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Do you know what’s in your soap?

kristina-balic-63248

Whether its dishwashing, hand, body or even clothing, what is in your soap should be of big concern to you and your family. As you know, skin is the biggest organ (integumentary system) and is super absorbent.

If you are living an organic lifestyle, then I am sure you watch what you eat and what you are absorbing systemically. But for those who don’t, you will be alarmed at what ingredients soaps contain.

Conventional Soaps can contain Triclosan, Dioxane, Sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), Diethanolamine (or DEA), Formaldehyde, Parabens, Fragrance, PEG 6 and more. I’ve listed some of them individually below with synonyms so you can read the label on products and have a better understanding of what you are looking for. Knowledge is power!

Triclosan – Triclosan is an antibacterial agent and preservative used in personal care and home cleaning products; persistent in the environment and may be associated with endocrine (hormonal) toxicity. Synonyms are:

2,4,4′-TRICHLORO-2′-HYDROXY DIPHENYL ETHER; 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) – PHENOL; 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) PHENOL; PHENOL, 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) -; PHENOL, 5CHLORO2 (2,4DICHLOROPHENOXY) ; 2,4,4′-TRICHLORO-2′-HYDROXYDIPHENYL ETHER; 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY) PHENOL; CH 3565; IRGASAN; IRGASAN DP300; PHENOL, 5-CHLORO-2- (2,4-DICHLOROPHENOXY).

DioxaneDioxane is a chemical is an unwanted byproduct of an ingredient processing method called ethoxylation. Synonyms are:

1,4-DIETHYLENE DIOXIDE; 1,4-DIOXACYCLOHEXANE; DI (ETHYLENE OXIDE) ; DIETHYLENE DIOXIDE; DIETHYLENE DIOXIDE (OSHA) ; DIETHYLENE ETHER; DIOKAN; DIOKSAN (POLISH) ; DIOSSANO-1,4 (ITALIAN) ; DIOXAAN-1,4 (DUTCH) ; DIOXAN.

Sodium laurel sulfateSodium laurel sulfate is a widely used and inexpensive chemical found in many mainstream personal hygiene products such as shampoos, toothpaste, mouthwashes, body wash, soaps, detergents, and body wash. Synonyms are:

MONODODECYL ESTER SODIUM SALT SULFURIC ACID; SODIUM DODECYL SULFATE; SODIUM DODECYL SULPHATE; SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE; SODIUM SALT SULFURIC ACID, MONODODECYL ESTER; SULFURIC ACID MONODODECYL ESTER SODIUM SALT; SULFURIC ACID, MONODODECYL ESTER, SODIUM SALT; AI3-00356; AKYPOSAL SDS; AQUAREX ME; AQUAREX METHYL.

Diethanolamine (DEA)Diethanolamine is a chemical that is used as a foaming agent in soaps, shampoo, and as a thickener for conditioners and similar products. Synonyms are:

2,2′-DIHYDROXYDIETHYLAMINE; 2,2′-IMINOBISETHANOL; 2,2′-IMINODIETHANOL; DEA (EWG) ; ETHANOL, 2,2 IMINOBIS; N,N-DIETHANOLAMINE; 2,2′-DIHYDROXYDIETHYLAMINE; 2,2′-IMINOBISETHANOL; 2,2′-IMINODIETHANOL; 2- (2-HYDROXYETHYLAMINO) ETHANOL; BIS (2-HYDROXYETHYL) AMINE.

FormaldehydeFormaldehyde is a preservative. Synonyms are:

DMDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, Bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol ), 5-Bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane, Hydroxymethylglycinate .

ParabensParabens are chemicals that have been used to prevent bacteria and act as a preservative in deodorants, lotions, lipsticks, shampoos, scrubs, and more. Synonyms are:

4-HYDROXY- PROPYL ESTER BENZOIC ACID; 4-HYDROXYBENZOIC ACID, PROPYL ESTER; 4-HYDROXYBENZOIC ACID, PROPYL ESTER, SODIUM SALT; BENZOIC ACID, 4-HYDROXY-, PROPYL ESTER; BENZOIC ACID, 4-HYDROXY-, PROPYL ESTER, SODIUM SALT; BENZOIC ACID, 4HYDROXY, PROPYL ESTER; BENZOIC ACID, 4HYDROXY, PROPYL ESTER, SODIUM SALT; POLYPARABEN; POTASSIUM PROPYLPARABEN; POTASSIUM SALT PROPYLPARABEN; PROPYL 4-HYDROXYBENZOATE.

FragranceFragrance is a mixture with various scents that make up a scent for personal care products. Synonyms are:

AROMA, PARFUM.

 

PEG 6PEG 6  is a polymer of ethylene oxide. Synonyms are:

OXIRANE; 1,2-EPOXYAETHAN (GERMAN) ; 1,2-EPOXYETHANE; AETHYLENOXID (GERMAN) ; ALPHA,BETA-OXIDOETHANE; AMPROLENE; ANPROLENE; ANPROLINE; DIHYDROOXIRENE; DIMETHYLENE OXIDE; E.O.

All of these chemicals above are going into our eco-system. Think about it, when you wash, the lather goes down the drain along with the pollutants.

So what are you looking for? Soap that is without chemicals, additives, animal products and are cruelty-free.  Natural soaps are normally made with ingredients such as botanical oils such as palm, coconut, jojoba, olive oil and more. Natural soaps do not wash away your natural oils, which is helpful for psoriasis, skin eczema and for people with sensitive skin. And don’t worry if your soap lathers as it might have an ingredient called Bentonite clay in it. Bentonite clay binds with and removes toxins from the body.

You can make your own natural soap and here are 3 methods:

Melt and Pour method – Buy a pre-made soap base, melt the soap base into a liquid, add extra ingredients like soap dye, essential oils, herbs, and nutrients. Then you’ll pour the soap into a mold, decorate it and let it harden. No patience needed here because as soon as it hardens, you can use it.

Cold Process method – Is mixing fixed oils like Olive, Coconut or Palm Oil with an alkali (Sodium Hydroxide or Lye). The process called Saponification where oils change with the help of Sodium Hydroxide or Lye to create a bar of soap. This process takes approx. 4 to 6 weeks of curing and can be dangerous due to the chemical process. Limiting design options are available and when creating cold press soaps when using fragrance oils, essential oils, and colorants.  The soapqueen.com explains more in depth about this process, dangers, safety, and tools needed. In this process, patience is needed.

Hot Process method – This method entails melting the oils and blend in the lye solution without having to check temperatures. This method requires blending it until thick and then cooking it until it’s super thick. Then scoop it into a mold and let cool. You can cut it as soon as it’s hard and that’s why it is a perfect no patience method.

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10 tips for aging skin

Anti Aging

As we get older our skin changes with age. Lifestyle, hereditary, photo-aging, and diet are a few that contribute to it. Wrinkles, sagging, loose skin and lines it can be difficult to age without the worry of how we look.

Makeup is meant to enhance our features, not have negative effects. With aging, if you aren’t applying your makeup correctly, you can look much older than you really are. Wanting to hide our complexion is natural as we age and applying it sparingly is helpful.

Sagging, loose skin, wrinkles, and lines happen when we lose our youthfulness that is why it is so important to have a healthy regimen every day. Each and every day you are out and about your skin is being polluted by toxins in the air and your pores are clogging. When this transpires you end up with a dull canvas so to speak. By cleaning your face daily you can get this build up off of it and start with a clean canvas.

  1. I like using my vibration facial brush for exfoliation as it gets the dead skin off and revives my face and lips.
  2. The next step is moisturizing. An organic antioxidant anti-aging moisturizer is ideal for aging skin and an essential in moisturizing. Don’t forget to apply in circular motions.
  3. Always use a face primer those crevasses and wrinkles won’t show up as much and give you a smoother face before applying makeup. Don’t forget the eyelids, if you apply eyeshadow.
  4. The foundation you pick is imperative. DO not apply a thick foundation. You want a light and not flaky looking foundation. SO pick a color that is as closest to your natural skin color as possible and remember less is more.
  5. Under eye concealer can build up and show more wrinkles, but the primer should help. If you do use under eye concealer, I suggest not putting any powder under your eyes or on top of your foundation as it will harden your look and will show more wrinkles. Keep your face looking dewy with aging skin.
  6. Blushes for aging skin should be in a cream to go with your dewy look.
  7. Lipstick colors should stay in the neutral shades. By applying dark lipstick, you are just asking for people to dissect your face even more. Smooth, soft, dewy and moisturized is the look you want.
  8. Frosted, sparkling eyeshadow is a definite no, no. These will definitely enhance your wrinkles. Stick with neutrals on your eyelids.
  9. Eyeliner too dark can make your eyes look droopy.  I suggest a line on top and if you have to put it on the bottom, a sharpened eyeliner will be your friend.  Remember, less is more.
  10. Mascara is a must, I feel. For a more natural look, you could use a brown. Otherwise, if you like black or no mascara at all. By all means though whether you are using mascara or not an eyelash curler is a must.

The other alternative, of course, is going under the knife and getting surgery to correct our aging skin. Some chose to and some don’t.

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Essential Oils are aromatic botanicals for physical, psychological and spiritual well-being.

Essential oils

An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing variable aroma compounds from plants and has been used for thousands of years by various cultures. There are many uses for essential oils ranging from beauty care, household cleaning, aromatherapy and natural medicine.  The important thing is getting the oils from an organic farmer that knows how to properly distill them, don’t use chemicals in the extraction process and that each batch has the proper phytochemical constituents. Essential oils contain phytochemicals which are plant-based chemicals and may belong to a specific category from Terpenoids, Alkaloids, Phenolic compounds, Glycosides, Carbohydrates, Proteins, Lipids, Nucleic acids and much more.  Each phytochemical has different properties such as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial.

There are over a hundred ways to use essential oils.  Common practices include topical application, aromatic diffusion, and dietary consumption. I’ve listed just a small few to start with below.

Health and Healing

  • Lime – Great for boosting your mood, energizing and it’s fresh.
  • Frankincense (Olibanum)  –  used for respiratory and cough.
  • Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) – Uplifting and used for combating depression.
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia / Lavandula Officinalis) – Used for relaxation, fight stress and promote sleep.

Aromatherapy

  • Car – Add a couple of drops to a cotton ball and clipping it to the air vent.
  • House – Put your favorite scent on your faux flowers, in the closet or in a drawer for a fresher smell.
  • Candles – After the candle has been lite for a few minutes add a few drops to melted wax, close to the wick with your favorite essential oil.

Carrier Oils

Carrier oils are a vegetable oil derived from the fatty part of the plant (seeds, nuts or kernels). There are several different types of carrier oils for specific therapeutic needs. Carrier oils are vegetable oils important for diluting essential oils, so they are safe to apply to your skin and/or ingest. The best carrier oils are refined with no additives and carrier oils should be cold pressed as they hold on to the properties because they aren’t subjected to heat. I use almond oil, Apricot, Jojoba, avocado, coconut, grapeseed, argan, and sunflower.

It is very important to understand how to combine your essential oils with carrier oils and aromaweb.com is a great place to find out how to properly use them. They also have Guides, Articles, Recipes, Books, Essential Oil profiles, Carrier Oil profiles, Hydrosol profiles and Resource links. 

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4 facts on XingPiJieYu, a Chinese herb for depression, chronic stress, memory and learning.

Chinese Medicine

Depression – Is a mood disorder that causes a constant feeling of sadness and no interest in day to day routines.  It affects how you feel, behave and think.

Depression is usually treated with monoamine-based antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) which are known as Citalopram (Celexa), Escitalopram (Lexapro), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), Sertraline (Zoloft) and Vilazodone (Viibryd) and about  1/3 of depressive patients are not responsive to these anti-depressants.

Side effects from SSRI’s consist of drowsiness, nausea, dry mouth, insomnia, diarrhea, nervousness, agitation or restlessness, dizziness, sexual problems, such as reduced sexual desire or difficulty reaching orgasm or inability to maintain an erection (erectile dysfunction), headache and blurred vision.

Memory and Learning – In Asia, they have been treating depression with Traditional Chinese Medicine, specifically a Chinese herb called XingPiJieYu (XPJY) for many years and in a recent 21-day study on rats, studies are showing XingPiJieYu is improving memory and learning by improving the signaling pathway in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a small organ located within the brain’s medial temporal lobe and forms an important part of the limbic system, the region that regulates emotions. The hippocampus is involved in the storage of long-term memory, which includes all past knowledge and experiences.

Chronic Unpredictable Stress (CUS) – According to the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), There were past studies that showed XPJY improved behavior and depression in CUS in rats, which they say, is as good as sertraline.

The NCBI conclusion read as follows “XPJY has a regulatory effect on depressive behavior in the sucrose preference and open field exploration, and learning and memory in Morris water maze, and the expression of cAMP, PKA, CREB and BDNF in the hippocampus of model rats. The effect is probably achieved mainly by activating cAMP-PKA-CREB-BDNF signaling pathway. This study provides experimental evidence for the clinical application of XPJY in the treatment of depression and related learning and memory impairment.

Red Rice

Are you eating red rice or taking red rice supplements?

Red Rice

Every day we look for things to help us with our health without being prescribed prescriptions from our physicians. And if you’re not, you should be!  I know I am concerned about my health, as I am getting older. Rather than going to doctors all the time, I changed my diet years ago.  I watch what I eat instead of just taking a pill that the big pharma has concocted.

I think in this day and age we are learning that when our grandparents or maybe even our parents were young, they were raised with whole foods. Whole foods are much more nutritious and healthier than processed. This is why you are seeing more and more people turn toward organic and watching out for pesticides and GMO’s.  I’m going to touch on red yeast rice and red yeast rice supplements to hopefully engage you and take some things into consideration. One being, that if you are taking red yeast rice supplements, be aware of what ingredients and how much are in them.  And two, if you are eating red yeast rice, beware of who you are purchasing it from.

Red yeast rice is a Chinese rice that is fermented, also called “Went Yeast” and is colored by the anthocyanin content. People in China have used it to improve blood circulation, improve digestion and as an anti-inflammatory in Eastern medicine.

Researchers are not sure if red yeast rice lowers cholesterol because of the statin-like chemical or, because of other things in red yeast rice like Monacolin K, unsaturated fatty acids, isoflavones, and phytosterols.

The French have issued the following warning regarding red yeast rice.

Brown rice and red rice are very similar as they both have fiber, B vitamins, calcium, zinc and iron, manganese, selenium, magnesium and other nutrients. You may find that you like the taste of brown rice better than red rice as it is very bitter tasting.  Red rice is different, though, because it being enriched with antioxidants, which helps fight damaging free radicals in our bodies.

Now according to WebMD, it was withdrawn from the market because it contains monacolin K, which is found in lovastatin.  Lovastatin is considered a “Statin drug” for lowering cholesterol and many people are finding it hard to purchase.  Lovastatin is normally very well tolerated however, it can give you abdominal pain, constipation, muscle aches or pains, nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, weakness, blurred vision, rash, dizziness and muscle cramps.

People are still able to purchase it on the internet though or from other countries, despite the FDA’s attempts.

According to the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), not all red rice has monacolin K in it.

You need to keep in mind from whom you are getting the red rice from. You need to know that the product uniformity, purity, labeling, and safety cannot be guaranteed.

The research on RYRE (Red Yeast Rice Extract) (dietary supplement) is in its early stages of research. And the NNCIH’s clinical trials, (studies on people) “the products lowered blood levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the so-called bad cholesterol that is linked to increased heart disease risk). It is important to emphasize that all of these clinical trials used products that contained substantial amounts of monacolin K. A 2011 analysis showed that some of the red yeast rice products on the market contain very little monacolin K. These products may have little or no effect on blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, even though the participants in the clinical trials were able to lower their cholesterol levels by taking red yeast rice, you might not be able to achieve the same results”. NNCIH also found that “In one of the clinical trials, the tested product produced a cholesterol-lowering effect greater than would be expected based on its monacolin K content. Further investigations, supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), suggested that other monacolins or other substances present in the product may have contributed to its cholesterol-lowering effect.”

The University of Maryland Medical Center gives an overview of their findings and thoughts.

Is this “red rice” even worth it?  I know of many other things that can lower your cholesterol without having to worry all the problems associated with red rice. Try eating some of these examples:

  1. oat bran
  2. fiber
  3. nuts
  4. tea
  5. beans

Safety –  Many people in Asian countries have been eating red rice for centuries and aren’t scared of it and are very healthy. Since there are so many varieties of red rice and red rice supplements on the market, my concerns would be what amounts are safe for one to take, and where I am getting it? I suggest speaking with your physician.

 

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Scientific studies prove broccoli fights cancer

Broccoli

There have been studies on broccoli since the 1990’s. Scientists have found by eating broccoli and broccoli sprouts because of the significant amounts of sulforaphane (a sulfur compound was shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits by killing cancer stem cells) to be the hero of the anti-cancer activity.  Although broccoli is the richest sources of this potent compound, broccoli sprouts are 20 times greater than broccoli because the sprouts show more glucoraphanin (glucosinolate precursor of sulforaphane that influences carcinogenesis and mutagenesis).

Sulforaphane supports normal cell function and detachment while causing opoptosis (programmed cell death) in colon, prostate, breast and tobacco-induced lung cancer cells.  Sulforaphane boosts cell enzymes that protect against molecular damage from cancer-causing chemicals.

In breast cancer, Sulforaphane reduced positive cell population from 65% to 80% in a study conducted by the National Center of Biotechnology Information.  In colon and lung cancer by eating broccoli and broccoli sprouts has shown a significant reduction in cancer.  In prostate cancer, by eating broccoli sprouts 4 times a week, protect men from prostate cancer. Keep in mind though that you should decrease your intake of red meat, drinking alcohol, sodium nitrate (found in processed meats, bacon, hot dogs and salami for example). Intake more fiber from whole foods, take a vitamin D supplement and eat more fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that by eating more vegetables that are non-starchy and fruits have a lower risk of getting digestive system cancer and colorectal cancer.

You can also find other vegetables that contain sulforaphane (Kale, Brussels sprouts, Collard Greens, Cabbage, Mustard Greens, Cauliflower, Turnip, Bok Choy, Watercress, Kohlrabi, and Radishes. However,  broccoli and broccoli sprouts contain the most.

Scientific proof has shown time and time again, that food is the best medicine. There is so much we can learn from Mother Nature.

 

 

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Facts about Ginger and its Medicinal Benefits

 

GingerMore and more people are turning to alternative medicine realizing its health benefits. One of those, which is ginger, was originated in Southeastern Asia and can be found in Asian and Indian cuisine. Ginger has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties.

Ginger comes from the Zingiberaceae family, is along side with the turmeric and cardamon family. Ginger root contains a very high level of total antioxidants and has a strong, spicy and aromatic smell that comes from essential oils and phenolic compounds such as gingerols, shogaols, and paradols in the root.

Ginger’s health benefits include:

Gastrointestinal relief – the phenolic compound in ginger have been shown to relieve gastrointestinal irritation.

Cell death in Colorectal Cancer, lymphoma, hepatoma, breast cancer, skin cancer, liver cancer, and bladder cancer.Studies have shown that ginger and its parts have the ability to induce apoptosis, cause cell-cycle arrest, decrease proliferation, and suppress activator protein.

Nausea and vomiting – Ginger is known for helping nausea and clinical studies have shown that it helps with chemotherapy, when used with other anti-nausea medications. It has in the past helped with post- surgery nausea, nausea caused by motion, chemotherapy, pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.

Muscle pain from physical activity – Ginger is known to help relieve the pain in muscles because of its anti-inflammatory results.

Osteoarthritis – Studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory in ginger has shown the reduction in pain from the anti-inflammatory, but not more so that ibuprofen.

Anti-diabeticStudies have also shown reduced significantly lowered blood glucose, serum total cholesterol, LDL, VLDL, and triglycerides in rats. It also showed reduced levels of insulin, body weights and cholesterol.

Ginger can have some side effects as shown in studies at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

 

Endocrine disrupters

Nail Polish and the endocrine disrupters in them

Nail Polish

More and more people are turning to a healthier lifestyle by watching what is going into and what they are putting on their bodies.  It’s unfortunate that every day, in this world we are trying to dodge all the harmful chemicals out there, but it is impossible. The best thing we can do is inform ourselves and try to make healthier lifestyle choices and reduce our exposure to them.

Nail polish should be one of your concerns because they can contain 3 toxic ingredients, well 4, and other chemicals.  There are 3 toxic ingredients that are known for many years as the “toxic trio”.

Toulene– A chemical known to cause reproductive harm and dizziness.

Formaldehyde– This known carcinogen in nail polishes and can cause cancer according to the American Cancer Society.

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) -This chemical is banned in Europe and is known to cause developmental and reproductive problems as the Environmental Working Group EWG notes here.

There is another bugger out there called “TPHP” otherwise known as Triphenyl phosphate. This chemical is used in the foam in furniture as a fire retardant and use it while manufacturing plastic.  Animal studies have shown this ingredient causes hormone disruption and has shown to cause neurodevelopmental problems and obesity.

The EWG provides us with a database to enable us to have more knowledge in one place. You’ll see how all of their hard work has made EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics database a definite page to bookmark. I’ve made a list of 5 of the top picks not in any particular order, just alphabetical. And remember to check back with them from time to time as previous database records can change.

  • Acquarella
  • Honeybee Gardens
  • Safe Nail Polish
  • Scotch Naturals
  • Suncoat

Just be safe and alert about what products you are using as they can harmful. Your body absorbs everything you put in it and on it.

 

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Flaxseed is one of the world’s healthiest foods

flax-seed-1273469_640

Flaxseed or linseed (Linum usitatissimum) has been around over 6,000 years and the ancient Egyptians used it for medicine and food.  Flaxseed is one of the richest plant sources of the ω-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), but it is found in other foods like walnuts, beans, broccoli and more.  Flaxseed is commonly used for a better digestive system and is used for constipation. It may be helpful in heart disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) arthritis, and other health problems because flax is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid.  However, flaxseed oil is the only one that contains the ALA.  Other plants that contain ALA are walnuts, canola (rapeseed), soybean oil and pumpkin seed.  Flax seeds are high in fiber and contain lignans, which come from a plant compound know as polyphenols.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that you ground your flaxseed because it is easier to digest. Not grounding them makes it harder to digest and you will not get the same benefits as ground. They also suggest that you don’t take more than 50 grams per day, equaling 5 tablespoons because of certain toxins and always take flax seeds with plenty of water. The National Center of Complementary and Integrative Health, (NCCIH) suggest that you do NOT eat them raw which may contain harmful toxins. They also suggest taking flaxseed with plenty of water.

Flaxseed contains Omega-3 (ALA), Fiber, Protein, Vitamin B1, Phosphorus, Manganese, Magnesium, Selenium, B6, Iron, Potassium, Copper, and Zinc. You can also find Omega 3’s in fish oil which is dosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are Omega 3 acids found in fish oil. Other foods that contain Omega 3 acids are walnuts, salmon, and maceral. Flaxseed can be purchased ground, which should come in a mylar package so that the components in the flaxseeds stay active. It is important to know if you grind the seeds use them within 24 hours or they lose their activity. In oil form, it is important to keep it refrigerated.

Flaxseed has been proven in clinical studies to improve cardiovascular health, diabetes, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, cancer prevention, menopausal symptoms and digestive health.

Here are a few ways you can eat flax seeds.

  • Try mixing them in when you bake muffins.
  • Add them ground in your yogurt.
  • Add them to your morning oatmeal.
  • Use them on chicken or meat.
  • Put them ground in your cottage cheese, ice cream or applesauce.

 

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The reasons Magnesium is so important

Magnesium rich foods

Magnesium is a mineral that is in more than 300 enzyme systems that adjust diverse biochemical reactions in our bodies which include normal muscle and nerve function, protein synthesis, cell signaling, building strong bones, keeping a healthy immune system and maintaining heart rhythm.

With processed foods and not whole foods people are realizing that their bodies are deficient in magnesium and are turning to foods and supplements to correct the issue. And with all the pesticides that are used in conventional farming, our soil is being depleted of magnesium. Farming is not what it used to be, so people are looking for alternatives to help get the nutrients they need through supplements and organic whole foods.

Calcium is a BIG contributor to being magnesium deficient. We were brought up concerned about getting enough calcium, but they should have educated us more on the mix of the two. Without getting too scientific on you, let me explain. If your body has too much calcium and not enough magnesium, then the calcium builds up in the cells. Which is called calcification. If you can’t get rid of the calcification, you’re headed to more health problems.

We know that low levels of magnesium have been linked to hereditary heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, clogged arteries, high blood pressure, stroke, agitation, anxiety disorders, irritability, low blood pressure, confusion, muscle spasm and weakness, hyperventilation, insomnia, restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep disorders, poor nail growth, seizures, nausea and vomiting.

In a study from the University of Oregon, they state that deficiency in healthy individuals who are consuming a healthy diet is rare because of the magnesium-rich in plants and animal foods. They also state, that our kidneys are able to limit urinary excretion of magnesium when intake is low. Studies on the elderly show low intakes of dietary magnesium because with age it is harder for our bodies to absorb and interestingly enough our urinary magnesium excretion tends to increase with age. In clinical studies, they state that magnesium is hard for our bodies to absorb and suggest taking calcium with it and what the recommended daily allowance (RDA).

Dietary Supplements

Magnesium supplements come in different forms like magnesium citrate, magnesium gluconate, and magnesium lactate because it absorbs more completely and is more bioavailable than magnesium oxide and magnesium sulfate.

People who suffer from hyperthyroidism (high levels), kidney disease, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis, diabetes and taking diuretics can have difficulties absorbing magnesium because of medicine they take.  The University of Oregon says that when taking a medication there can be a loss of absorption when taking drugs such as Digoxin (heart medication), nitrofurantoin (antibiotic) and other malaria drugs and interferes with drug effectiveness. People taking the drug Bisphosphonates for osteoporosis should be taken separately, 2 hours apart. The University of Oregon has drug interaction information regarding antibiotics oral anticoagulants, chlorpromazine (a tranquilizer) and more.

Foods that are rich in magnesium:

  • Tofu
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Wheat bran
  • Brazil nuts
  • Soybean flour
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Pumpkin and squash seeds
  • Pine nuts
  • Black walnuts

 

Foods that also have dietary sources of magnesium:

  • Peanuts
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Oat flour
  • Beet greens
  • Spinach
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Shredded wheat
  • Bran cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Bananas
  • Baked potatoes (with skin)
  • Chocolate
  • Cocoa powder

Herbs, spices and seaweed also have magnesium:

  • Dill weed
  • Celery seed
  • Sage
  • Dried mustard
  • Cumin seed
  • Tarragon
  • Marjoram
  • Basil
  • Agar seaweed
  • Coriander
  • Fennel seed
  • Poppy seed

Things that aid in the loss of magnesium:

  • Drinking too much sugar, caffeine, soda and alcohol
  • Eating too much sodium (salt)
  • Excessive sweating
  • Prolonged stress
  • Heavy menstrual periods

Symptoms of deficiency of magnesium may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disorders
  • Seizures
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle spasm and weakness
  • Hyperventilation
  • Poor nail growth

Always talk to your doctor when taking magnesium supplements with other medications or over the counter drugs as they can interact and cause nausea, vomiting, severely lowered blood pressure, confusion, diarrhea, slowed heart rate, respiratory paralysis, and deficiencies of other minerals, coma, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrest and death.