Minerals in the diet – are they important?

The answer is YES, but let’s start with some background info.  Some minerals are household names such as the macrominerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, and Phosphorus.  There are also microminerals that are present in much smaller quantities in the body including: Iron, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Chromium, Selenium, Boron, Iodine, and Molybdenum.

 

Where do nutritional minerals come from?  Well yes, you can find them in the supplement department in your local store, but let’s talk about where they are found in nature.

 

Minerals are naturally occurring elements found in rocks and stones.  As rocks break down over time, they release minerals into the soil.  Plants, then absorb the minerals from the soil, and are then eaten by animals.  Therefore, us humans get our minerals from eating plants, and animals that eat plants.

 

Here is the problem today:

  • With conventional farming practices, crops are planted over and over again in the same soil. Plants pull minerals from the soil, but there is never an opportunity to replenish minerals.  Therefore, the plants, and the animals that eat them are mineral deficient
  • Highly processed foods (those shelf stable foods found in convenience stores and in the center isles of grocery stores) are depleted of minerals.

 

Are minerals essential?  Every human cell depends on minerals for proper function including energy production, growth and healing.  Minerals are also essential for the proper utilization of vitamins and other nutrients.  Minerals are required to heal and maintain health.

 

So, what to do? 

  • Eat as many different plants (vegetables, fruits) that you can. Organic farming methods replenish soil minerals so eat as much organic as you can.
  • If appropriate for you, eat a well-rounded diet which includes organic vegetables, organic fruits, sustainably harvested seafood, and a variety of grass fed, grass finished and responsibly raised meats and poultry.
  • Take mineral supplements as recommended by your healthcare provider. Look for Whole Food sources rather than supplements that are synthesized in a chemical factory

 

Happy Health!!

Ann & Emily

 

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Ancient Wisdom for Modern life: It’s not all about the hustle.

 

 

I’ve made it my summer project to study one of the classical Chinese medical texts, The Yellow Emporer’s Canon on Internal Medicine. Sounds exciting right? It actually is quite interesting and although I read it while in school it’s much more applicable to practice now that I have a few years of real world experience under my belt.

 

Right in the first chapter I found something I wanted to share. The book is a series of questions from the emperor, and subsequent answers from his Taoist master/court physician.

 

The emperor asks” I am told the people in ancient times could all survive to more than 100 years old, and they appeared to be quite healthy and strong in actions, but the people at present time are different, they are not so nimble in actions when they are only fifty, what is the reason?”

 

The Master answer was very insightful and I think could be of value to modern day people. I will break it down into bullet points for you:

 

  1. The people of ancient times kept their daily behavior in accordance with nature.
  2. They lived their daily life in harmony with the way of recuperating the essence and vital energy.
  3. Their behaviors were all kept in regular patterns such as their food and drink were of fixed quantity and their daily activities were in regular times.
  4. They never overworked.

 

What the master is saying is that these people who were healthy and strong up to age 100 lived a life of balance. They knew when it was time to work and time to rest. There are seasons for planting seeds, seasons for those seeds to grow, a harvest and then a season for the soil to rest.

 

They constant go-go of modern life can be unavoidable. To me the modern version of what the master is saying is that it’s ok to not always be in hustle mode. That hustle and rest must be in near equal proportion. That rejuvenation and self-care are essential to thriving throughout our lives. Do you have any rejuvenating activities you do on a regular basis? Do you have a self-care routine?

Stay tuned for tips and suggestions on how to establish a self-care routine!

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