Whether you are male or female, old or young, there are certain critical nutrients that are needed for good health. Unfortunately, most Americans are short on certain nutrients which could possibly leave them subject to various diseases. Below are 3 important nutrients you need to ensure you are getting ample amounts of to help reduce your chances of dis-ease.
Magnesium – Most people worry about getting enough calcium, but the typical American diet provides plenty of that. What’s missing is magnesium, the balancing mineral for calcium. When there is not enough magnesium in the diet, calcium stops being your friend and turns into your enemy. The result can be atherosclerosis, a fancy word for clogged arteries.
Magnesium is directly responsible for creation of ATP, the energy molecules in the body, as well as formation of bones and teeth, relaxation of blood vessels, the action of the heart, proper bowel function, and regulation of blood sugar levels.
Deficiency in magnesium is why many women who take calcium religiously still end up with osteoporosis. The epidemic of diabetes we are witnessing is at least in part the result of magnesium deficiency, because magnesium controls glucose balance.
Why is there such high magnesium deficiencies? Poor topsoil conditions and poor eating choices is the answer, but it does not have to be. Adding pumpkin seeds to your diet on a regular basis can single handedly put an end to magnesium deficiencies. Other foods high in the mineral include spinach, swiss chard, sesame seeds, quinoa, black beans, cashews, and sunflower seeds.
Potassium – Must salt create such havoc within the human body? Not if its balancing mineral is present, and that mineral is potassium. Sodium and chloride, the components of table salt, are concentrated outside cell membranes, while potassium is concentrated inside cell membranes to create equilibrium. When both sodium and potassium are at optimal levels and balanced, they allow electric currents to pass between cells to help maintain proper fluid balance in the body’s tissues. This, in turn, influences overall cardiovascular health. The problem comes when there is not enough potassium to balance the amount of salt consumed. Since salt is a very necessary component of human life, the answer is not to cut out salt – it is to increase potassium levels, thereby saving yourself from high blood pressure and heart disease.
The best sources of potassium are beet greens, lima beans, swiss chard, potatoes, spinach, avocado, pinto beans, and lentils. A tablespoon of molasses contains about 20% of the daily value for potassium, and about 10% of the daily value for magnesium, making it a great food based choice.
Vitamin C – Last year a ground breaking study on the efficacy of intravenous vitamin C for cancer in humans was published. The researchers discovered that this form of vitamin C eradicated cancer cells while leaving healthy cells untouched. Other natural healers, such as Dr. Mark Sircus, have said that intravenous vitamin C can bring remission to cancer patients, even in the late stages of the disease. Wouldn’t you like to have vitamin C on your team to defeat cancer?
Researchers at University of California found that participants taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C per day for two months experienced a 24% reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. Dr.Sircus suggests that CRP is a much better predictor of heart disease than much touted cholesterol levels. CRP is a marker of inflammation, and a body of evidence points to the conclusion that chronic inflammation is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
At the same University, Dr. James Enstrom studied vitamin C for more than ten years, and with more than 11,000 people. He found that 300 mg of the vitamin per day reduced risk of heart disease by 50 percent in men and 40% in women.
Many people think they are getting plenty of vitamin C without knowing that this is the only vitamin that is destroyed by heat. This means only fresh uncooked fruits and vegetables can deliver vitamin C. Bottled juices from the store will have been pasteurized, and their vitamin C has been compromised. Vitamin C also has a very short life, which means produce should be cut just prior to serving. Convenience packages of sliced fruits and vegetables will have lost most of their vitamin C by the time they are eaten, especially if displayed under lights.
Foods with the highest concentrations of vitamin C include papaya (these are genetically modified), bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels spouts, strawberries, pineapple, citrus fruits, kiwi, cantaloupe and cauliflower.