Tag - muscles

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.
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Spotting Nutritional Deficiencies – Part Two

  Last week we focused on how our nails and skin can give us clues for spotting nutritional deficiencies in our bodies. Lack of vitamins and minerals can cause serious health problems in the body. However we have intelligent systems that give small clues that can make spotting nutritional deficiencies easier. Today we focus on how the rest of our body offers signals that something is off in our system. Eyes Poor night vision: Can be an indicator of too little vitamin A. Ruptured blood vessels in the eyes: If not due to trauma, lack of vitamin C may be the culprit. Pale lower eyelid: If the skin inside your lower lid is pale rather than pink, it could be a symptom of anemia, a lack of iron. Twitching eyelids: This can be due to too little magnesium in your diet. White ring in the iris: A white ring around the iris or colored part of the eye may be a signal of high cholesterol which causes fatty deposits. Small waxy white lumps on the eyelid can also be a signal of too much cholesterol in the blood.   Mouth Pale and smooth tongue: This can indicate anemia, too little iron in the system. Canker sores: These painful sores are terrible to deal with but can help in spotting nutritional deficiencies such as lack of B3, B12, folic acid, and/or calcium. Cracks in the corner of the mouth: This is a symptom of too little B2. Loss of smell or taste: If not caused by trauma, your body could be sending you a signal that you are zinc deficient. Bleeding, painful gums: Often due to gingivitis and a lack of vitamin C.   Muscles & Joints Cramping/Spasms: Can be caused by too little potassium, magnesium or B vitamins 1,2 and 6. Too little calcium could also be the culprit. Tingling/numbness in hands and feet: B vitamins such as folate, B6 and B12 play a large role in nerve function. Too little can cause tingling and numbness in the extremities. Joint pain: Vitamin A is essential for the health of connective joints and a lack of it and too much of it can damage bones and connective tissues which results in joint pain. Vitamin D and C levels should also be checked.
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Potassium and It’s Many Functions in the Human Body

Wanna hear a joke about potassium?   K.   If this one doesn’t have you laughing, think back to chemistry class and the periodic table of elements. While the symbol for potassium is a “K”, it is not the same as vitamin K. Each are essential micronutrients but potassium is not a vitamin, it’s a mineral that is used for different functions in our bodies than vitamin K. Potassium is vital for good health and today we’ve got some great reasons you should make sure you’re getting enough in your diet and why we included the mineral in re:iimmune!
Image via periodictable.com
While it is classified as a mineral, it’s also an electrolyte. These conduct electrical impulses and are important for a range of essential functions of the body including regulating blood pressure, muscle contractions, digestion and heart rhythm. It’s not produced by the body so we must be sure to include potassium rich foods in our diet such as fruits like kiwi, bananas, apricots and pineapple and vegetables like leafy greens, potatoes and carrots. The mineral can also be found in lean meats, beans, nuts and whole grains.   There are negative effects associated with too much potassium (hyperkalemia) including upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, mental confusion and tingling sensations in the extremities. Some drugs can cause levels to rises such as ACE-inhibitors, blood thinning agents like heparin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. A severe deficiency in potassium (hypokalemia) is often associated with use of antibiotics such as penicillin, magnesium deficiency, kidney disease and overusing diuretics.   Most potassium ions are stored in the muscle cells. Required for the regular contraction and relaxation of muscles, it also helps keep our reflexes sharp as it stimulates the neural connectivity between the muscles and the brain. If your levels are too low, it can cause muscle cramps, spasms and weakness. Studies also show that consuming foods that have high levels promote higher mineral density in bones as it assists the body in retaining and preserving calcium. It also assists in metabolism, helping to process nutrients like fats and carbohydrates and the synthesis of proteins positively affecting tissue regeneration and cell growth. Lack of the mineral weakens the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract and can lead to abdominal pain, constipation and bloating. This is why the re:iimmune formula includes 11% of the daily value of potassium. Along with a prebiotic and probiotics for promoting healthy intestinal bacteria and L-Glutamine for repairing intestinal tissue, potassium helps to support intestinal health and optimal function!
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