Diabetes

Investigated: Magnesium

 

The mineral magnesium is found all throughout the earth, sea and in plants, animals and humans. It’s the fourth most abundant mineral found in the human body and is actively involved in more than 600 functions of our systems. It helps to convert what we eat into energy, assists in the creation and repair of DNA and RNA, plays a part in muscle movement, works to create new proteins from amino acids and regulates neurotransmitters sending messages in the brain and nervous system.

During exercise, magnesium helps to transport blood sugar to the muscles. During a strenuous workout, lactic acid can build up in the muscles and cause cramping but increasing your intake of magnesium can help dispose of the lactic acid.

Recent studies indicate that nearly half of the citizens of the United States and Europe get less than the daily recommended amount. Lack of this essential mineral has been linked to migraines and muscle fatigue. It’s also been linked to insulin resistance, one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes. The muscles and liver cells cannot properly absorb sugar and magnesium plays such an important role in this process. Since high levels of insulin also results in loss of the nutrient through the urine, increasing intake is important.

Magnesium deficiency has also been studied as a contributing factor to depression and anxiety. One thought is that the tightening or cramping of muscles triggers the “fight or flight” response, releasing epinephrine and cortisol. It’s is also one of the few nutrients that can increase neuroplasicity, the ability to create and repair brain cells and make new neural connections.

Magnesium can be found in foods such as pumpkin seeds, fish like mackerel, salmon and halibut, black beans, avocados, dark chocolate, almonds, cashews, quinoa, swiss chard and spinach. Load more of these foods into your diet to reap the many benefits of magnesium.

Whole Food Spotlight – Cranberries

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well” – Virginia Woolf

It is in this spirit that we present re:iimmune’s new blog series “Whole Foods Spotlight” where we will focus in on a specific whole food, its nutritional benefits and provide you with a few links to some tasty recipes that may inspire you to add more of that particular food into your diet. After all, good health begins with good nutrition! This week we’re looking forward to the holidays ahead and cranberries on our table!

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Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines common to Canada and the northern United States thanks to the receding glaciers of the Ice Age which carved out bogs perfect for their growth. Native Americans of the region used cranberries as wound medicine, as a dye and of course as a source of food, including pemmican. Algonquin peoples called the red berries Sassamanash and it’s thought they may have introduced the starving English settlers of Massachusetts to the berry. Sometimes called “bearberries” as bears feast on them regularly, it was the early English and European settlers who began calling them “craneberries” as they thought the expanding flower, stem, calyx and petals of the plant looked like the neck, head and bill of a crane. The word then morphed into cranberry.

Cranberries most widely believed benefit is in the treatment and prevention of urinary tract infections. However, don’t reach for the juice as studies are showing that cranberry capsules may be more effective. That beautiful ruby red color of the cranberry comes from anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are a class of naturally occurring pigments in plants responsible for rich reds and purples in berries, eggplant, blood oranges and cranberries. A number of studies suggest that anthocyanins help improve sharpness of vision, reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration and that they may also be beneficial in fighting cancer, diabetes and some neurological diseases. Interestingly enough, it is the way cranberries are harvested that gives them such great concentrations of anthocyanins. According to “The World’s Healthiest Foods”,

Many cranberries are water-harvested. Water-harvesting means that the cranberries are grown in bogs and floated in water to allow for easy harvesting. For many years, water-harvesting of cranberries has been looked upon as an industry convenience. It’s simply easier to harvest berries that are floating on the surface. However, recent research has shown that the anthocyanin content of cranberries (the phytonutrients that give the berries their amazing red color) is increased in direct proportion to the amount of natural sunlight striking the berry. If berries floating on top of water get exposed to increased amounts of natural sunlight (in comparison to other growing and harvesting conditions), they are likely to develop greater concentrations of anthocyanins. These greater concentrations of anthocyanins are likely to provide us with stronger health benefits. In other words, water-harvesting may turn out to provide more than just harvest convenience. If it can expose cranberries to greater amounts of natural sunlight, it can increase phytonutrient health benefits that involve the unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of anthocyanins.

Unfortunately, fresh cranberries are a fruit with a short season. They are harvested between Labor Day and Halloween, appearing at the market from October through December. Fortunately, cranberries freeze well and can be kept for several years. To freeze them, spread them out on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Wait a couple of hours and then transfer the frozen berries to a freezer bag. They will be soft once thawed and should be used immediately. To select quality cranberries, look for ones that are deep red in color, plump and firm to the touch.

Cranberry Apple Quinoa Salad

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Feta

Holiday Cranberry Sauce

Take Your Medication

If you’re anything like me, you become a little leery when you’re prescribed a new medication. What are the side effects, and the long term consequences of this medication? Are these consequences worth the foreseeable benefits? Is it even the right medication for your unique condition? Is it worth the financial cost, or is it covered by your insurance? These are all common questions, especially for those of us who aren’t use to taking prescription medications on a regular basis.

There is a lot that goes into making sure you get the most out of your prescribed medication. First, and most obviously, getting your prescription actually filled is step one, taking your medication on time, and then making sure you have a good understanding of the directions you’ve been given. It’s important to ask your healthcare provider the correct questions and honestly voice your reasons for hesitation. Often times when we choose to take our medication choices into our own hands without consulting our doctor, we wind up adding greater complications to our illness and in turn, create for ourselves a lower quality of life.

As intimidating as a new medication can appear, it’s vital that you communicate with your health care provider, and do everything you can to reach a mutual agreement on a plan that works both for your lifestyle and your condition, which supports medication adherence. The statistics speak for themselves, medication non-adherence has been found to lead to nearly 20% of preventable adverse drug events in the community setting, and 25% of premature nursing home admissions. Not only that, but it can easily lead to the progression of diseases that would otherwise be preventable, extra doctors visits, and the possibility of premature death.

If you don’t know where to start, or how to keep yourself on track with your medication, here are a few tips from us to you:

Organize– Pick up a pill organizer from your local pharmacy to eliminate any missed or doubled doses.

organize your medication

Ask– Make sure you are taking the best medication for you by doing research on your own, and then taking any questions you have to your trusted physician.

consult your doctor about your medication

 

Record– If you feel like you are experiencing adverse reactions or side effects to your new medication, write them down as they come up so that you can accurately consult your doctor.

record your medication

Remind– Set a reminder on your phone or clock to take your medication at the designated time each day.

set reminders to take your medication

 

Accountability– Talk about your medication use with the people closest to you. Let your significant other, your care giver, or your house mates know about your medication and ask someone you trust to check in with you regularly.

caregivers and medication

re:iimmune®– Ultimately, most medications do in fact take some type of toll on your body’s hydration and intestinal health. Make sure you pair a daily dose of re:iimmune® with your new medication to help ease any possible side effects. Between the ginger for nausea reduction, zinc for immune boosting strength, pre and probiotic blend for intestinal health, and the Clinical Strength hydration formula, you’re sure to feel better, better!

reiimmune with medication