Monday, March 23, 2015

Magnesium, an Essential for the Body

Good information on magnesium from the Web MD:
Magnesium is a mineral that is important for normal bone structure in the body. People get magnesium from their diet, but sometimes magnesium supplements are needed if magnesium levels are too low. Dietary intake of magnesium may be low, particularly among women. Magnesium deficiency is also not uncommon among African Americans and the elderly. Low magnesium levels in the body have been linked to diseases such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, hereditary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. 
An easy way to remember foods that are good magnesium sources is to think fiber. Foods that are high in fiber are generally high in magnesium. Dietary sources of magnesium include legumes, whole grains, vegetables (especially broccoli, squash, and green leafy vegetables), seeds, and nuts (especially almonds). Other sources include dairy products, meats, chocolate, and coffee. Water with a high mineral content, or "hard" water, is also a source of magnesium. 
People take magnesium by mouth to prevent magnesium deficiency. It is also used as a laxative for constipation and for preparation of the bowel for surgical or diagnostic procedures. It is also used as an antacid for acid indigestion. 
Some people use magnesium for diseases of the heart and blood vessels including chest pain, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, high levels of "bad" cholesterol called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, low levels of "good" cholesterol called high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, heart valve disease (mitral valve prolapse), metabolic syndrome, clogged arteries (coronary artery disease), stroke, and heart attack
Magnesium is also used for treating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, cystic fibrosis, alcoholism, mania, recovery after surgery, leg cramps at night and during pregnancy, diabetes, kidney stones, migraine headaches, a long-term pain condition called complex regional pain syndrome, weak bones (osteoporosis), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), altitude sickness, urinary incontinence, a condition that causes burning pain and redness called erythromelalgia, restless leg syndrome, asthma, hayfever, multiple sclerosis, and for preventing hearing loss and cancer. 
Athletes sometimes use magnesium to increase energy and endurance. 
Some people apply magnesium on their skin to treat infected skin ulcers, boils, and carbuncles; and to speed up wound healing. Magnesium is also used as a cold compress in the treatment of a severe skin infection caused by strep bacteria (erysipelas) and as a hot compress for deep-seated skin infections. 
Magnesium is injected into the body for nutritional purposes and to treat magnesium deficiency that occurs in people with pancreas infections, magnesium absorption disorders, and cirrhosis. It is also injected to treat high blood pressure during pregnancy and other pregnancy complications
Magnesium is also used as an injection to control seizures, to treat irregular heartbeat, to control irregular heartbeat after a heart attack, and for cardiac arrest. Magnesium is also injected into the body to treat asthma and other lung disease complications, for migraines and cluster headaches, jellyfish stings, poisonings, pain, swelling in the brain, chemotherapy side effects, head trauma and bleeding, sickle cell disease, to prevent cerebral palsy, and for tetanus.
How does it work? 
Magnesium is required for the proper growth and maintenance of bones. Magnesium is also required for the proper function of nerves, muscles, and many other parts of the body. In the stomach, magnesium helps neutralize stomach acid and moves stools through the intestine.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bitter-melon Salad (raw)

2 bittermelons, de-seeded and shredded
1 long English cucumber, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 purple onion, diced
1 head Romaine lettuce, finely shredded
several sprigs parsley, finely chopped 
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T. garlic powder or 5-6 cloves fresh minced garlic
1/2 rounded t. sea salt
black pepper (optional)
Prepare the salad ingredients and put in a large bowl. The salad is much like a salsa with Romaine lettuce if the pieces are small. Whizz the dressing ingredients in a high-speed blender and pour over the prepared salad, mixing well.

the basic salad ingredients
de-seeding and shredding the bitter-melon 
adding the dressing to the prepared salad
the salad itself ... very much like a salsa!
A note on bitter-melon: Some people find the bitter-melon just that, very bitter; however, prepared with complementary veggies and the lemon-garlic dressing marinade here, the strong bitterness is very much toned down. For people with low iron, the bitter-melon is an excellent dietary choice for boosting that iron and this is one way it is quite nice!