to balance calcium with other minerals.
Calcium in excess of magnesium will result in negative consequences.
The other trace minerals are crucial to creation of bone strength and quality


The Nutrients Your Bones Need for Ideal Health

Minerals:

   1. Food-derived Calcium
               BUT much less than previously recommended.
  • Food-derived calcium is better utilized and stays in suspension better than the inorganic forms of calcium.
  • Manipulated forms of calcium, such as pasteurized dairy products, are less soluble in the body, and tend to precipitate out in areas such as arteries and soft tissues
  • Examples  of organic, better utilized calcium sources include 
    • raw milk cheeses
    • leafy green veggies 
    • white of citrus skin 
    • carob  
    • wheatgrass
    • seafood
    • chocolate if organic, cold pressed, and >70% cocoa

   2. Trace Minerals
  • Silica, Selenium, Boron, Zinc, and many other trace minerals are also needed.  
  • Don’t focus on just taking individual supplement forms alone, as this may imbalance the minerals, creating functional mineral deficiencies. 
Instead, use unrefined salt:
Himalayan Salt, Redmond’s REALsalt, or Grey Celtic sea salt

  • These have about 80 trace minerals in similar proportions to what we humans need.  
  • If there is an individual trace mineral deficiency, this can be added as well, in low strength, so as to avoid creating other deficiencies.  

Dr. Robert Thompson, author of The Calcium Lie II (second edition), has found that intake of 3 grams of unrefined salt daily works well at building bone density. 

This translates to 1/2 tsp of unrefined salt, divided into 2 quarts of clean water daily. 
  • His patients who follow this recommendation increase their bone density 15% in 2 years.  
  • Their bone density continues to increase as long as they continue to follow this, and
  • Their bones remain strong, even as they age.  

Fat Soluble Nutrients - need to be eaten with fat for absorption

Essential Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Specifically, DHA and EPA.  
  • We cannot make them ourselves, and must get them from other sources.  
  • DHA enhances mineral content in bone.  
  • Plant sources of Omega 3 fatty acids generally are ALA fatty acid, such as found in flax seed.  It is a precursor for EPA, but conversion is slow and limited.  
        Krill Oil, or Cold processed fish oil contain both of these important nutrients. 
  • Make sure the fish oil contains an antioxidant, and has been cleansed of mercury.  
  • Krill oil is at the beginning of the food chain, and less likely to be contaminated. 
 Vitamins D3, A, and K2
  • Combined, they increase the osteocalcin produced and help incorporate calcium into the osteocalcin.  This increases both bone density and strength. 
  • Vitamin D increases the protein responsible for clearing calcium from  arteries and soft tissues.
  • Vitamin A instructs the kidneys to excrete the excess calcium. 


Water Soluble Nutrients
 Cruciferous Vegetables

  • Examples are Kale, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussel sprouts.  
  • These are rich in sulfur
  • Sulfur bonds cross-link the collagen fibers strengthening bones, as well as muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
  • It is this cross-linking of collagen fibers that give bones their strength, and ability to resist multi-directional forces. 
Vitamin C 

  • A cofactor vital for collagen formation and cross-linking.  
  • While strengthening your bones with this vitamin, you will also strengthen your muscles, tendons, ligaments, jelly in your eyeball, and your heart muscle.
 B vitamins
  • Deficiencies in individual B vitamins contribute to osteoporosis, through lack of the vitamin B cofactors needed for collagen and bone formation.
  • Complete B vitamin supplementation is needed. 
  • While certain B vitamins have specific effects, a balance is needed to prevent deficiencies through imbalance of the levels.  
  • Testing of B6, B12, and folic acid levels is advised in the presence of low bone density. 
Exercise

Healthy bones require a minimum of 4 hours daily of weightbearing activities. 

Bones respond to stress or lack thereof.  Since we are all mineral deficient, the body will prioritize minerals to where they are needed.  If there isn’t as much stress on the bones, the minerals will go elsewhere.

  • A Rebounder or Whole body vibration machine work well, giving vertical micro-stress to stimulate bone growth.  
  • Simply wearing a pedometer increases activity levels.
  • Note: excessive exercise can suppress female hormones, lowering bone density.  

Hormone Support - get these levels tested if your bone density is low

Testosterone 
  • Low levels reduce bone density. 
  • Needed by women as well as men, in a much lower dosage.  
  • Never in pharmaceutical form, which has serious side effects.  
  • Muscle wasting is a sign of decreased testosterone levels, in addition to the libido issues. 
  • There are ways to increase this without hormone administration.  I do this.
Progesterone 
  • More effective than Estrogen at increasing bone density.  
  • This is one of the reasons I use a few drops of progesterone-raising essential oil over my carotids nightly.  
DHEA
  • Called the "Fountain of Youth" hormone 
  • Increases bone density
  • Decrease in joint soreness and other well being issues
  • Increased by topical application of Magnesium 

Bone Density, Strength and the Missing Vitamin

Want a healthy way of getting rid of your wrinkles, AND strengthen your bones?

Sounds like a commercial, doesn’t it!  


We have lost an important vitamin from the food chain, courtesy of industrial farming.  This is one vitamin that is easy to take--in supplement form.  AND while you take it, your wrinkles will at least cease to propagate, and may even disappear!
Wonder how this can possibly be?  


Some background information you need on Calcium, once you swallow it:

  • Vitamin D takes your calcium supplement across the gut, and into your bloodstream.  
  • There, this calcium moves through your blood vessels, where it may precipitate onto the arterial walls.

In 2011, the British Medical Journal published a study that found that for 3 bone fractures prevented by calcium supplements, there were 6 cardiovascular events--strokes or heart attacks due to hardening of the arteries.  



How can we create dense bones AND protect the heart?

Calcium is stored ideally in the bones, but must be taken there.   And the vitamin that is able to get it there is no longer in our food chain.  

Vitamin K2 is that vitamin.  


Its job is to activate 2 very important proteins.  When Vitamin K2 bonds to them, a scoop is created, perfectly shaped for calcium!  Without K2 attached, these proteins are unable to move the calcium out of the bloodstream.

  • The first is osteocalcin.  Osteo means bone, and calcin - calcium. Once activated by K2, it scoops the calcium from the bloodstream, and holds it while incorporated into bone.  Inactivated, it attaches to other collagen.  Especially well seen in your face.  Hence the wrinkles. 
  • The second protein activated by K2 cleans calcium out of the arteries.  When inactive, it attaches to vein walls, making veins in legs more prominent.
  • There is more to the bone density and strength story, which we will address in the next post.

Lets look another aspect of my severe osteoporosis, whereby I broke nothing.  
I was taking K2, at more than one a day, for my wrinkle-removing experiment.  Since I wanted to see if my deep forehead furrows could disappear, I was taking 2-3 of these a day.  And it was working fantastically! 

And the side-effect was that with significant trauma and eggshells for bone, I broke nothing.



NOW THAT IS A SIDE-EFFECT I LIKE!

Bone Density, Bone Strength

Fact or Fiction:
  1. Osteoporosis is caused by Calcium deficiency.
  2. Osteoporosis drugs work by strengthening bone.
  3. Salt can be beneficial to bone health.

Answers:
  1. False.  It is caused by a mineral deficiency
  2. False.  They work by poisoning the bone cells that remodel bone, making it weaker
  3. True.  Unrefined salt is rich in the many trace minerals we need for health.  These are stored in bone until needed.

In 2010, I walked out a door with a 7” drop down, and broke 4 bones in my foot.  
In 2013, my other foot was caught in a trolley car track, yanked in, out, and down, catapulting me 4 feet in the air.  I landed on the cobblestone street.  I separated a bunch of joints in my foot, but broke nothing!  

In 2010, I had good bone density, yet broke 4 bones, with a relatively mild trauma.  

By 2013, I had marked osteoporosis. Much greater trauma, and to all my body!
            Yet I broke NOTHING.  


Clearly bone density and strength can be separate and distinct characteristics of bone.



Bones have 2 primary functions.
1.  To regulate your blood pH in order to keep you alive.
2.  To give something for muscles to pull against, enabling you to breathe, write, lift a child, and walk across the room.

Why is blood pH important to the discussion of bone strength?  

   Because your bone may be sacrificing itself to keep you alive.

  • Normal blood pH is 7.40, with a range of 7.35-7.45.  
  • As the pH drops toward 7.35, organs begin to malfunction
  • A bit more acidic, and death follows


Bone is the storehouse of alkalizing minerals Calcium is among many other minerals we need.  However,  it is the mineral best able to neutralize the acid, returning the pH back to normal.  

  • Our blood is designed to be slightly alkaline, giving us protection from acidic free radicals.  
  • Our bodies evolved to eat a primarily plant based diet, with smaller amounts of animal foods.

However, most of us had gone the way of the Standard processed American Diet, living on --

Foods which increase acidity

  • Sugar 
  • Sodas--carbonic, or phosphoric acid creates the fizzies
  • All processed foods, devoid of minerals, vitamins, or enzymes
  • Wheat--breaks down into sulfuric acid, pH as low as 1
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Dairy
  • Animal products, especially from Factory Farms

Instead of --

Foods which alkalize

  • Raw foods
  • Green foods
  • Citrus fruits--break down products are alkaline
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Plant proteins

The ideal ratio of alkaline to acid producing foods is 3-5:1. 

The Standard American Diet is rich in sugar, refined salt, and wheat, and devoid of alkalizing minerals, and real vitamins.  

Manufactured food will drain the calcium from the bone, and pour it into the bloodstream.  This causes vessels to calcify, and contributes to clogging of arteries.

Alkalizing foods contribute to both bone strength and density.  


Now, we can address the question of why I broke nothing despite marked osteoporosis and  significant trauma--

My diet had drastically changed in order to heal the chronic damage from the earlier injury.

I --
  • Eliminated Wheat from my diet, and chose to follow the Paleo diet
  • Ate calcium rich foods like spinach instead of calcium supplements
  • Juiced a lot of fruits and veggies in my blender, and drank Kombucha, an alkalizing, fermented drink.
  • Used lots of magnesium, both oral and topical
  • Used unrefined salt,  containing trace minerals needed by my bone.  

I had changed to a highly alkalizing diet in order to heal the past chronic injuries in both feet, thus restoring bone strength 

There were a few other things I did,  which will be addressed  in subsequent posts.

Keys to Building Your Endorphins




Other sources for building endorphins include 
  • Time out in nature, in the sunshine
  • Creative outlets!
  • Write, draw, paint, stitch, photo, laugh, 
  • FIND SOMETHING YOU ENJOY!

A very powerful tool is creating a Gratitude Journal
      Make an entry in it daily.  
      Look for that something.  Remember it.  Then enter it nightly.

This is an Action that will
                                           Change your thoughts
                                                                           Then change your feelings

                                                                                                                 Then change your body!

Endorphins--The Feel-Good Hormone


Ever smell something that reminds you of your grandmother, and instantly you feel bathed in love?  This is because the nerves in your nose connect straight to the Limbic  System, the emotional center of your brain.  A connection to the Limbic system can release endorphins, the feel-good  hormone.  

Candace Pert was the discoverer of the opiate receptor in the late ‘70’s, as a young graduate student at Johns Hopkins.  At that time, the only receptor site that had been discovered was that of insulin.  This sparked the flood of research into drugs for diabetes.  The pharmaceutical industry now wanted the opiate receptor for creation of “feel better” drugs.  Worldwide, the hunt was on for the elusive endorphin receptor.  

Candace took a different approach.  You see, she had been told to give up by her lab director, that it could not be found.  But she stalled, and when he left town on a speaking junket, she put her plan into place. The day he returned, she had the irrefutable proof of the opiate receptor.  Also known as the endorphin receptor.

She went on to locate from where in the brain these endorphins were released, as well as to locate the receptors for these endorphins. 

Chronicled in her first book, Molecules of Emotion,(1), Dr. Pert found that the highest density of endorphin receptors was in the nervous system, with the second highest number of receptors was on the white blood cells.

White blood cells???


Yes, she found that the white blood cells  were most efficiently instructed directly from our nervous system.    
THIS is the Mind-Body Connection


  • The Limbic system, the emotional center of the brain, directly secretes endorphins into the fluid bathing the brain and spinal cord.  
  • This fluid bathes the nerves as they leave the spine and head out into the body, thus carrying the communication to the white cells, wherever they are. 
  • As nerve signals return to the spine, they can be increased in signal strength, or down regulated by the spinal fluid endorphin levels.  
  • And as the fluid then returns, flowing over the brain surface, it affects your mood and thoughts.

By the endorphin levels, our brain tells the immune system:


  • To mount an attack on an invading virus, or instead attack normal tissue.
  • Whether to destroy random DNA mutations, or ignore them.
  • Whether to heal an injury, or continue the inflammation, creating scarring.
As well as
  • Whether to increase perception of pain by the brain, or decrease it

How does this work?  By the level of endorphins.


All cells get some endorphin receptors, but the brain and white cells have many more receptors per cell.  The number of endorphins attaching to these cells influence the subtleties of brain and white blood cell behavior.


Stress suppresses endorphin release.
      which
Decreases Immune Function, causing:

  • Increased susceptibility to infections 
  • Autoimmune disorders 
  • Increased risk of chronic inflammation 

And chronic inflammation is linked to the most common issues today:  

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer 
  • Arthritis
  • Metabolic Syndrome (abdominal weight gain with a constellation of other problems)
  • Dementia

Now, stress is a function of today’s society.  

So, what can you do to correct the endorphin suppression?

Well, narcotics stimulate endorphin release, but then turn off the flow of natural endorphins. Many are synthetic endorphins which block production of natural ones.  That is the cause of narcotic withdrawal symptoms, and rebound pain as pain meds wear off.  Narcotics result in complete loss of natural endorphins in the bloodstream.

Chocolate is a natural endorphin, and does not suppress therelease of the body's  natural endorphins. 
This is good for an occasional endorphin burst, but Chocolate cannot supply the amount and consistency of endorphin release needed.

So what can you do to promote release of endorphins, and counter the disease constellation caused by stress?

Review the Benefits of Spring Fever blog--everything there is Endorphin Building!
Magnesium is needed to create and facilitate the endorphins, and mitigate the stress response. The Magnesium blog is another post to check as well.


(1) You may also like to check out Candace Pert's Molecules of Emotion, The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine.  It is cheap on Amazon, Used.  Candace started as a graduate student at Johns Hopkins, innocent of the fact that the most experienced scientists in the world were failing miserably in their attempts to discover the opiate receptor.  And she did it.  The book is a highly entertaining romp through the world of labs at Johns Hopkins and NIH, during which you will accidentally learn amazing science.   Candace Pert definitely thought outside of the box, and mentored others generously.  By reading her works, she mentored me out of the injury-filled box in which I had become trapped.  My Endorphin Chart, and the Gratitude Journal were created during this journey.

Sugar Cravings Signal Pancreas Stress

Get a quick burst of energy when you eat, and then crash, needing to eat again?  Feeling like you need to eat snacks between every meal just to keep going?  These and other symptoms are signals from your pancreas.


Your pancreas has two great missions 

  1.    Produce the enzymes needed to break down what you eat, and obtain the nutrients your body needs.   
  2.    Regulate a steady supply of those nutrients into the bloodstream.  Especially of                  glucose, which feeds all the energy factories in each cell.  

Normally, the pancreas secretes enzymes that work with those of the food, to break down the food into tiny segments.  Then these enzymes get reabsorbed, along with nutrients needed for its continued function.
  

Why it is stressed

  1.   The food  generally consumed lacks the variety of nutrients needed for the body to function. 
  2.   The food has been mutated, and the enzymes designed to break it down no longer fit the foods in their manipulated form.  Think lock and key.  Nutrients are locked up in the food. The different enzymes are the keys needed to break the food down into the 1 or 2 molecule nutrients.  

  • Foods of 60 years ago contained the enzymes needed to  be break them downIf foods sat too long, they spoiled. 
  • To extend shelf life, food has been hybridized, or commercially manipulated to remove these enzymes.  

  • The manipulated foods may not fit our pancreatic enzymes and are devoid of enzymes themselves.  So the pancreas tries to secrete more enzymes to accomplish the process.  After all , the body needs these nutrients!  A little breaks down, but not enough.  So it sends the enzymes down the gut to keep working on the food.  After all, the body desperately needs these nutrients. 

Continued stress causes inflammation

Now, the pancreas has donated its enzymes that normally just get loaned out. And more food is coming. So the pancreas has to make more enzymes.  But the nutrients, that normally get resorbed with the enzymes, did not arrive either!  So, now the pancreas is stressed out, which translates to inflammation.  Which is never good when it continues.

What your pancreas needs from you

  1. Raw foods contain enzymes to work with pancreatic enzymes in breaking down food. 
  
  2. Cooked food has had the food cells broken down, so nutrients are more easily reached by the enzymes.  

  3. Very little in the way of manufactured food.

The Problem

Processed foods and simple carbs, rich in sugars, white flour, salt have already been broken down by the food industry.  They are absorbed and quickly enter the bloodstream, causing blood sugar spikes.  

Your pancreas has another important job, that of maintaining an even blood sugar.  So insulin is secreted to bring blood sugar down to a healthy level, while driving the extra sugar into abdominal fat cells for reserve supply.    

Commercially produced foods usually contain many toxins that are absorbed as well, and wreaking havoc throughout the body.  Detoxing these substances require more nutrients and energy.

How all this manifests to us

  • Get sleepy after you eat?  Food not getting broken down well, usually due to more food than the enzymes and stomach acid can handle.
  • Bloated after a meal?  Not digesting well.  

  • Get a quick burst of energy, then it fades?  Comes from the simple carbs.  They break down to sugar, create a surge of fuel for muscles and brain, then disappear.

  •  Feeling like you need to eat snacks between every meal just to keep going? You’re eating foods that are digested too quickly.  Fibrous foods digest more slowly, allowing a steady rate of sugar into your bloodstream. 
  • Heartburn after your barbecue?  It is likely you lack the stomach acid, and enzymes to adequately break down the protein in the food.  This may be due to a meal too plentiful in meat, or chewing it too little before swallowing. Or both.  Meat has strong fibers connecting the  muscles cells into progressively larger bundles.  These fibers merge together like rope, to enable the muscle cells to team up when they contract.  Kind of like many ants teaming together to accomplish great feats.  

  • While meat contains important protein, it is also more difficult to break down the fiber to reach this protein.  The fibers must also be broken down, as their nutrients are needed to maintain our tendons and ligaments, and bones.   Smaller quantities, chewed well, help to gain the nutrients needed to rebuild the connective tissue and muscle throughout our bodies.                                 

To support your pancreas, view it as your energy supply company

It needs certain materials to function.  Your electric company processes fuels to create energy.  It also has to regulate that energy, to guard against power spikes and brownouts.

The Fuel:  Foods broken down into the small size it can handle, and at least some enzyme containing foods to assist in accessing the fuel. 

The Materials:  Minerals such as Chromium, and Magnesium.  These are needed in large amounts to create both enzymes and hormones.  Vitamins, which are needed by the pancreas in many ways.

Regulators of Energy levels:  The quality of foods.  Those foods that are rich in fiber which digest slowly, and complex carbohydrates, that are rich in nutrients and minerals.  And very little of the preprocessed foods that waste energy and use up materials from the Pancreas Power Supply.

Supply your pancreas with the proper foods, and it will supply you with consistent energy to power you through your day.




The Benefits of Spring Fever

Finally!  It’s sunny here, with the grass reaching up to the sun.  We need to do that too.  It’s been a long winter for many of us.


Take the time to go outside, and breathe the oxygen the plants and trees are making.  Reach your arms up as you breathe in, to expand the largest part of your lungs, getting all that oxygen to where you can absorb it best.  Oxygen is alkalizing, and will move through your blood stream neutralizing free radicals.  

Stand barefoot if it is warm enough, as the earth and grass are loaded with negative ions, readily absorbed through your skin.  These will move through your body, neutralizing free radicals, calming nerves, and lifting your spirits. 

Enjoy the flowers, and feel the sunshine warming your skin.  Vitamin D is made by the skin, with additional heart and vessel health benefits, not found from supplements.  This will also release endorphins, decreasing pains, improving the mood, and increasing energy. The blue light component of the sun's rays also increases cognitive function

Go for a walk. This will release another substance which further enhances brain function, enabling you to get more work done when back inside.

So go on outside, and enjoy the many benefits awaiting you!

Life under stress, and grabbing for chocolate?

That’s because stress drains the body of magnesium.  Magnesium deficiency is reported in 80% or more of the population, many severely deficient.  Commercially grown and processed foods are very deficient in magnesium.  And managing our stressful lives requires even more magnesium. 

Magnesium is needed by every cell in your body. Every cell must produce it's own energy.  Magnesium is the spark plug for that energy production.  Without adequate stores of magnesium within the cell, it cannot perform as needed. When magnesium is deficient, each cell consequently underperforms.  


Magnesium also powers over 350 different enzyme reactions occurring throughout our bodies.  With reduced magnesium levels, there is reduced enzyme activity. Enzymes enable white cells to destroy mutations or disease causing invaders.  Enzymes are critical for breaking down of toxic waste products we produce, or ingest.    These enzyme reactions enable our organs to function properly. The pancreas is rich in enzymes which digest food, and regulate blood sugar, but they can underperform with reduced magnesium stores.

Lots of muscle cramps, especially at night?  Anxious,  nervous, or trouble sleeping? ADD? Migraines? High blood pressure? Asthma? Low bone density?  These can all be a clue to magnesium deficiency.  Chronic constipation can also suggest magnesium deficiency, as colon muscles need to relax to allow the wave-like contraction to push the stool along.  

Bad cholesterol results?  Metabolic syndrome with diabetes or pre-diabetes?  These are also clues of magnesium deficiency.  

Magnesium promotes health in many ways, in addition to improving how we feel.  It enables us to cope with stress by relaxing nerves and muscles. It is needed for healing, and to calm chronic inflammation.  Because magnesium is needed throughout the body, deficiencies  in magnesium can create a variety of ways, one of the reasons it is overlooked in the current symptom-focused medical industry. This mineral is one of those core nutrients without which our bodies cannot function properly. 

Magnesium is in short supply in our typical American diet.  This is significantly due to our habit of using prepackaged convenience meals, as well as their inclusion of appetite stimulating sugars that blocks absorption of magnesium.  Many medications block absorption,  or increase urinary excretion of magnesium.  These include a variety of acid blockers, cholesterol lowering agents, blood pressure meds, diabetes medication, laxatives, oral contraceptives, and hormonal replacement therapy.

Foods rich in magnesium need to be eaten daily.  These include green, leafy vegetables, chickpeas, kelp, almonds, cashews, and cocoa. Less familiar to some of you are blackstrap molasses, bone broth stock,and buckwheat.  Wheat germ is high in magnesium, but it should be avoided by the gluten intolerant.  There are also green drinks, and powders to further rev up your greens intake.  I throw some of these in the blender with some veggies and fruit, and find this helps me stay calm and energetic through even a crazy day!  Garden of Life and Amazing Grass make some of my favorite ones. I also keep nuts nearby for a quick snack and magnesium boost anytime.  

Magnesium Taurate is believed by some to be the best absorbed form of oral supplement.  Having tried many, I personally find this form most effective.  Magnesium Oxide is commonly available, but is reported to have an absorption rate of only 4%.  Magnesium Citrate can be helpful when experiencing constipation, as it will work topically on the bowel to relax the colon muscles.  To much of it can, however, cause loose stools and waste magnesium.

 Magnesium is absorbed well through the skin. So enjoy epsom salt soaks, and use topical magnesium sprays or lotion.    I love epsom salt soaks, a good excuse to relax and soothe before bed.  I also use the topical spray, finding it great at quickly relieving muscle cramps-in the middle of the night, speed counts! Magnesium helps heal injuries faster, and soothes inflammation.  I used to massage my husband’s sore back or neck seemingly forever.  Now when he asks, I start with my "Magnesium Lotion Spray" over the area, and usually the problem resolves in minutes--without needing the massage!  This spray was developed by the founder of the American Holistic Medical Association, who developed it in his chronic pain clinic, where testing demonstrated it to increase the body’s own store of DHEA, a hormone that can drop the stress hormone.   

Foods commercially grown are pretty much depleted of magnesium.  Organic food has more magnesium, particularly if picked when ripe.  I have seen various posts online of the benefits of epsom salts on vegetable yield, and taste.  I’m going to try this on my herbs and tomatoes on the deck this summer, for a tasty magnesium boost.

While you enjoy your chocolate “medication”, remember that sugar blocks absorption of the magnesium.  So go for 60% or more chocolate.  Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips are my favorite.  


By the way, I have developed an amazing grain-free Paleo chocolate chip cookie that is mixer-free and awesome. I've made it the next post.  Enjoy!


<< Disclaimer:  This is for informational purposes only, and not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.  If you take medications, are on diet restrictions, or you have any medical conditions, discuss magnesium with your doctor before changing your diet.  >>

Salt Cravings

What does it mean when you crave potato chips?  Is that a request for more salt? 

 No!  But it is a request for minerals.  


What’s a good way of obtaining minerals?  Definitely not processed foods.  That will just give you sodium.  Which contributes to high blood pressure and retained fluid.  

Sodium pulls water toward it.  So increased sodium in the blood means more volume, and therefore increased pressure on the walls, raising blood pressure.  And more retained fluid in the tissues causes swelling of soft tissues.  The lymph fluid has increased sodium as well, as it is the waste removal system. This draws more fluid out of the tissues and potentially organs, compromising function.  Fluid can also be retained in the abdomen, not a pretty sight, and not good for the organs. 

When you crave salt, what is your body asking for is an assortment of minerals your body needs to function properly.  

Some, like potassium you have heard of.  Some are needed in much smaller amounts, like Boron, Sulfur, and Manganese.  But they are all needed by your body.  Boron helps strengthen bones.  Sulfur is important in joints, and for healing inflammation.  Chronic inflammation is now considered to be the cause of most major health concerns.  Low potassium levels are linked to high blood pressure.

Mineral deficiency associated with acidity of the body.   Enzyme reactions can only occur in a narrow pH range.  Life can only occur with blood in a narrow pH range.  The greater the mineral deficiency, the lower (more acidic) the pH.  Generally the lower the pH, the more dis-eased the body.  It is very difficult to overcome any chronic disease in an acid environment.  Cancer cells proliferate in an acid environment.  The more H+ atoms, the greater the acidity.  These are all free radicals looking to damage normal cells.

A low refined salt diet can cause abnormalities of adrenal function, insulin elevation, brain dysfunction (schizophrenia, delirium).  There was a 4-fold increase in heart attacks when those with the lowest salt intake were compared with those with the highest salt intake (Hypertension, 1995).  Calcium, magnesium, and potassium deficiency is directly related to development of heart disease.

Minerals are colored.  Not pretty according to the food industry.  If the salt is white, it is devoid of the important, healing minerals.  Even if it is labelled sea salt.

Processed food is devoid of trace minerals, and high in sodium, which is used as an appetite stimulant.  

Unrefined salt is rich in minerals.  

Reliable brands are Redmond’s Real Salt, Grey Celtic Sea Salt, and Himalayan Crystal Salt. These vary in coloring, but are not white.   If the salt is white, the trace minerals have been removed. 


Do a taste test:  taste one of these unrefined salts, then taste the white stuff.  The difference is between tasting a symphony, versus a single note.  I currently like the Grey Celtic salt better, as it is tastes slightly sweeter to me.  See what you think!