Recipe: Brussels Sprout, Kale & Green Bean Stir-fry

The winter holidays call for comfort and a lot of excessive eating and feasting! Fear not, it is easy to enliven your table with healthy seasonal dishes that will add color and a festive note to your holidays. Brussels sprouts are the star of the show this winter. They are packed in vitamins and fiber, can be eaten shredded raw in a slaw, grilled, stir-fried or steamed! We like to keep some of that flavor and crunch and stir-fry them with green beans and red kale. This dish is versatile, can be enjoyed with some rice or as a side dish to your mains.

Brussels Sprout, Kale & Green Bean Stir Fry

[ Serves 2-4 ]

Ingredients

  • 14 oz green beans, cleaned and trimmed
  • 14 oz Brussels sprouts*, cleaned and sliced in half
  • A generous handful of red or purple kale, cleaned and stems removed
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sumac
  • A pinch of salt

* Blood type O non-secretor can swap brussels sprouts with broccoli for a superbeneficial!

Directions

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the Brussels sprouts with a little salt and the sumac and stir vigorously for about 5 minutes. Add the green beans and keep stirring for another 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish.
  3. In the same pan, add another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the kale leaves with some salt and stir until they crisp up. Add them to the vegetables.

Enjoy warm!

Magnesium Supplementation for the Elderly

By Dr. Carolyn Dean MD, ND

This time of year we gather with friends and family to celebrate the holidays.  Sometimes, it’s the only time of year when we get to see our favorite aunt, our grandparents who live several states away, or even our own parents!  Coming into close proximity to our distant, elderly loved ones makes us aware of their health and even their strategies for taking care of themselves. As you venture out this holiday season, here are some things to consider when thinking about your elderly friends and family….

 

Elderly people in the United States and Canada represent an emerging high-risk group for nutritional deficiencies. A magnesium deficit in the elderly can occur due to inadequate nutrient intakes, multiple drug use, altered gastrointestinal function and/or frequent urination. Magnesium has been targeted as a risk factor for elderly people and has been implicated in the aging process.

Aging in our industrialized society is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, reduced insulin sensitivity and Type 2 diabetes, among other degenerative diseases. Most of us don’t know that aging is also associated with an imbalance in the levels of calcium and magnesium and dozens of other minerals almost identical with those found in people with heart disease and diabetes. Clinical studies thoroughly document the fact that people with insulin resistance (a characteristic of Type 2 diabetes) have too much calcium and too little magnesium in their cells. Interestingly, these same effects are seen as the results of “normal” aging. That fact suggests that the disturbance of calcium and magnesium ions in the cells might be the missing link for the multiple diseases associated with aging. Other clinical research shows magnesium deficiency may increase our susceptibility to heart disease and accelerate the debility of aging.

One study of nursing home residents linked low magnesium levels and two conditions that commonly plague the elderly: diabetes and calf cramps. And another study showed that people who reached the age of 100 had higher total body magnesium levels-and lower calcium levels than the average person.

A Gallup Poll survey reported that magnesium consumption decreases as we age, with 79% of adults 55 and over reportedly eating below the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of magnesium. In addition, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that older adults are at increased risk of magnesium deficiency due to their decreased ability to absorb the mineral. The diseases to which the elderly are vulnerable, and some of the drugs used in therapy, also contribute to magnesium loss. A potential magnesium deficiency is a matter of concern for many individuals of all ages, but for the elderly, it could be particularly serious.

The human body’s ability to absorb magnesium declines with age, so elderly people who do not eat an adequate diet and those who use prescription drugs that deplete the body’s magnesium are at risk. (Studies show that the average senior citizen takes six to eight prescription medications a day!) Antacids, taken by many older people to cover up symptoms of a poor diet, is a strong brew of calcium and aluminum that depletes magnesium and adds to the neurological burden of the elderly.

Several studies show that severe neurological problems result from extremely low levels of magnesium in the brain that can be caused by the chronic use of diuretics, which millions of people use to control high blood pressure. A diuretic, usually the first line treatment for high blood pressure specifically drains potassium as well as magnesium from the body. Most doctors prescribe potassium to replace the loss but forget about magnesium.

Talk to Lorraine to learn more about Magnesium, or order yours today at LiveBlood.org

Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis “HTMA”

Q.     WHAT IS HAIR MINERAL ANALYSIS?
A.     Hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA), is an analytical test which measures the mineral content of the hair. The sampled hair, obtained by cutting the first inch and one-half of growth closest to the scalp at the nape of the neck, is prepared in a licensed clinical laboratory through a series of chemical and high temperature digestive procedures. Testing is then performed using highly sophisticated detection equipment and methods to achieve the most accurate and precise results.

 

Q.     WHY USE THE HAIR? WHY NOT USE THE BLOOD?
A.     Hair is ideal tissue for sampling and testing. First, it can be cut easily and painlessly and can be sent to the lab without special handling requirements. Second, clinical results have shown that a properly obtained sample can give an indication of mineral status and toxic metal accumulation following long term or even acute exposure.

A HTMA reveals a unique metabolic world: intracellular activity, which cannot be seen through most other tests. This provides a blueprint of the biochemistry occurring during the period of hair growth and development.
Examples:

  • Thirty to 40 days following an acute exposure, elevated serum levels of lead may be undetectable. This is due to the body removing the lead from the serum as a protective measure and depositing the metal into such tissues as the liver, bones, teeth and hair.
  • Nutrient loss from the body can become so advanced that severe health conditions can develop without any appreciable changes noted in those same nutrient levels in a blood test.
  • Symptoms of elemental deficiency can be present long before low levels can be detected in the serum.
  • Excess sodium is associated with hypertension, but adequate amounts are required for normal health.

Hair is used as one of the tissues of choice by the Environmental Protection Agency in determining toxic metal exposure. A 1980 report from the E.P.A. stated that human hair can be effectively used for biological monitoring of the highest priority toxic metals. This report confirmed the findings of other studies in the U.S. and abroad, which concluded that human hair may be a more appropriate tissue than blood or urine for studying community exposure to some trace elements

 

Q.     WHY TEST FOR MINERALS?
A.     Trace minerals are essential in countless metabolic functions in all phases of the life process.

  • Zinc is involved in the production, storage and secretion of insulin and is necessary for growth hormones.
  • Magnesium is required for normal muscular function, especially the heart. A deficiency has been associated with an increased incidence of abnormal heart condi tions, anxiety and nervousness.
  • Potassium is critical for normal nutrient transport into the cell. A deficiency can result in muscular weakness, mild depression and lethargy.
  • Excess sodium is associated with hypertension, but adequate amounts are required for normal health.

In the words of the late author and noted researcher, Dr. Henry Schroeder, trace elements (minerals) are “…more important factors in human nutrition than vitamins. The body can manufacture many vitamins, but it cannot produce necessary trace minerals or get rid of many possible excesses.”

 

Q.     WHAT CAN CAUSE A MINERAL IMBALANCE?
A.     There are many factors to take into consideration, such as:
DIET – Improper diet through high intake of refined and processed foods, alcohol and fad diets can all lead to a chemical imbalance. Even the nutrient content of a “healthy” diet can be inadequate, depending upon the soil in which the food was grown or the method in which it was prepared.
STRESS – Physical or emotional stress can deplete the body of many nutrients while also reducing the capability to absorb and utilize many nutrients.
MEDICATIONS – Both prescription and over-the-counter medications can deplete the body stores of nutrient minerals and/or increase the levels of toxic metals. These medications include diuretics, antacids, aspirin and oral contraceptives.
POLLUTION – From adolescence through adulthood the average person is continually exposed to a variety of toxic metal sources such as cigarette smoke (cadmium), hair dyes (lead), hydrogenated oils (nickel), anti-perspirants (aluminum), dental amalgams (mercury and cadmium), copper and aluminum cookware and lead-based cosmetics. These are just a few of the hundreds of sources which can contribute to nutrient imbalances and adverse metabolic effects.
NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS – Taking incorrect supplements or improper amounts of supplements can produce many vitamin and mineral excesses and/or deficiencies, contributing to an overall biochemical imbalance.
INHERITED PATTERNS – A predisposition toward certain mineral imbalances, deficiencies and excesses can be inherited from parents.

 

Q.     CAN VITAMIN REQUIREMENTS BE DETERMINED FROM A MINERAL TEST?
A.     Minerals interact not only with each other but also with vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Minerals influence each of these factors, and they, in turn, influence mineral status. Minerals act as enzyme activators, and vitamins are synergistic to minerals as coenzymes. It is extremely rare that a mineral disturbance develops without a corresponding disturbance in the synergistic vitamin(s). It is also rare for a disturbance in the utilization or activity of a vitamin to occur without affecting a synergistic mineral(s). For example, vitamin C affects iron absorption and reduces copper retention. Boron and iron influence the status of vitamin B2. Vitamin B2 affects the relationship between calcium and magnesium. Vitamin B1 enhances sodium retention, B12 enhances iron and cobalt absorption, and vitamin A enhances the utilization of zinc, while antagonizing vitamins D and E. Protein intake will affect zinc status, etc. Therefore, evaluating mineral status provides good clues of vitamin status and requirements. Continuing research at Trace Elements involves the recognition of many synergistic and antagonistic interrelationships between minerals and vitamins.

 

Q.     IS HAIR TISSUE MINERAL ANALYSIS SUPPORTED BY RESEARCH?
A.     Hair tissue mineral analysis is supported by an impressive body of literature in a variety of respected national and international scientific publications. Over the past twenty-five years hair mineral testing has been extensive. Each year in the United States alone, federally licensed clinical laboratories perform over 150,000 hair mineral assays for health care professionals interested in an additional screening aid for a comprehensive patient evaluation. This does not take into consideration the thousands of subjects used in numerous continuing research studies conducted by private and government research agencies.