The Importance of Magnesium

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I recently read somewhere that magnesium deficiency is actually one of the most common, if not THE most common nutrient deficiency in the Western world today. As magnesium is known to be extremely important mineral in cell metabolism, this information caught my attention straight away, and I had to find out more. Magnesium is usually not included in any routine blood tests, but even if they did, magnesium deficiency is often misdiagnosed because it does not show up in blood tests. Only very small amount of the body’s magnesium is stored in blood.

Not many people are aware how important magnesium actually is for us, not even doctors. It is probably the most important mineral in our cells, more important than calcium, potassium or sodium and actually regulates the three of them. When there is not enough magnesium to balance these minerals, it leads to our cells containing too much calcium.  As a consequence of having too much calcium in your body leads to the whole body, muscles, tissues and arteries being “calcified”. Our arteries harden leading to heart disease, our blood clots easily, joints and muscles ache and cramp. Cells are not functioning properly which leads even to cell death. We have low energy levels as magnesium is required to produce ATP energy in your cells. Lack of magnesium even affects REM sleep leading to poor sleep. Calcium is displaced to tissues, starving bones which leads to osteoporosis.

There are also many other different symptoms that are connected to magnesium deficiency, such as  low energy levels and fatigue, anxiety, restlessness, hyperactivity, migraines, poor sleep, joint pain and muscle cramps, back ache, neck pain, insulin resistance and diabetes and high blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency can basically affect every organ system of the body, including heart. Magnesium is very important when preventing cardiac arrhythmia. There are several studies about the positive effect magnesium has on cardiac health and preventing cardiac related sudden death.

Magnesium is a cheap, efficient preventative treatment. Also vitamin D3 is very important as it is known that low levels of vitamin D do lower magnesium levels too. Vitamin B6 is very important in magnesium metabolism.

Magnesium rich foods include at least dark chocolate. dark leafy vegetable such as spinach, broccoli and almonds. Unfortunately though, modern farming has resulted in our food containing less and less minerals and micronutrients, and also many of us consume too much sugar and grains in our diets, depleting our magnesium stores, so mostly we do need magnesium supplements.

Magnesium is available in supplements, of which magnesiums oxide is the most difficultly for the body to absorb and therefore should not be used.

There are many suggestions that all magnesium supplements are actually very poorly absorbed in through the digestive tract with many people, which is why there are also recommendation to use magnesium topically, as oil or body butter availably in some health shops. You can also buy magnesium flakes which you can use to make your own magnesium products like body butters or bath salts.

Healthy fats

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Like many experts, who know about all the benefits of low carbohydrate diet, say; fat is your friend. It is the healthy source of energy in your diet. Choosing natural, healthy fats and always avoiding all artificial fats such as margarines and rapeseed, sunflower, corn and similar oils is just as important as avoiding sugar and grains, and eating organic, clean vegetables and berries.

These highly processed fats are common everywhere. You can find them in all readymade foods as they are much cheaper than good healthy fats and so almost always used in manufacturing. Unfortunately many restaurants have turned to using these types of very unhealthy fats too. Numerous of advertisements support the claims that these fats are healthy, of course, so you would continue to buy them. Unfortunately these claims are not true at all. When looking closer into the subject you can actually find that real science and studies do not back these claims up at all.

 

Unlike natural fats like butter or extra virgin olive oil,  vegetable oils and margarines made from rapeseed, soya, corn and sunflower cannot be made in a natural way, but quite extensive chemical process is necessary to make these oils and margarines look like they do in bottles and cartons they are sold in. There is plenty of information about the manufacturing processes of these fats. Not only are margaritas and these oils processed factory “foods”, more and more of them are made with GMO crops that have been treated with harsh pesticides. Goodness knows the effect these chemicals have on us. These fats are one of the most processed part of a modern diet follower buy so many people today. Still, even today, there are lot of claims around, that these fats are healthy, mainly in paid advertisements, of course. These fats are everywhere from ready made foods to salad dressings and mayonnaise, even nuts and seed are roasted in vegetable oils before roasting. If these fats were healthy, we should all be very healthy in the UK and the whole western world, but like we know, the reality is something completely different.

Our bodies need different fats for many different processes. Saturated fats are the main source of energy and as a harder fat it supports the structure of cells and tissues. Saturated fat is very stable and it doesn’t oxidise the same way other fats do.

Polyunsaturated fats are also important as they contain both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. But what is even more important, is the ratio between these fatty acids. The natural ratio between omega 3 and omega 6 should be 1:1. When your diet mainly contains omega 6 fatty acids, these ratio is not correct, which will lead to problems such as inflammation, cancer, heart disease and bowel problems. Diet mainly based on grain and vegetable fats is the main reason for many allergies and other autoimmune diseases. There is clear evidence about this, however, it is rarely talked about, because of the power food industries have. Human body needs very small amounts of polyunsaturated fats and should get them by eating animal based foods, like fish. Vegetable oils are nothing but harmful.

 

When you want to eat healthy, don’t eat these fats. Rapeseed oil,  soya oil, vegetable oil/vegetable fat, peanut oil, sunflower oil,  margarine, baking margarines and shortenings, mixtures of butter and vegetable oils, store-bought mayonnaise, any products made with vegetable fats such as fake creams or fake cheese. You will feel much better.

Always choose natural fats like butter, goose fat, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, fatty fish and fatty free range meat. Unfortunately animals that are fed vegetable oils, soya or grains are not healthy as too much omega 6 will affect the quality of their fat. The best way to ensure healthy meat is to choose organic and free range, or game whenever you can. This is why farmed fish is also an unhealthy choice. If you tolerate dairy, choose good cheeses, unpasteurised if possible and thick cream.

Olive oil consists mainly of oleic acid which is completely different to other vegetable oils. Approximately 40% of the fat of human body is oleic acid. Oleic acid is safe and healthy and much more stable than polyunsaturated fats. It is also a good source of energy, like saturated fats.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5040825/pdf/FNR-60-31694.pdf

https://www.westonaprice.org/ajcn-publishes-a-new-pufa-study-that-should-make-us-long-for-the-old-days/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26268692

 

Why it is important to avoid sugar

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There is absolutely no reason to eat sugar. Ever. It contains no nutrients, no protein or fat, but just empty calories that actually pull minerals from your body. Sugar is not only unnecessary, but also very, very harmful to your overall health. There has been a lot of change in the air recently as more and more people have realised the health consequences consuming sugar has. Even when the food industry is trying to hold on to the past and their paid experts advice people to eat sugar in moderation, there have been many independent, good and truthful articles about sugar recently, and especially about the role food industry has played when nutritional guidelines blaming fat instead of sugar were decided long time ago.

I believe that many people no longer believe in these false guidelines as it is clear they produce much more illness than health. Sugar leads to heart disease, tooth decay, fatty liver, cancer and many other illnesses and it is extremely addictive. You are much better off without it.

I always talk about the importance of cooking yourself rather than relying on anything ready, or even half-ready- made. It is because you can find sugar everywhere, salad dressings, ketchup, breakfast cereals, absolutely everywhere.  Food industry does not work without sugar. But the fact is that sugar being so common, “normal”, does not make it any healthier. Actually, the popularity of sugar is costing taxpayers millions every year in the cost of dental care alone, not to mention many other illnesses.

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When I returned to the UK after many years, I was shocked to see how much people of all ages, but especially young people and children eat sugar. Every day. From early morning until they go to bed. Cereals, snack bars, factory made bread, biscuits, ready made meals, yoghurts… Absolutely shocking. I had never seem young adults with so many health problems either or rotten teeth. Why so much sugar?

Not only does sugar damage our vital organs, liver, heart and brain, but sugar also shows on your skin, just like alcohol or cigarettes do. Raised insulin levels, caused by over consumption on carbohydrates including sugar cause swelling, and decreasing in the levels of certain hormones which reduces the amount of collagen on your skin. This means that sugar causes you to age earlier. Sugar and carbohydrate -rich diet is the reason for obesity and it also lowers your immunity.

Why would you then eat sugar? I believe most of us eat sugar because of it’s highly addictive properties. Sugar mostly means a mixture of glucose and fructose, but also dextrose, found in many sausages such as salami, sucrose, different syrups such as corn syrup are all sugar.

Artificial sweeteners are no better. They both keep the cravings up by making it very hard for you to  eat sensibly, but also can have some nasty side-effects. For example very common aspartame is nerve poison, actually. Agave syrup is often seen being advertised as natural alternative, but it is unfortunately very highly processed and often contains up to 80% fructose.

Stevia, in it’s natural form is a good alternative for those who want some extra sweetness in their desserts. Also raw local honey, although high in fructose is healthy in very small doses.

In my openion, there is no safe amounts when sugar is concerned. Natural sugar in fruit and vegetable is balanced with the fibre and nutrients they contain as it takes a lot longer for natural sugar to absorb from your food and so your body has enough time to deal with the sugar. Added sugar is completely different. It damages your liver, raised the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and causes difficult cravings towards food, addiction, weight gain and even mood swings. Sugar does to fill you up or make you satisfied, but you end up eating too much.

Consuming sugar is just a habit. Actually when you stop eating sugar, you soon notice that you don’t even miss it and could not even think about eating all those sweet things that you used to eat.

When you follow a low carb diet, you don’t feel the need to eat sweet sugary foods. The cravings just disappear. On weekend we do though enjoy many delicious, sugar-free desserts. When you don’t use sugar, you find all the natural flavours that are much better. You won’t miss sugar.

For example, why not try our easy apple crumble:

Apple crumble

4 apples

small amount of good apple juice

1 dl almond flour

1 dl coconut flour

cinnamon

Butter

Slice the apples and place into a well buttered oven pan. Add some apple juice, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan and place the pan into the oven (170 degrees) for 10-15 minutes. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with the almond and coconut flour, cinnamon and lots of cold butter shavings. Return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with thick yogurt or double cream.

https://www.statnews.com/2016/09/12/sugar-industry-harvard-research/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/10/18/relationship-between-sugar-and-cancer-now-clearer-scientists-say/775963001/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pure-White-Deadly-sugar-killing/dp/0241965284/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357812859&sr=1-2

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1819573

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/uk-sugar-addiction-nhs-rotten-teeth-children-operations-cost-food-drink-diet-a8156151.html

 

Get healthy teeth

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I have always known that dental wellbeing is extremely important part of our health. Unfortunately there has been very little proper information about how to ensure a healthy mouth. It is obvious that eating sugar causes tooth decay, but I feel that no dentist has ever talked about the fact that actually eating excess amounts of carbohydrates, such as bread or pasta is just as harmful and causes problems that cannot be solved by fluoride toothpastes. Too much carbohydrates actually upsets the calcium to phosphorus ratio in the body, which in turn will cause calcium and other minerals to be leached from teeth and bones, weakening them. The most important thing is to eat specific nutrient-dense foods that make teeth stronger and healthier and bacterial balancing diet.

Not only you will you gain a healthy mouth, but a healthy body too.

I had already been reading about Weston. A. Price before, but recently came across with a new book, called The Dental Diet, by a dentist Dr. Steven Lin. Finally someone actually explains properly all about the link between what and how you eat, your dental health, and the long term health of your body. In his book, Dr. Lin tells us how “Life-changing health begins when you understand how to heal your body starting with the food you put in your mouth”.

It is very important to keep a constant eye on the situation with your teeth and gums as possible problems are always a sign of a deeper problem with your overall health. If there are signs of decay in your teeth, it could mean that there aren’t enough calcium to keep your teeth dense and if that’s the case, it is very likely that the same thing is happening with your bones.

Your dental health might also be linked to heart disease. If your body is not distributing calcium well and it is on your teeth as tartar build-up, it may be that the same thing is happening in your arteries. Vitamin K2 is important here as it, like Dr. Lin explains “activates a protein called matrix-GLA which goes  around your body and mops up calcium where it shouldn’t be”,  makes sure that the calcium goes into your teeth and not your arteries.

If your gums regularly bleed, it might be because of a problem with your immune system. Gum disease, like many other problem, is often also linked to many autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and MS.

It is clear that brushing, no matter how regularly you clean your teeth, is of very little help if you don’t follow a healthy, teeth-friendly diet.  So if you want to have a clean, healthy mouth, this is where you’ll have to start. The best way to follow a healthy diet is of course always cooking your own food. Remove all processed foods from your diet and make your that your food is full of foods that contain inflammation lowering fats and antioxidants. Follow a diet low in carbohydrates, so avoid grains and sugar all together as well as starchy vegetables. Also cut down on fructose intake by avoiding fruit which helps to rebalance bacteria in your mouth and improve your liver health too.

Dr. Lin also talks about the benefits of fasting by skipping a meal 2-3 times per week, preferably breakfast.  He explains how a break from digesting food helps your gut micro biome to repopulate and your metabolism to work more efficiently.

Most importantly, Dr. Lin recommends daily consumption of probiotics in the form of fermented food, like sauerkraut, and prebiotic vegetables such as asparagus. In your daily diet, you need to eat foods containing teeth- and bone-building fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2. These extremely important vitamins for your dental health are unavailable in vegetable sources, so include dairy (from grass fed animals), organ meat, shellfish and oily fish like mackerel. Eating this type of healthy diet also helps to balance hormones, because like we know any imbalance of them cause osteoporosis. Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is best generated in the human body from regular sun. Supplements will be needed, at least during wintertime.

I also like to include healthy, mineral-rich bone broth in my dental-diet. Gelatin found in home-made bone broth can heal the digestive lining to improve absorption and food sensitivities and broth also contains many other minerals necessary for strong teeth and bones.

Good diet is of course the most important thing to think about when you want to make sure your teeth stay healthy. But you also have to keep your teeth clean by daily brushing, like we all know. However, don’t overdo this. If you regularly use mouthwash to kill off bacteria in your mouth, you a very likely to again harm your gut health. Your mouth is also full of beneficial bacteria and when you swallow, this bacteria enters your gut. Many digestive conditions such as  IBS are now known to be at least partly caused by a loss of probiotic bacteria and antibacterial mouthwashes will make the situation worse.

Healthy Bowel

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There has been a lot of discussions in recent years about the importance of a healthy bowel as the good bacteria in our bowel forms the basis of our whole immunity. Even autoimmune diseases such as MS or eczema have been found to have a link with lower levels of good bacteria. There is also a link between our bowel and brain (brain-gut axis), so a healthy bowel really does form the basis of our overall health, both physical and mental.

Sugar, starch and gluten are the biggest problems when trying to achieve, or maintain a healthy bowel. The only way to balance the situation is through diet, a no grain low carbohydrate diet. You can strengthen the effect by adding probiotics to your diet. As it is very unlikely that yoghurts with added probiotics actually contain any live probiotics, we usually ensure a healthy bowel by eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, or cheese and other products made with unpasteurised milk. Even just a few spoonfuls of sauerkraut contain enough probiotics, so there is no need for any probiotic pills.

Fermented products have always been a part of food in many parts of the world as fermenting is a natural way to prevent food from going off in the past with no fridge to use. Natural fermentation, lactofermentation, a process in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch create lactic acid, preserves the food and all the nutrients, and creates many beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, omega 3-fatty acids and many different strains of probiotics. Fizzy drinks used to be done by fermenting. Good old fashioned ginger beer is a great example and even bread was safer to eat as baking included soaking, sprouting and fermenting the grains before using them.

Many delicious fermented foods like Sauerkraut or Kimchi are still widely used in many cultures even though not so known in the UK or America anymore. Even so, the importance of probiotics are known as there are many branded products in the shelves of most shops, such as many yoghurts or juices (that usually contain sugar), but unfortunately they usually only contain one type of bacteria that has most likely have disappeared by the time the product is bought. If you can find good Kefir or yoghurt, they can be very beneficial, but if you try to make them yourself, even better!

Another problems for bowel health is carrageenan which is a food additive used to thicken or emulsify foods. There seems to be several studies that prove how harmful carrageenan is as it causes bowel problems, inflammation, ulceration and bleeding, and that way weaker immunity, and even cancer, especially if consumed regularly. As many products, even organic products contain carrageenan, it really is worth reading those labels carefully when doing your shopping.

To maintain healthy bowel we try make our own sauerkraut especially during the cold season in Winter. It is delicious, better than anything brought from a shop.

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160627125355.htm

http://gut.bmj.com/content/47/suppl_4/iv5.full

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20974015?dopt=Abstract

http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/976489

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7349769

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22011715

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12405778

Natural Low Carb Living

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Our diet is not just about cutting down sugar and carbohydrates. It is all about eating healthy food. We always keep the amount of carbohydrates we consume daily under 50g per day. We are all very unique with our health and the way our bodies react to different things. Some of us seem to tolerate more carbohydrates where as others need to follow a diet very low in carbohydrates to gain the same benefits, even lower than 50g per day.

When we follow a diet low in carbohydrates, our bodies start using fat as the main source of energy. Therefore we replace our missing carbohydrates with fat. This does not, of course mean that we eat limitless amounts of fat, but there is no need to count the amount of fat we eat, or count any calories. We simply add fat when needed. If we are hungry after a meal then the meal most likely does not contain enough fat.

It is important not to replace any missing carbs with proteins as your body has no way of storing extra protein, but all is transferred into sugar in your liver. High protein diets are actually quite harmful for your liver and your over all health.

Fat, on the other hand is extremely important. If you don’t eat enough fat, you feel weak and tired. Fat makes you satisfied so that you end up eating much less than you normally would. You don’t even feel terribly hungry ever, but just have the feeling that you need to eat something you get near your dinner time. Think of good, proper fatty cheese. You could not eat the whole lot in one go, but only very small amounts will fill you up. A good meal containing enough fat has the same effect.

We don’t count the amount of fat we eat, but the quality of the fat in our diet is very important. We only eat natural, healthy fats such as butter, fatty meat (free range), fatty fish (caught, not farmed), coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.

We avoid all vegetable oils, including rape seed oil, and margarines as they are very unhealthy, processed fats.

We don’t eat any artificially processed food or any sugar, and try to avoid bread, pasta, or other grains, rice, potatoes or other root vegetables. They contain too many carbohydrates. All the nutritious vegetables contain loads more vitamins and are much lower in carbohydrates. When you want to follow a low carbohydrate diet, make sure you don’t eat too much fruit or berries as they naturally contain lots of sugar. We tend to avoid all fruit, apart from apples all together and eat small amounts of berries that contain much less sugar compared to fruit.

Grains are problematic for many people, but not everyone.

Dairy also cause problems to some people, but usually the problem is artificial processing of dairy products rather than dairy itself. Therefore it is important to avoid any low fat or fat free products, but only eat as little processed as possible. For us this means unhomogenised milk, cream, butter and unpasteurised good cheese. Fat is the most important part of milk.

Remember to add enough salt to your food. Especially when you start the diet, you lose all the extra fluid from your body and the salt (sodium) with it. If you don’t get enough salt, you might offer from different kind of symptoms such as weakness, headaches, muscle cramps, or even constipation. But it is important to forget about artificial table salts. Only use good quality sea salt or pink Himalayan salt.

Constant eating with many snacks during the day is not healthy. Only eat 3 meals a day. You end up eating less, but also this kind of proper rhythm with eating has a very balancing effect on your hormones. Don’t forget that insulin resistance is the main reason for obesity which also means that the over all hormone balance in the body is disturbed. Eating food low in carbohydrates and only during correct meal times restores the correct balance of hormones very quickly.

Anti-aging

Warm welcome to our anti aging blog. We love gardening, cooking and walking in the nature. We believe that natural living is the key to a healthy and happy life. I recently met a lovely lady, aged 104. I had to ask her what her secret was as she looked so well and healthy. She told me that there were three important “rules” that she was following in order to stay healthy.

  1. She always tried not to complain about small things, but aimed to keep up positive attitude towards everything.
  2. She always cooked all her food herself and never ate anything artificially processed.
  3. She had made sure that she always had something important and meaningful to do. At that moment it was her own small garden in her balcony that she looked after.

This is how we, me and my family try to live too. Stay positive, eat well and have a good hobby, like reading, cooking, walking in the nature. In our blog we want to share all this with you. Our ideas, beliefs, experience and our delicious and healthy recipes as well. Our aim is to stay healthy and happy, with no need for any medication.

I start my journey with this blog in January 2018. Usually the beginning in the year is the time when most of us want to make changes in our lifestyle to ensure healthier and happier year ahead. The blog is all about how we do things, how we eat, exercise and think and combat stress. I will try to share our reasons for doing what we do, the studies, books and articles that we have come across with to learn.

We all live in a world of processed food, unnecessary medication, and the constant advertising does make it difficult to see what we should really be doing. However, the way to a good life is often very simple. Forget all the advertising and concentrate on what makes you feel good. If you use your common sense, it does tell you that the less processed food you eat, the better. If your lunch box today contains of a filet of mackerel, small salad and extra virgin olive oil, it will make you feel good. You will be able to do all the things you were planning to during the day, your mind stays sharp. You will be satisfied until dinner time without any need for snacks. Good food feeds your brain as well.

If you eat a ready made pasta heated up in a microwave oven, or a sandwich made with processed bread you bought from a supermarket, you will be tired and lethargic. You couldn’t be bothered to continue with your day. You will feel hungry again after a few hours and need a snack, and possibly another one before your dinner. You’ll probably end up eating too much. We’ve all been there.

My true inspiration for my anti aging blog are those people I have met, including my parents, who live the way I describe in this blog, every day, and have managed to live the good life, by being healthy , active, positive and that way happy and independent. No processed food, and only a minimal amount or no medication. This is the way they intend to live until the end.

Simple, good food. Enough, but not too much exercise. Good coping of stress. Positive mood. These are the keys to a good life.

 

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