Nutrition (Part 3)
Good day dear reader. Thank you for hanging in there with me. The mysterious box of which I spoke in my Technical Difficulties post has magically vanished and I am free to write without a box around my content. Thank goodness! I do not know why it appeared in the first place and why it is gone now, but I can honestly say it is a huge relief. So , here we are - the last piece of the nutrition series. Nutrition is a vast field with myriad components. I chose the areas which I felt to be of utmost importance.
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We eat food for two main reasons. We eat for calories ( units of heat or energy ) and of course nutrition. We also discussed fiber and the important role it plays in relation to our blood sugar and the health of our bowels. In Part 1 we discussed macronutrients, what they are and why we need them. We reviewed how each relates to biological function, how much our body requires of each, and how to get them.
In Part 2 we discussed micronutrients and their biological functions. We also addressed the problem of nutrient deficiencies in food and how supplementation can help. I hope it was clear that not all supplements are high quality and some are more absorbable ( bioavailable) by the body than others. It is worth repeating that it is important to eat for nutrition and health rather than purely for pleasure, though both can certainly be done hand in hand. We need nutrients for every single biological function in our body.
If one eats lots of junk food, gmo food and restaurant food ( most often gmo, along with unhealthy oils like canola ) they can count on less than optimal health due to nutrient deficiency, and poor quality or even toxic food. Whole foods are always prefered over processed foods if you are eating for optimal health. Though we haven’t discussed it, growing your own food is one of the best things you can do for your health and the planet, or at least buying local produce when possible. Eating seasonally is also healthwise and planet friendly.
We lose 25,000 people die every day due to starvation (9.1 million people per year - more than have died of Covid ) . Remember when Monsanto tried to convince us that gmo food was going to end starvation? A child dies from hunger every 10 seconds. There are also food deserts in which people live far away from any grocery store and may not have the means to get to one. There is also a lot of food waste from farming practices to food wasted by grocery stores and restaurants and even in people’s homes.
Long story short, if you have access to food and the means to buy it you are very fortunate. I encourage everyone to honor the Earth for her gifts and honor your body by feeding it well. As I mentioned, we will be taking a look at hydration and digestion in the weeks to come, both of which are integral to our body’s ability to absorb and utilize nutrients. Also a quick mention of my series on genetically modified food ( GMO Pat 1, 2 & 3 ). They are well worth the read, even if you feel you know all there is to know about it - believe me, no one does!
Organic food, whether you grow it, buy it at the store , or from a Farmer’s Market, is really the best way to go. Both conventional and gmo foods are full of pesticides, which are not only toxic, but they are also hormone disruptors. A study from Harvard links pesticides to lower sperm count. Full article here.
Minerals are a crucial to our well-being and most people in the U.S.A. are seriously mineral ( and nutrient) deficient. If you would like to see just how many biological functions are connected to minerals, here is a really awesome a-z list. As you hover your cursor over the symptom it shows you which mineral is deficient. It is not meant to be a diagnostic tool, merely an educational tool, yet I think it is fantastic that someone took the time to put the list together. I was surprised to find that magnesium was not included under constipation, as magnesium plays such an important role in optimal bowel health ( as well as over 300 other biological functions ). In any case, here is the link.
You know me, I never like to reinvent the wheel, but I do like to call things to your attention. Dr Axe has an excellent article on minerals. He explains why you need them and how to get them, including which foods have which minerals. You can find it here. As with micronutrients (a.k.a vitamins) , we must often turn to supplements for some of our minerals. I personally take zinc daily, but what I really want to share with you is a liquid trace mineral product I take.
In my blog about water and hydration, I will go into more detail, but I would like to mention here that proper hydration does not happen without minerals. Much of today’s water supply is stripped of minerals and this is why it is important to add minerals to your water. I often hear people say they do not like the taste of water and I feel this may be not for what it contains, but what it is lacking. Adding trace minerals to your water gives it a completely different ( yet hard to describe ) flavor. When I drink water without minerals it tastes empty, like something is missing, and that’s because it is.
Electrolytes is a big buzzword today. Many people may not realize that electrolytes are actually minerals that carry an electric charge. “Electrolytes help to regulate water distribution, govern acid base balance and transmit nerve impulses. They also contribute to energy generation and blood clotting. This table summarizes the functions of each of the body’s major electrolytes.” See table here
In short, minerals are important for myriad biological functions and hence overall health. It is important to get them through our food and water. Sometimes supplements are needed, like zinc or magnesium. Adding minerals to you water is key to proper hydration. If you do not do this already and would like a good source of trace minerals , these are what I use . You do not have to order them online. Many grocery stores and health oriented merchants sell them. Also just last night I found another excellent source for trace minerals here. I am very excited about this company and their products!
FUN FACT : That funny smell you smell when you pee after eating asparagus is actually sulfur. Asparagus is a great way to get sulphur and most of us do not get enough.
Magnesium and Vitamin D
There are so many important things to say about magnesium , it’s had to know where to begin. When Covid introduced itself on the world stage many doctors recommended: zinc, C, quercetin ( nettles are a great source - you can get nettle powder in capsulated form ) and D. Other things like NAC were later added to that list. I take all of these daily. I recommend a liquid form of D ( which is actually a hormone, not a vitamin). Life Extension has a liquid D3 that offers an 890 day supply for only $21.00, you can find it here.
This little known fact is the reason I mention these two in the same subheading. Low magnesium levels make vitamin D ineffective, according to a review published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.”
“Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body after calcium, potassium, and sodium, according to the study. Foods high in magnesium include green vegetables, egg yolk, soybeans, brown rice, and cashews. The recommended allowance for magnesium for males is 420 mg per day and 320 mg per day for females.”
“However, the standard diet in the United States contains only approximately 50% of that, meaning as much as half of the total population is magnesium deficient, according to the study. Magnesium status is low in populations who consume processed foods high in fats, refined grains, sugar, and phosphate, according to the study.”
“Vitamin D cannot be metabolized without sufficient magnesium levels. The study authors found that patients with optimum magnesium levels require less vitamin D supplementation to achieve sufficient levels. Deficiency in either magnesium or vitamin D is associated with various disorders, such as skeletal deformities, cardiovascular diseases, and metabolic syndrome.”
“Taking vitamin D supplements can also be dangerous if magnesium levels are not sufficient, according to the study. The researchers found that taking vitamin D supplements can increase a person’s calcium and phosphate levels even if they remain vitamin D deficient. This may cause vascular calcification if magnesium levels aren’t high enough to prevent it.”
"People are taking vitamin D supplements but don't realize how it gets metabolized. Without magnesium, vitamin D is not really useful or safe," Mohammed S. Razzaque, MBBS, PhD, study co-author and professor of Pathology at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, said in the press release.”
“Magnesium helps to reduce osteoporosis, which aids in mitigating the risk of bone fracture associated with low levels of vitamin D. According to the researchers, magnesium consumption from natural foods has decreased in the past few decades due to industrialized agriculture and dietary changes.”
Magnesium plays a role in hundreds of biological functions. For me personally, regular bowel movements depend on water, exercise and fiber ( which often contains magnesium). Nevertheless, there are 11 types of magnesium and it’s hard to get enough of all of them in your daily diet and a shortage of magnesium will lead to constipation . For a short article on each type, what they do and where to get them, you can read this.
The best magnesium supplement I have found on the market contains seven forms of magnesium. You will be hard pressed to find a product with this many forms of magnesium. It is called Magnesium Breakthrough and you can find it here. I will admit, their website is a little daunting and off-putting at first glance, but just keep scrolling until you get to the part that explains each of the seven forms and what they are good for. They also have a money back guarantee, so it’s a safe bet. I have been taking it for a couple of years and I love it!
FUN FACT: Vitamin D is used as a biomarker for longevity.
Oof ! So much information on cell salts, ( a.k.a. cell tissue salts ) but where to begin? Cell salts are essential for cellular health and create an environment of mineral balance in the body. There are twelve in all. I have used them individually for various reasons, however, I take a blend of all 12 on a daily basis. They are inexpensive and I feel they are a vital underpinning to optimal health. To read more or to purchase Bioplasma tablets ( or individual cell salts ) go here. For more information you can simply do a search for “cell salts “ and you will find a plethora of information. It is important to stay well hydrated while taking theses, so if you are someone who is not diligent about hydration, these may not be the best option for you.
Probiotics are very common now and it seems like a large portion of the population is taking them. We can go a bit deeper when I write a blog on digestion, but for now, let’s just say while there are varied opinions, I personally feel they are essential for maintaining a healthy amount of good bacteria in the gut, which in turn helps in nutrient absorption and fighting off infection - as well as much more ( see article below ) including the brain gut connection and mental health. As with supplements , they come in a full spectrum of qualities from worthless to excellent, so vet your sources first. I personally would not buy probiotics with a mainstream chain name on them as these tend to be of lesser quality ( correct me if you disagree ).
If you want the full skinny on all the benefits, what to eat to increase them, which ones to consider buying, etc, here is an informative article. A couple helpful hints: there are kinds you can buy for travel that do not need to be refrigerated and in general probiotics are best taken on an empty stomach. In the blog on digestion we can delve further into the latest trend in humic and fulvic acids in probiotics and why it’s beneficial.
Glutathione and NAD
Last night while l was in bed just about to fall asleep it occured to me that I had forgotten to include these two longevity powerhouses. While I do not have time to expound at this time. I strongly encourage learning about each of these as they contribute to cellular health and longevity. Liposomal glutathione is the most effective for its bioavailability. NAD can be found on the Life Extension website. Sorry so short, but I did want to include them at the very least.
In the interest of time, I am going to close here. I appreciate you coming with me on this three week journey regarding nutrition and the three week GMO exploration prior to that. The further one goes down the spiritual path, they may find it ironic that one of the most important leaps to take are to nurture the body as much as possible. Some paths would deny the body all together, every path is different. Nevertheless as long as we are alive, this human body is where our spirit resides. It seems a huge component of elevated mind states and the consistency thereof lies in balanced body chemistry.
Serotonin and dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin are the feel good hormones. Hormones like cortisol and adrenaline can ruin our day. Low levels of estrogen , progesterone or testosterone can create their own catastrophes. Blood sugar levels can make or break us. Certain nutrient and mineral deficiencies can affect our mind. Our body chemistry is a beautiful symphony working in concert and if we are fortunate enough to learn about it, observe it and nurture it, it can lead us to new territory. Unfortunately that beautiful symphony can quickly turn to a cacophony if we neglect to take care of ourselves.
We have one life in this body and we have lots of choices to make every day. The best use of a life - in my mind at least, is to learn as much about the body as you can , to nurture it and to see where this amazing vehicle can bring you. It has brought many to sustainable states of higher consciousness and beyond. It’s not always easy, but that’s where I am headed. Much love to all and I shall return next week!
Creators of New Earth is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.