Health Tip #58

health-tip-58

Article to come…

 

Health Tip #55

health-tip-55

Article to come…

Health Tip #53

health-tip-53

Article to come…

Health Tip #40

health-tip-40

Supporting bone health is more than just eating dairy products or taking a calcium supplement.  In fact, calcium supplements, unless properly balanced with other vitamins and minerals can cause calcification where we don’t want it.

Whole Foods Diet to the Rescue!

Below is a list of vitamins and minerals that will help build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium.  The best source of vitamin D3 is appropriate sunlight exposure.  In areas further away from the equator, which experience cold winters, a vitamin D3 supplement might be necessary.

Calcium is best if it comes from food as it is better absorbed and utilized.  Some good sources of calcium are: raw milk  cheese from grass-fed cows, leafy greens, carob, sesame seeds, molasses, tahini, almonds, almond butter, canned salmon (with the bones), sardines and dried figs.

Vitamin K2 directs calcium to the skeleton, moving calcium into bones and teeth preventing it from being deposited where we don’t want it (organs, joints, arteries), and removes calcium from arteries and soft tissues. Vitamin K protects blood vessels from calcifying and building up in coronary arteries.  Some good sources of vitamin K2 are: leafy greens, lacto-fermented foods (fermented vegetables, natto), eggs and butter from pasture-fed animals, vitamin K2 supplements.  A deficiency of vitamin K2 can produce vitamin D supplement toxicity.

Magnesium and calcium should be in a ratio of 1:1.  Some good sources of magnesium are: raw cacao, chlorophyll rich foods, seaweed, leafy greens, spinach, chard, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds.  Magnesium can also be absorbed in an Epsom salt bath.

Phosphorus- some good sources of phosphorus are: pumpkin seeds, salmon, brazil nuts, lean beef and lentils.

Silica- some good sources of silica are: leeks, green beans, garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, asparagus and rhubarb.

Trace Minerals-some good sources of trace minerals are: unrefined Himalayan crystal salt and sea salt.

Vitamin C-some good sources of vitamin C are: peppers, brassicas (cabbage family plants), guava, papaya, kiwi,orange and strawberries.

Vitamin A- some good sources of vitamin A are: sweet potato, with skin, pumpkin, carrot juice, carrots, squash, butternut and Swiss chard.

Vitamin E-  some good sources of vitamin E are: dark leafy greens, spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds and avocados.

Other Recommendations:

Decrease mineral binding phytic acid in grains and legumes. If including grains and legumes in the diet, make sure they are soaked or fermented and properly prepared for proper digestion.

Weight-bearing and strength training exercise help to keep bones strong as we age.

Avoid processed foods which are devoid of many vitamins and minerals necessary for strong bones and teeth.  Processed foods may fulfill our caloric needs but often leave us overfed and undernourished because of their lack of nutrients.

Health Tip #25

health-tip-25

Bathing In Nature

Being outdoors in nature brings about a feeling of peace and restores our equilibrium.  I love being in the forest here on the Pacific North West Coast, surrounded by big trees, or walking along the beach, with the waves crashing on the shore.  I always feel better after spending time in nature.  “Shinrin-yoku,” is a Japanese healing practice of “forest bathing”.  It means spending time in a forest, to improve mental and physical health by  inhaling negative ions, essential oils and even beneficial bacteria from the forest air.

Health Benefits of Negative Ions

When we are in nature, near mountains, waterfalls, and beaches, we are exposed to negative ions.  There is evidence to show that negative ions produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood enhancing chemicals which in turn help to relieve depression and stress, and give us an energy boost.  This may be one of the reasons why being outdoors in nature has been shown to decrease stress, increase creativity, improve mood and self-esteem and improve SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder).

Touch The Earth

As I am writing this post in January, it may seem a little impractical, but one of the best ways to expose ourselves to negative ions is through grounding, or touching our bare skin to the earth, such as walking barefoot on the beach.

Nature Offers Better Air Quality

Another good reason for spending at least some time each day, outdoors in nature, is that indoor air quality is usually far worse than outdoors.  This is due to off gassing of building materials, paints, carpeting and furniture and the build up of dust and mold.

As we mentioned in the post about sleep, getting out in natural sunlight helps set our internal clock and helps us sleep better at night.

Green Exercise

Exercising outdoors in nature or green exercise can be very energizing and has the added benefit of adding variety and intensity to our workout as we move through the wind, weather and changing terrain.  Exercising outdoors has also shown to lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone).

Those who have little contact with nature have been shown to to be more likely to suffer from certain mental disorders.

Walking Meditation

And as a final note, the next time you’re outdoors in nature, why not try doing it mindfully.  Turn off the noise (music players, cell phones…) and be fully present, for at least a few moments, to the nature around you, moving in time with your breath and sensing the moment.  Truly be in nature.