Magnesium – don’t overlook it!

Introduction

There are so many supplements and nutrients out there up for grabs nowadays. From Vitamin A to Zinc, there are just so many. Each of them has its own benefits and could help the body in many ways. But I feel there is one nutrient that we often overlook and that is magnesium. The team at Revolution often recommends you take magnesium and today we are going to discuss why.

 

The effects of magnesium and why to take it seriously

We chiropractors work with the spine and the nervous system. This is why the team at Revolution Chiropractic highly recommends magnesium. Magnesium preserves the health of the nervous system by having the ability to calm it down. This is because it works as a depressant. When magnesium levels are below the standard range, we lose control of muscle function, mental processes, and sometimes respiration. This can result in examples likes muscle twitches, cramping, irregular heartbeats, nervous fatigue, insomnia and irritability. This is because your nervous system will constantly be firing thus causing contractions and interactions continually being made.

Magnesium controls and limits the interactions in your nervous system by binding to gamma-aminobutyric (GABA) receptors. GABA is a hormone that helps calm nerve activity. Once restoring an adequate amount of magnesium in your body everything will be in under a lot more control; getting better sleep, decreased muscle tightness and less cramps are some of the changes.

 

Conclusion and recommendation

Magnesium is a versatile nutrient that we often overlook. It can help with many things such as sleep, cramps and pain. This is because it works with the nervous system. Many of us are magnesium deficient. Thankfully, the supplements aren’t expensive and plenty of food contains high amount of magnesium such as leafy greens, legumes and seafood. So start consuming more magnesium to help you and your nervous system out!

 

The effects of magnesium deficiency

 

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Don’t Get Sick This Winter

It’s coming into winter, often called flu season, and if you don’t want to get sick then follow this advice…

Okay, so there isn’t really a cure for getting the common cold but there a few things that you can do to reduce your chances of getting sick and to improve your recovery time if you do fall ill. Improving your body’s ability to fight sickness is how we look at things at Revolution, not just medicating symptoms.

Keep your nutrition high

This is important year-round but keeping your diet full of vitamins and minerals will help your body put up the good fight. Stay topped up with fresh vegetables and fruits with every meal.

Vitamin C heavily associates with immunity so up your intake to 5000-10000 milligrams a day. CAUTION: increase to this amount over a few days as high vitamin C doses can increase the frequency that you’ll need to sit on the porcelain throne if you catch my drift. Start with 1000-2000 milligrams and up it from there.

Vitamin D is another key player for your immune system and since we tend to spend a lot less time out in the sun in winter it’s harder for our body to make enough of it so you should look into supplementing it. The Vitamin D council recommends 5,000-10,000 IU per day.  Check out their website for more great information on vitamin D.

Avoid sugar: Sugar has been shown to reduce the ability of your neutrophils to attack invading pathogens. Neutrophils are white blood cells that essentially chase down and eat invading bacteria and other bad guys that can make you sick. We know sugar has many other negative effects on your health to so it’s definitely best to avoid. Yes, fruit has sugar but fruit also has vitamins, minerals and fibre that your body requires whereas a can of fizzy drink or a piece of cake has nothing to offer you except momentary pleasure.

Rest

The immune system takes a lot of energy to run which is why you get tired when you are sick, your body is slowing you down so it can put maximum resources into fighting off invaders.  Last winter I had a sore throat coming on and I knew I should take it easy but I went to the gym instead. I ended up very sick for the next few days.  I spent my energy lifting heavy barbells and I didn’t have enough in reserve.

Lesson learned, take it easy if you feel something coming on, dose up on vitamins and vegetables, stay hydrated and you might lessen the impact of the storm.

Sanchez, A. Et al. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 26, Issue 11, November 1973, Pages 1180–1184, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/26.11.1180

https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/

 

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Don’t Follow The Crowd

The other week I was giving some lifestyle and diet recommendations to a client who commented on how hard it is to avoid certain foods, especially when going out to socialise. Of course, he is absolutely correct. This conversation spawned a realisation of the truth that making healthy choices and taking care of your body requires a level of commitment that might make you stand out or narrow your choices. This doesn’t mean you can never go out for dinner or to social gatherings, in fact keeping our social lives active is very beneficial for our health and longevity.  It means you may have to alter your choices or be more prepared beforehand.

Making choices that are commonplace and popular will get you the same results that most people have. Look at the health statistics of the general population like the rates of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, not to mention things like fatigue, headaches, and mental fog so common amongst people and decide if you want those outcomes too, don’t follow the crowd.

Most of our health and the way our body performs comes down to the choices we make each day like the amount of alcohol we drink or choose not to drink, the type of foods we eat, how much water we drink and how active we choose to be.

Most people choose to be far too sedentary; choose not to be one of them.

Most people choose not to drink enough water; choose not to be one of them.

Most people choose to eat too much; choose not to be one of them.

Most people choose not to eat enough fruit or vegetables; choose not to be one of them.

We know that making healthy choices isn’t always easy but we are here to support your efforts to become a healthier and stronger person!

Don’t follow the crowd.

This blog is sponsored by Little Ninja & Priorityfitness.

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Meal Prep 101

Life happens. And one of the best ways to make it through successfully is to make sure you’re prepared.

Meal prepping saves you time, energy and serves as your friend on the days when you get home late and every fibre of your being is against you making food. In turn, you end up spending less on eating out and having more energy by eating home-cooked, delicious meals.

Whether you’re keto, paleo, low-carb, or standard NZ diet, this simple guide will serve you well to have a fridge full of healthy meals for the week.

 

Prep steps:

 

  1. PLAN: Meal prepping starts on the weekend. Look at the week ahead of you and figure out the busy days for which you’ll need meal-prepped meals. Even if you don’t want to meal prep for the entire week, make sure that you schedule some time the day before to prepare a meal.
  2. THINK: Open notes or find a pad and pen to write some healthy meal ideas. Nothing fancy, keep it simple. For example, you could have some one-pot recipes on hand that can make huge batches like chilli, grilled chicken, roast veggies, and stir fry.
  3. SHOP: From that simple menu, create an ingredient list and go out to buy your meal prep ingredients. If you don’t have the memory of an elephant, be sure to bring a note pad with you or have your list on your phone notes to tick off as you go.
  4. COOK: Schedule one or however many days out of the week to cook. This could be every Sunday that you plug your headphones in with a good podcast and go hard at your meal prep for an hour and a half. Be sure to cook all the things that take lots of time to cook like your chicken, veggies, and potatoes. Prepping in bulk is best because it saves you heaps of time. Slicing a few carrots is as fast as slicing one, so make sure to prep everything you can in that set time.
  5. STORE: Finally, store your meal-prepped food in containers and make them accessible in the fridge. Be sure to also put the appropriate items in the freezer if you know you won’t be eating it before it goes bad.

And most IMPORTANTLY, don’t forget to make meal prepping fun and a regularly weekly ritual of yours. Throw on some music, watch a show or just chat if it’s a team effort.

Apply these meal prep principles and your future self will thank you immensely.

This blog is sponsored by Priorityfitness.

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Eating During Pregnancy

What you eat during your 9 months of pregnancy matters. The food you consume affects you and your baby, so always mind that you’re eating for two! Pregnancy means that you’re building life, so make sure that you supply all the necessary building blocks.

 

How much should you eat?

Since you’re eating for two, you’ll need extra calories and nutrients as your body builds your baby’s bones, tissues and organs. And just because your waist disappears, it doesn’t give you the all clear to load up on ice cream and sweet treats! Eating 3 regular meals a day? Then add 2 healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts or veggies to meet your higher caloric needs.

  • If you exercise regularly: add 500 calories.
  • If you don’t: add 300 calories.

How much weight should you gain?

You need to gain the appropriate amount of weight so that your baby can too.  If you come up short, then so will your baby. You’re in this together.

  • If you’re underweight: your goal should be to gain 15-20 kg.
  • Normal weight: aim to gain 10-15 kg.
  • Overweight: aim to gain 6-12 kg.
  • If your height is 157 cm or shorter: aim to gain 6-12 kg.

What should you eat?

Protein

  • Eat 2.2 g of protein per kg of your body weight (ex. if you weigh 70 kg aim to consume 154 g of protein).

Omega-3

  • You can get this from walnuts, chia seeds, linseed (flaxseed), hemp seed, seaweed, algae or fish oil supplement or avocado.

Vitamin D

  • Get 20-30 minutes of sun exposure 2-3 days a week.

Zinc

  • This can be from legumes (such as beans and lentils) or dark and leafy veggies.

Calcium

  • Many things can provide calcium such as dark and leafy veggies, legumes, bokchoy, tofu, nuts and seeds.

Vitamin B-12

  • You can get this from a high quality Vitamin B-12 supplement or fortified foods such as tofu, soy milk etc.

Iron

  • Get this from seeds, whole grains, nuts, dried fruits or dark and leafy veggies.

 

What should you minimize?

Caffeine

  • Aim for less than 300 mg per day.

Cured lunch meats

  • This can include ham, hot-dogs and the like.

Artificial sweeteners

  • These should be avoided as much as possible during pregnancy.

High sugar intake

  • Do NOT use cravings to justify poor choices.

 

What should you avoid completely?

The Ministry for Primary Industries of New Zealand has a list of types of fish that should be avoided by women who are pregnant due to higher mercury levels.

  • Cardinalfish
  • Dogfish (excluding rig)
  • Lake Rotomahana trout
  • Lake trout from geothermal regions
  • School shark (greyboy, tope)
  • Marlin (striped)
  • Southern bluefin tuna
  • Swordfish

Tobacco

  • It increases the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) so it’s best to .steer clear.

Soft cheeses

  • This includes mold-ripened, blue veined, and unpasteurized cheeses.

Raw or undercooked animal foods

  • This includes meat, seafood (ex. SUSHI), and eggs.

 

What supplements should I take?

Your GP may prescribe prenatal vitamins and if not, it’s a good idea for you to seek some out yourself. Make sure the following is included:

  • Vitamin B-12 (3 ug/day)
  • Folic acid (400 ug/day)
  • Vitamin D (1000 IU/day) especially if you lack sun exposure

 

By following these guidelines, eating right and monitoring your weight, you’ll know that you’ve done everything in your control to lead up to a successful pregnancy.

 

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2 Simple Tips For Reading Food Labels

If you are like most people you pick up a packet of food in the supermarket and turn it over to read the ingredients to see if it is good for you, all the while having no idea what you are reading. Eating healthy can seem complicated at first so let’s try and make it simple.

Putting the right fuel in your body is essential for your day-to-day wellbeing and performance as well as longevity. Poor diet is linked with many chronic health conditions. We encourage our patients to clean up their diet when undergoing structural chiropractic care to maximise their body’s ability to heal, recover, and re-structure. Think of it this way, if a builder uses cheap materials to build your home it probably won’t last long. Each day your body produces millions of new cells PER SECOND, so make sure you get the appropriate raw materials for your body to make the best cells it can.

Tips

  1. My first recommendation when it comes to reading a food label, is NOT to. Why? Because the food you eat shouldn’t need labeling since it has only one ingredient in it. Most of your diet should be made up of plants, lots of vegetables, fruit, legumes, and grains. If you buy carrots, there are only carrots in the pack. If you buy potatoes, same deal. As a rule of thumb, the more processing steps involved in getting a product from its source to your plate, the less good it probably does for you and the more potential harm it has.
  2. Okay so every now and then you will need products that do have a label on them. The simplest way to approach this is if you can’t read, pronounce or understand the ingredients list, it’s probably not good for you (this is a general rule, and with rules, there are always exceptions).

These two tips can be very helpful if you are new to eating better and you are trying to clean up your act. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the information out there, start simple and keep educating yourself!

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Learning From Longevity Cultures: Part 2

PART II

Continuing on in our theme of living a healthier and longer life we look at the next 3 common traits of cultures with a high amount of centenarians (people living to 100 or older). Genes dictate about 10% of your longevity and health, the other 90% is lifestyle! This means the power is in your hands to create a healthy and long life. Thankfully none of this is rocket science so it’s easy to start to make changes. Relax: The Seventh-day Adventist community and the Sardinians take regular time to slow down and pray, the Okinawans have a form of Ancestral veneration in which they take time to pay respects to there predecessors.

Taking regular time to reflect and slow down is crucial. Constantly being on the go and rushing fires up or sympathetic nervous system and triggers and inflammatory response. This response is linked with many disease states from Alzheimer’s to cardiovascular disease to joint degeneration. Taking time to quiet the mind and spiritually connect through prayer and meditation is something that people of faith have done for centuries but unfortunately in our day and ageless and fewer people are reaping the benefit of such activities, or rather non-activities.

 

They eat less:

Okinawans have a saying that they say before each meal to remind them to stop eating when they are 80% full, this is because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to register the stomach is full. They also eat off smaller plates to reduce the amount of calories per sitting. Digestion is a fairly intensive process for the body to perform, which is why appetite is often low when you get sick as your body needs to focus its energy on the immunity and healing process. It is clear that being significantly overweight isn’t good for longevity but neither is being too underweight so take heed with this piece of advice. Eating enough food to maintain muscle mass but not too much that you put on fat

They eat a plant-based diet.

This point also reduces the amount of calories you consume until you are full and also means each mouth full is more nutritious . Most of these cultures eat a wide variety as well as large amounts of vegetables. The Okinawans consume a large amount of tofu, which has all essential amino acids and is a good source of iron. They still eat small amounts of meat and fish but supplement it with nuts, seeds and beans.

Family and connection.

Sense of belonging and connection is vital. In our modern world we may have more connections but it can be easy to let deep, meaningful connections slide. These cultures spend time with their children and taking care of their aging grandparents. The Seventh day Adventists reportedly schedule up to 24 hours per week to spend with family, friends and God. Make sure you proactively spend time investing into others and with people who support, love and challenge you. Don’t let yourself get caught up with being so busy that you don’t foster meaningful relationships!

 

If you missed the first part of this series go and check it out here and keep an eye out for our third and final instalment, the final three points might surprise you.

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Pillar No. 2: Eat Well, Be Well

Introduction

From reading this title you may be expecting me to give you the exact number of fruits and vegetables you need to achieve optimal diet status, or maybe a fancy new diet plan consisting of only baby broccoli. Many people have different takes on healthy eating and how to approach it, but chances are that your expectations for healthy eating may be too unrealistic. In this post I’m going to give you 5 REALISTIC eating strategies that you can start TODAY.

 

1.Aim for doing your best with what you have.

Healthy eating isn’t about perfection. It’s awesome to map out a healthy meal plan for the week and have your grocery cart filled with your favourite healthy foods but things don’t always go as planned. Your friends might ask you to go out to eat or you might run out of kale! There goes your meal plan – right down the drain. Instead of trying to be the flawless meal plan follower, it’s always a good idea to do your best with the options available to you. Going out to eat? Order a big salad with nuts/seeds. Run out of kale? Go with the frozen broccoli in the freezer. Life happens. The people who have mastered healthy eating learn how to deal with it.

 

2.Pay attention to your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues.

Take some time to tap into your body’s wisdom a little bit. Instead of counting calories, eat slowly (our bodies take about 15-20 minutes to sense satiety after starting a meal), be mindful of your body’s hunger cues and eat until only satisfied. When we listen to our body’s needs, we’ll notice that they are different every day. Maybe your more stressed or more bored, this all affects our body’s need and want for food. So the next time you’re watching your co-worker eat that delicious sandwich or smell a mouth-watering muffin, ask yourself if you’re truly hungry. And IF you decide that you are, eat to a comfortable point of fullness (about 80%) instead of stuffing yourself.

 

3.Keep it simple with basic eating principles and use common sense.

Healthy eating isn’t about scientific overload. Even some of the most educated nutritional minds out there keep their eating as non-scientific as possible. Instead, they follow simple principles, which may look like the following:

  • Eat real, whole, plant foods.
  • Eat when hungry, stop when no longer hungry.
  • Take supplements (vitamin B-12) and relax in the sun (for vitamin D)

You can formulate your own simple guidelines after reading, discussing, and pondering over all the nutrition science that exists. But leave the formulas and macronutrient percentages for the professional athletes.

 

4.Just eat what your body needs to stay healthy – no more and no less.

Don’t use eating as an escape from boredom. Stimulation from food is short-lived. As soon as the thrill of the late night ice cream wears off you’ll be looking for another flavour for your palate. Always remember that if our lives are dull and uninteresting, this is a fundamental problem that can’t be fixed with food. Only pursuing your passions and discovering the things that excite you can fill that void.

 

5.Organize your life and daily routine to make healthy eating easier.

Let’s be real: healthy eating is NOT easy. Neither is life. But the more you work on it, the more convenient and easy it becomes. Practice makes perfect. And eventually you’ll just do it without thinking. I won’t lie to you – real change is messy and challenging. But there are always ways to prepare for the worse. This varies from person to person and can include meal prepping on weekends, hiring a food delivery service with healthy food options or keeping junk food OUT of the house. Find what works best for YOU. We’ll be providing some strategies in blog posts to come so stay tuned!

 

Eat well

 

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The Health Benefits Of Ginger

What is Ginger?

Ginger is versatile and easy to use. Not only is it used for its many benefits, but it is also nutritious and packed with flavor. With many health benefits, it is one of the greatest “superfoods”. Ginger, also known as Zingiber Officinale is closely related to turmeric. Dating back 5000 years, the Chinese have been using ginger for many of its healing and medicinal properties. However, the healing properties go far beyond remedying colds.

Here I will discuss some of the health benefits and why you should have them every day.

 

Benefits of Ginger
Benefits of ginger

1. Powerful anti-inflammatory properties

The main bioactive compound in ginger is gingerol. This powerful compound is responsible for many of the medicinal properties. One of these properties includes its anti-inflammatory role in the body. As a result, ginger can help improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

 

2. Can help inhibit cancer growth

Shogaol is another active compound in ginger. In other words, combined with gingerol, they help fight against many types of cancers with its anti-cancer properties.

 

3. Antioxidant properties

Antioxidants help remove free radicals within our bodies. So what are free radicals? Free radicals are molecules that attack your cells and appear increasingly through age. They cause oxidative stress and can cause DNA damage. Antioxidants can help remove these molecules and they can promote good health. In some cases research has shown it can improve brain function and protect against Alzheimer’s. In conclusion, consuming powerful anti-oxidants can help inhibit inflammatory responses and help protect against age-related brain diseases.

 

4. Can help with nausea

People who are suffering from nausea, headaches and vomiting may want to try take ginger. Studies have concluded that pregnant woman with morning sickness found a decrease in symptoms.

 

Different Ways to Have Ginger

So how do you take advantage of this powerful superfood? Ginger can come in many different forms and can be used in many ways. Its roots can be juiced and freshly put into beverages, soups, or food. You can also use fresh cut ginger in tea or drink ginger tea (loose leaf and organic is best). An oil form is also available which can be taken internally for a boost in gingerol to fight off against free radicals and inflammation. You can also use powdered ginger in food.

Ginger is a superfood with many health benefits such as helping you fight against certain diseases, fight against cancer, and even helping take care of nausea. Not only it is full of health benefits but it is also full of nutrition. Everyone should have ginger and see all the positive benefits for themselves.

 

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What Is Magnesium and Why Is It Important.

Introduction

Magnesium can be found in many food sources. However, due to our busy lifestyle and inadequate diet, we can often be deficient in this mineral. Moreover, magnesium is a mineral responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions within our body. Above all, our cells use it to build or breakdown many things. In addition, approximately 60% of the magnesium in the body is stored in our bones. It helps the absorption of calcium into the bones. Moreover, it can help relax muscles while the opposite is true for calcium and helps contract muscles. However, a lack of magnesium can cause muscle cramps, tics, and spasms.

 

Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

1) Muscle cramps and twitches

One of the primary roles of magnesium is to relax muscles. However, when there is a deficiency and there is an excess in calcium. As a result, this may overstimulate muscle nerves.

2) Stress, anxiety, and depression

Researchers have found that cortisol, ACTH (Adrenocorticotrophic hormone), and p-glycoprotein have a direct influence on stress, anxiety, and depression. However, magnesium has shown to aid in the regulation of these chemicals within our bodies. As a result, reducing the stimulation of these chemicals can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

3) Muscle weakness/fatigue

Yes, everyone gets tired from time to time, and taking a break can help relieve the fatigue or weakness. However, when fatigue and weakness persist this may be a sign of magnesium deficiency.

4) Morning sickness and pregnancy

When pregnant there are significant levels of elevation and reduction in different hormones. The most common hormones affected being progesterone and estrogen with increased levels. This may contribute to nausea and vomiting (“Morning Sickness”). In addition, during the rise of these hormones, there is a decrease in magnesium. In conclusion, a woman who restores their magnesium levels through diet and supplementation has shown a reduction in morning sickness symptoms.

 

What Can Cause Magnesium Deficiency

  • Stress
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Sugary food
  • Fizzy Drinks
  • We are more prone to magnesium deficiency over 55
  • Chronic diarrhea.

 

How Can We Get it?

There are many foods that we can get magnesium from. In addition, it can also be absorbed through the skin, thus using magnesium oil. Moreover, Epsom salt baths can help boost its levels. Here is some food that contains magnesium:

  • Soybean
  • Quinoa
  • Pumpkin Seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Cashew Nuts, Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Avocados
  • Black Beans
  • Bananas
  • Dark Chocolate.

 

Conclusion

Magnesium is a very important mineral we need within our bodies. However, many people are suffering from low levels of magnesium causing irritability, increased stress, and fatigue. If you are suffering from any of these conditions you might want to consider changing up your diet or even taking a nice warm bath with Epsom salts.

 

Some sources of magnesium

 

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