Monthly Archives: May 2011

Know Your Nutrients – A Few More Important Minerals

This article completes the series discussing the key vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to perform at optimal function. Remember our body does not make minerals so we need to eat them and we get them from real food!

Chromium

Chromium is involved in metabolism as it supports insulin function in the body. In this way it helps in glucose and protein metabolism. What does this mean to the average person? In short, it helps us control blood sugar levels. This is one of the most important functions in the body, and much of what our body does, is about keeping blood sugar levels constant. We get ourselves into trouble when blood sugar levels stay consistently too low or too high, or when they bounce back and forth (like the sugar high). Therefore, chromium has also been found to help with weight control and managing cholesterol.

Chromium supports the blood, cardiovascular, circulatory, endocrine, hepatic, immune and nervous systems. As you can see – almost the whole body! It is found in cheese, liver, nutritional yeast, onions, Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, vegetable oils, and whole grains. Its common supplement form is chromium picolinate.

Choline

A little known nutrient – choline – is actually extremely important as it is part of lecithin which is a key structural component of all cell membranes. It is quite certain that any substance that is in every cell in our body would be quite important. It is involved in cell metabolism, nerve transmission, and regulation of the liver and gall bladder.

Are you getting enough choline in your diet? It is found big time in the cruciferous family (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower), butter, egg yolk, flaxseed, lentils, peanuts, potatoes, oats, sesame seeds, and soybeans. You will often see lecithin from soybeans in nutritional supplements. One of the few useful applications of the soy bean!

Choline supports the cardiovascular, biliary, endocrine, integumentary, nervous, and renal (kidney) systems.

Manganese

Manganese may be one of those minerals that you’ve never even considered for how important it is for the human body. While calcium gets all the attention regarding bone health, manganese is also very important for bone formation. In fact, there are 18 different nutrients required for the body to build healthy bone. For more on that see my earlier post regarding calcium (Calcium Blog ).

Manganese is also important in the formation and activation of enzymes that metabolize oxygen, carbohydrates, amino acids, and cholesterol. And perhaps even more critical is that manganese is required to detoxify our body from any naturally produced ammonia. Ammonia is poison to the body, so it must be removed.

The blood, liver, immune, musculoskeletal, nervous, and reproductive systems all utilize manganese.

There are lots of food sources of manganese. It is prevalent in nuts and seeds (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts), legumes (garbanzo beans, green peas, lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans), grains (brown rice, wheat germ, oats, rye), vegetables (beets, broccoli, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes), cloves, liver, nutritional yeast, pineapple, and raspberries.

Potassium

What does potassium do? It is critical for the ongoing health of every cell in our body. That’s a pretty important job! Along with its partner sodium, the two minerals balance the nutrient and waste exchange of each cell. Potassium is involved in nerve and muscle functioning where it again teams with sodium. It also maintains our body’s fluid balance, electrolyte balance, and pH balance.

Additional functions of potassium include aiding in sugar metabolism, activating enzymes, supporting healthy heart function, and calming the nervous system.

While we often hear of bananas as being a great source of potassium, they are also quite high in sugar. Here are some additional healthy options to get in your potassium: almonds, artichokes, avocado, beet greens, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, lentils, lima beans, oranges, papaya, pinto beans, prunes, raisins, spinach, sunflower seeds, Swiss chard, tomatoes, wheat germ, winter squash, and yams. Plenty of healthy options!

Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at bernie@brwellness.com, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.

MonaVie – It Is Still Caffeine and Sugar (Despite What They Try to Say)

You have to love slick marketing. With my background in that area (20+ years of marketing and strategic planning) I enjoy reading through various marketing materials and finding the holes. 

At a recent event I was enthusiastically offered a MonaVie energy drink.  The person handing them out was a big believer in the health and energy benefits of the drink.  After all, it is in all the marketing materials and everyone who drinks them feels energized.  The truth is – how can you not?  They are loaded with caffeine and sugar.  But to read the accompanying booklet you’d think this was the healthiest drink on the planet. 

Let’s explore some of the “marketing”.

The first claim – “free of synthetic stimulants, these advanced formulas provide a healthy alternative to traditional energy drinks.”  Not sure exactly what that means and perhaps other energy drinks have synthetic stimulants, but the point is that MonaVie is loaded with stimulants, or as they say “all natural sources of caffeine.”  This would be the guarana, green tea, cha de burge, maca, yerba mate, and panax ginseng.  Let’s face it – stimulants are stimulants.

A second claim is “this advanced formula features Palatinose (Trademarked), a carbohydrate energy source found naturally in honey, sugar cane, and sugar beets.”  Kind of sounds like sugars to me.  But, “Palatinose metabolizes more slowly than sucrose and maltose – typical ingredients in other energy drinks – promoting a steady stream of energy over a longer period of time.” So, again, probably true, but I’ll bet not all that much longer, and at the end of the day – to your body – sugar is sugar!

So, it sounds nice and healthy, or at least healthier than others – natural sources of caffeine and longer burning sugars – but at the end of the day it is still caffeine and sugar!

May 2011 Newsletter – I’m Opening a Second Office and Wine Recommendations for Diabetics?

Well, if April showers bring May flowers, we are certainly looking at a Flower Power month!  I hope you all had a great month of April and enjoyed Spring Break. 

I have some very exciting news.  I’m opening up a second office this month.  I’ll be joining many wonderful practitioners at GreenSquare Center for the Healing Arts.  Many of Milwaukee’s top healers have either moved their offices there or opened an additional location.  To learn more about GreenSquare click here: http://greensquarecenter.com/
It was an interesting month for me as I had quite a few takers on my offer for a free Nutritional Response Testing appointment.  I’d like to thank everyone who volunteered, particularly during the early stages as I was muddling my way through.  However after doing over 30 consults, I’m liking what I’m seeing and we’ve uncovered a few interesting things with different clients.  I’ll be continuing my offer of a free NRT consult for one more month, so please let me know if you are interested.  I’ve also arranged to shadow a chiropractor with extensive NRT experience.  I begin the “internship” later this week!
The featured article of the month describes the importance of the fat soluble vitamins.  One of them is Vitamin D.  Ever wonder why so many people have Vitamin D deficiencies?  Read the article below and find out.  It appears that the American Diabetes Association has hit a new low with wine recommendations for diabetics.  See below for why that irks me (to put it mildly).  And, for those who celebrate Passover and ever wondered the history behind the Maxwell House Haggadah, that is explained below!
The Importance of Fat Soluble Vitamins
As many of you know, I am a follower and believer in the healthy food ideas of Dr. Weston Price and I have made many referrals to the Weston A. Price Foundation website in past newsletters.  One of his major discoveries was the importance of the fat soluble vitamins in our diet.  In fact, he found that the healthy native diets that produced healthy human beings had 10 times the fat soluble vitamins as in the American diet of that time.  To learn more about the fat soluble vitamins and why they are so important to your health click here: http://brwellness.blogspot.com/2011/04/know-your-nutrients-fat-soluble.html
Wine Recommendations for Diabetics?
Well, I thought I had seen it all from the American Diabetes Association until my recent edition of Diabetes Forecast arrived earlier in the week.  One of the main articles featured wine recommendations!  Somehow that just doesn’t make sense.  Last time I checked wine contains to ingredients that aren’t very healthy, particularly for diabetics – sugar and alcohol! I guess if you want to keep the diabetes drugs and products moving you need to keep your diabetic customers!  There were a couple of other “gems” this month as well.  For my full “rant” click here: http://brwellness.blogspot.com/2011/04/wine-for-diabetics-whats-next-from.html

Coffee, Passover, and the Maxwell House Hagaddah
In case you missed one of my earlier blog postings this is quite the interesting story of the connection between these three.  For the full story click here: http://brwellness.blogspot.com/2011/04/coffee-passover-and-maxwell-house.html
Have a Happy and Healthy Month!
Bernie