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Do you get enough magnesium?

By Ann C Wooledge
on February 26, 2012

Magnesium - do you get enough?


We subscribe to consumerlab.com and their newsletter which is always full of very good, update, accurate and needed information. Here is a quote from a recent article that they published. I can't link directly to that link because it is a secured url and requires a subscription. Which is fine, that's how they keep in business as they don't sell anything. 

So - do you eat enough magnesium rich foods every day, or do you take a supplement, none of these or both of these? Here's why you should think about it.

"An analysis of several studies concluded that magnesium may help reduce the risk of stroke. People who consumed 100 mg of magnesium more per day than average (the average being about 300 mg) had an 8% lower risk of strokes of any kind and a 9% lower risk of ischemic stroke (Larsson, Am J Clin Nutr 2012). This finding is based on total magnesium in the diet -- it does not mean that 100 mg of magnesium from a supplement will necessarily have the same risk-lowering effect, but getting a total of at least 400 mg of magnesium from your diet per day may be beneficial."

What else does magnesium do?

Well it does a lot of things, but to keep it short, it is important to take it with any calcium supplement that you might take. It also relaxes nerves and muscles, which is why I like to take my calcium/magnesium supplement before bedtime.

Foods rich in magnesium: Truthfully, magnesium isn't all that difficult to get enough of. I use the supplement because it is important to take it with calcium in order for calcium to be absorbed. I've been working on a blog about cow's milk (got way more complicated than I'd planned) and there will be more information about calcium in that blog.

According to Whole Foods, here is a list of foods rich in magnesium:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Soybeans
  • Sesame seeds
  • Halibut
  • Black beans
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cashews
  • Almonds

Whole Foods has an amazing amount of information on their website, so if you want more information than you could possibly imagine, check out their page on magnesium.

Thanks for listening!





Best supplements to prevent dementia

By Healthy Planet Blog Your Healthy Brain
on January 08, 2012
1 comment

What supplements will help prevent memory loss?

 

Mom died in her 80's but she "left us" when she was in her 70's as her Alzheimer's took over a once incredibly talented and bright mind. It's a horrible thing to watch and the Alzheimer's Association estimates that 4 million people have Alzheimer's disease just in the United States. That's a lot of people and then of course the family members become an important part of that equation first, of course, because of their loss, and secondly because they begin to worry about their own brain health. Which is why I have dedicated a lot of my time doing research on how to maintain a healthy brain and prevent dementia. Dementia is not always Alzheimers. Alzheimer's disease is, however, the most common cause of dementia in older people. If you visit my Facebook page, you will see this picture of me and Mom many years ago. I wonder if we couldn't have been able to help her knowing what we do today about brain health.

 

What is dementia?

As we age, we become more and more aware of some loss of brain function and your doctor will often tell you "you ARE getting older you know", which if you're like me makes you extremely frustrated and you'd like to hit him/her over the head with your chart. But dementia is basically a definite measurable decline in intellectual functioning which can interfere with activities of daily living and family relationships - and, of course, social situations. I still remember one time when my sister and I took Mom to lunch and she had a very difficult time trying to read the menu and order. She was still at the stage where she realized something wasn't right and it broke my heart to see her embarrassed about her inability to do so. I'm sure it was very scary to her as well. Dementia can be caused by Alzheimer's as mentioned, but it is also often caused by strokes which may be a series of strokes or only one that does the damage. A stroke is when the blood supply is blocked to your brain due to a blood clot - the same thing that causes a heart attack, except the clot is supplying blood to the brain rather than the heart. There are other reasons for dementia, but these are the two most common.

What can I do to prevent dementia?

When I was in nursing school, it was believed that brain cells could not be regenerated and once you lost them, they were gone forever. Research has shown this is not true and brain cells can be regenerated - good news for all of us! Researchers at Princeton University discovered that the formation of new nerve cells, a process called neurogenesis disproves that out-dated belief. I don't know about you, but when I first heard that, I was very, very relieved as the potential for developing Alzheimer's can be hereditary.

So now that we KNOW we can actually do something about those dying brain cells, shouldn't we be doing everything we can to make that happen? You will find past articles in our blog (see here) concerning brain health and we will be constantly informing you of new research as well as ways to increase your brain function.

The latest research that is interesting and reveals to us an easy fix is as simple as supplementing our diets with vitamin B12 and Folic Acid. This study showed that when people between the ages of 60 to 74 were given daily amounts of vitamin B-12 and Folic Acid, there was significant improvement in short and long-term memory. The improvement was documented after 2 years of supplementation, but why wait until you're 60 to start! In this study patients were given daily doses of Folic Acid (800 mcg), vitamin B-12 (500 mcg), and vitamin B-6 (20 mg).(1)

Cognitive benefits were also seen in a study that used smaller daily doses of just two of these vitamins: folic acid (400 mcg) and B-12 (100 mcg).This particular study showed that long-term supplementation of these vitamins at these dosages did "promote improvement in cognitive functioning after 24 months."

And yet another study showed additional nutrients that were effective for enhanced brain cognition. This study done with an elderly population (mean age of 87) showed that when blood levels were examined for each participant, those with higher levels of vitamins B (B1, B2, B6, folate, and B12), C, D, and E, as well as high in "marine" Omega 3 fatty acids, closely correlated with better brain functioning and increased brain volume. However, this study also showed that those participants with higher levels of trans fats (can you say hydrogenated oils?) had a lower cognitive function and lower brain volume. (3)

This should be enough to convince you to throw out those tubs of margarine and stop buying so many boxes of processed foods! What this also shows I believe is that it is obvious that what we eat or don't eat has a direct and measurable affect on the health of our brain and our future. I can't think of a better reason to change to a healthier diet. There is a lot of debate that taking supplements just produces expensive urine. I think these studies prove them wrong.

Thanks for listening!

 

(1) Celeste, A, Oulhaj, A., Jacoby, R., Refsum, H., & Smith, A. D. (21 July 2011, 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182436598). Cognitive and clinical outcomes of homocysteine-lowering B-vitamin treatment in mild cognitive impairment: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

(2) Walker, Janine, et al. (2012, January). Oral folic acid and vitamin B-12 supplementation to prevent cognitive decline in community-dwelling older adults with depressive symptoms—the Beyond Ageing Project: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 95.1 (2012): 194-203.

(3)Bowman, G. L. e., Silbert, L.C., Howieson, D. (Published online before print December 28, 2011,). Nutrient biomarker patterns, cognitive function, and MRI measures of brain aging. Neurology.

Why are nuts a healthy snack?

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutritional Niblits
on May 24, 2011

Looking for a healthy snack?

 

Well, look no more. Following a large study investigating ways to prevent or reduce metabolic syndrome, it was found that adding 30 grams of nuts per day decreased the incidence of this increasingly prevalent syndrome approximately 14% after one year. Whereas adding olive oil and no nuts, the incidence decreased 6.7%. Either way - it's a decrease and the research is showing that the Mediterranean diet is effective for dealing with this problem.

Research now gives us reason to believe that those people with this syndrome characterized by multiple health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol,  high blood sugar, and with the easiest to diagnose - an expanding waistline due to excess belly fat.  I'll talk more about why belly fat is so dangerous in another blog. But it is helpful that this study shows that these symptoms can be reduced just by adding about one ounce of mixed nuts per day. Now don't overdo it, because although the fat in nuts is "good" fat, too much of any fat is just that - too much. I also would add that the nuts should not be the roasted kind that contain large amounts of salt which is obviously counterproductive. I recommend raw nuts only - soaked overnight if possible and then dehydrated at temperatures below 106 degrees. You can season them easily this way according to your own preferences. I realize not everyone has a dehydrator or the time to do it this way, so please at least eat raw nuts easily found in bulk at your local health food store. Researchers believe the fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids in the nuts helped regulate insulin, blood pressure, and inflammation - all of which can result in metabolic syndrome.

Participants in the study ate about five walnuts, five hazelnuts, and five almonds daily. Kathy McManus, RD, director of the department of nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, recommends eating the same amount (approximately 1 ounce) when you have a snack attack.

The link below provides the results of a large meta study on this subject.

 

Thanks for listening!



Why is green tea better with lemon?

By Healthy Planet Blog Nutrition and Natural Health
on May 20, 2011
1 comment

The synergy of using green tea and citrus juice enhances the absorption of the antioxidants!

 

In a Japanese study with more than 40,500 participants, it was discovered that those with the lowest risk of dying of heart disease or stroke drank at least five cups of green tea every day. Not anything really new, but the authors of the study again found that the catechins, the powerful antioxidants in green tea, are responsible for this health-saving effect. They also found, however, that only 20% of the catechins actually survive the digestive system. 

What to do? Well, if you're like a lot of us, I like lemon with my tea! I look for organic though, but regardless, it was found that the vitamin C in lemons or lemon juice help your body absorb 13 times the antioxidants as you would from drinking the tea without lemon - this according to a Purdue study. I'm thinking then maybe I don't need to drink a full 5 cups a day if I add the lemon. I've also discovered some easier ways to get my green tea into my daily routine with some of the antioxidant flavored teas that you will find in even regular grocery stores. Substitute that glass of iced black tea for green tea this summer with lemon (organic please!)

ADDENDUM ADDED May 24, 2011:

Adding milk actually lessens absorption and use freshly brewed tea as the research shows the catechins in bottled drinks are ineffective.


Thanks for listening!

More detailed information here:


Wingsets check out this link image 

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