Nutrition and Food Quality – Food processing and maintaining electrolyte balance
Eating right is not as easy as it used to be. This may come as a surprise to you, given the variety of foods available to us today and, ideally, our diets should supply all of the nutrients we need to meet our daily requirements. Ironically, the abundance of selections on supermarket shelves make it more difficult, rather than easier, to plan nutritious diets. Today, too many of us consume a high percentage of readily available prepackaged foods that have had the nutrients processed right out of them.
This post will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the many processes that our foods undergo, from planting to harvesting to packaging. You’ll learn how refining strips grains of their valuable antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals; why “enriched” does not mean “nutritious”; which food additives to avoid to lower your risk of cancer and other diseases; and how hydrogenation contributes to the development of fatty acids that have been linked to the development of heart disease. Within the following rows, you’ll also discover how restoring homeostasis in your body with optimal electrolyte balance can help enhance your health—and even save your life.
Food processing procedures include refining, enriching, hydrogenating, preserving, and irradiating. None of these processes enhances the food nutritionally. In fact, foods are processed for the sole purpose of extending their shelf life. And, because these processes actually result in considerable loss of nutrients, diets that include too much of these foods supply the bare minimum of nutrients necessary for survival.
Among the most heavily processed of our foods today are oil and grain products—these include all kinds of salad oils, cooking oils, and shortenings, breads, pastas, and pastries—anything made with white sugar and/or white flour. So one of the most fundamentally important changes a single man can make in his shopping and eating habits is to buy only unrefined oil and grain products. Look for these in your local health food store or in the “special foods” section of your supermarket. Select oils labeled unrefinedfined or expeller pressed and breads made with whole wheat flour. Many labels simply say “wheat flour,” which is a deceptive name for white flour—which is, of course, made from wheat.
Now, let’s take a closer look at what happens to our food between the time it’s harvested and the time when it’s put on the shelves of our local supermarkets.
Refined Grains and Oils
All grains are not created equal. Much of what’s available today has been refined, meaning that the husks of the grain have been removed. It is in these outer husks that most of the nutrients are concentrated. The part of the wheat plant that is made into flour and then into bread and other baked goods is the seed or kernel. The wheat kernel (a whole grain) has four main parts: the germ, the endosperm, the bran, and the husk. Typically, in the production of flour, the husk, bran, and germ are removed, resulting in extensive loss of nutrients. Wheat bran serves as a protective coating around the wheat kernel that is nutrient-packed and high in fiber. The germ is the part of the kernel that grows into a wheat plant, so it is rich in nutrients to support the growth of a new plant. Thus, only the endosperm, composed mostly of starch and protein, is left after whole grains have been refined.
During World War I, the milling of grains was forbidden in Denmark due to economic cutbacks. The death rate fell 34 percent and the incidence of cancer, kidney disease, and diabetes dropped significantly. During World War n, when grains were only partially milled in England, much the same thing happened. The less we refine food, the more it supports our health.
Among the nutrients lost in the refining process are the B vitamins, a family or complex of vitamins that plays an important role in nourishing the nervous system We need extra amounts of the entire B family when we’re under stress, but refined products—even those enriched with a few of the B vitamins put back—can’t meet this increased need. A diet that has too large a proportion of refined food cripples the body’s ability to deal with stress, which is a fact of life for today’s man.
Also lost in the refining process are many of the important antioxidant nutrients—vitamins A, C, and E, and the minerals selenium and zinc. Antioxidants seek out and neutralize free radicals, the unstable molecules that are believed to play a key role in aging and to be involved in the development of degenerative diseases such as cancer. Free-radical formation is often caused by environmental stresses, including pollution, oxidation, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, ingestion of rancid oils, and surgery. We all need antioxidant nutrients to protect our bodies against free-radical damage. Consuming a diet of refined foods creates deficiencies in these important protective nutrients and therefore increases vulnerability to degenerative diseases.
In addition to the antioxidants removed in the refining process, much of the fiber of the whole grains is also lost. Fiber is a complex carbohydrate needed to move food residue through the intestines and prevent constipation. And many of the vitally important trace minerals are processed out, as well. According to Henry A. Schroeder, M.D., who did extensive research on the trace minerals over twenty years ago, “most of the energy in the average American diet, which comes from white flour, white sugar and fat, is not supplied with the trace substances needed to utilize that energy efficiently and properly.”- The refining of sugar removes 93 percent of the ash—the trace minerals needed to metabolize the sugar—with it. The milling of wheat into refined white flour and the refining of raw cane sugar into white sugar remove minerals in the percentages shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Percentages of Nutrients Lost in the Refining Process
Additionally, white flour has lost the following minerals originally present in whole wheat: 60 percent of the calcium, 71 percent of the phosphorus, 77 percent of the potassium, 78 percent of the sodium, 76 percent of the iron, 48 percent of the molybdenum, and 75 percent of the selenium
Iron is the only mineral that is later added back to food in the enriching process, which we will discuss shortly. But enriching foods with iron can cause more problems than it solves, because iron that is added to the grain is in the form of inorganic iron sulphate, which the body is unable to absorb properly. The absorption problem is compounded by the lack of other minerals in refined foods. As a consequence, this iron often ends up being deposited in the arteries and joints, leading to degenerative disorders such as heart disease and arthritis. For example, in Sweden, liver cancer rates tripled when they began fortifying their flour with iron.
While inorganic forms of iron are not well absorbed, there are some natural iron supplements available, such as iron peptonate, that are more readily utilized by the body. The heme form of iron found in meat, poultry, and fish is also well absorbed, making liquid liver extract a good supplemental source of iron for those who need it.
Iron deficiencies in men are rare, however, except possibly among those who have low thyroid function, and those who have lost blood, been ill, or engaged in endurance exercise. As a general rule, men should avoid taking supplemental iron and consuming foods enriched with it, for iron overload can create serious problems, including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and impotence. Also, excess iron is stored in the central nervous system, and high levels of the free form of this mineral have been found in the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease. If you suspect that your iron levels are low, consult your physician and have laboratory tests performed before you begin taking supplemental iron.
The refining process removes most of the eight vitamins present in whole wheat, yet only three— thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin—are replaced in the enriching process. So, in the end, refining removes over two dozen nutrients and replaces only four.
White “polished” rice is also a refined product. After processing, it retains only the following percentages of trace minerals originally present in the whole grain: 17 percent of the magnesium, 25 percent of the chromium, 73 percent of the manganese, 62 percent of the cobalt, 75 percent of the copper, and 25 percent of the zinc. Therefore, it would benefit you to choose brown rice over white for a more nutritious meal.
As you will remember, when the bran and germ from whole wheat are removed, nothing is left but the starchy part of the kernel known as the endosperm It’s in this starchy portion of the grain that the heavy metal cadmium is concentrated. Cadmium toxicity is strongly associated with high blood pressure, or hypertension. If enough zinc is present in the body, it help can defend against cadmium toxicity. Unfortunately, zinc is contained in the bran and germ portions of the grain, and is therefore discarded in the refining process. This means that when we eat refined grains, we are vulnerable to the ill effects of cadmium—particularly if our body stores of zinc are low. And in the absence of chromium and fiber, also removed in the refining process, the body has trouble processing the starch that remains. Pure starch stresses the pancreas and throws the blood sugar into turmoil. These problems are not encountered when whole grains, rather than refined products, are included in the diet.
Most of the oils consumed in the Standard American Diet are also highly refined. According to Schroeder, separating oil from corn results in a refined product with less than 1 percent of the magnesium and only 25 percent of the original zinc. Vitamin E, needed to help retard spoilage, is also removed, as is lecithin, a fat emulsifier. The fat-digesting enzyme, lipase, is destroyed by the heat
used in processing, making the oil indigestible. Beta-carotene is also virtually destroyed by processing methods. And, perhaps worst of all, refining destroys much of the valuable omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, which we discussed in this post about Lean and Mean: Cut the Carbs, Add the Fat to your Nutrition.
Be aware of how oils are processed, the ingredients they contain, and what has been removed. Unrefined and expeller-pressed oils are the best products to purchase, because the oil is extracted without heat. A hydraulic press is used to crush the nuts, seeds, grains, olives, or vegetables, and the oil is squeezed out by force of pressure.
Many of the most important minerals for men are largely discarded in the refining process. Some, like selenium, are even deficient in our soils to begin with. All men should make sure that they are getting enough of the following minerals.
Calcium: When we think of calcium, we generally think of its valuable role in maintaining strong, healthy bones. In fact, 99 percent of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones and teeth. If a calcium- deficient diet is consumed over a long period of time, the bones may become porous and brittle due to osteoporosis. Hip fracture is a common sign of osteoporosis, and one-third of all hip fractures occur in men.
The remaining 1 percent of calcium, distributed throughout the bloodstream and in extracellular fluids, performs many essential functions, as well. Men who consume foods rich in calcium or take calcium supplements tend to have lower blood pressure, and experience none of the unpleasant side effects that can be encountered with antihypertensive drug treatment.
Food sources rich in calcium include dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt; leafy vegetables, including collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, and sea vegetables; and salmon and sardines, including the bones. The recommended dose is from 800 to 1,500 milligrams daily. Calcium citrate is a form of supplemental calcium that’s well absorbed by the body.
Chromium: An estimated 3 million men are unknowingly walking around with some of the early signs of diabetes. Chromium is an essential mineral that helps the body regulate blood-sugar levels, thereby protecting against full-blown diabetes. It also promotes the loss of fat and an increase in lean muscle mass. Two tablets of brewer’s yeast will supply a day’s need (from 200 to 800 micrograms) of chromium. Other notable sources include brown rice, cheese, clams, com oil, grapes, honey, meat, raisins, and whole grains.
Copper:Copper is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, copper is a true warrior in the defense against heart disease and irregular heart rhythm. Plus, copper is an essential component of superoxide dismustase (SOD), a powerful antioxidant that is manufactured by the body. Copper deficiency can cause elevated cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and may actually lead to problems maintaining a normal heart rhythm.
On the other hand, copper overload is a common problem these days due to adrenal depletion and the copper content of dental fillings and water pipes. Copper toxicity can be an underlying cause of
panic attacks and yeast infections.
Food sources of copper include liver, soy products, regular tea, cocoa, nuts, peas, beans, whole grain cereals, raisins, and oysters. The recommended daily amount for healthy males is about 2 milligrams.
Magnesium: Men who work out on a regular basis will want to maintain healthy magnesium levels, because this mineral plays a critical role in energy production and muscle activity. Research shows that magnesium may also help protect against heart disease, which kills more than 350,000 men each year, and can lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Magnesium acts as a natural tranquilizer and, in fact, deficiency can interfere with the transmission of nerve inpulses, resulting in irritability and nervousness.
Magnesium is found in most foods. Rich sources of this mineral include dairy products, fish, meat, seafood, green leafy vegetables, nuts such as almonds, and seeds. The recommended daily intake ranges from 600 to 1,000 milligrams per day.
Selenium: Selenium is an important antioxidant that protects the body against the formation of free radicals. As such, it is a valuable weapon in the fight against cancers of the skin, lung, and stomach that, combined, kill more than 100,000 men each year. Selenium is known to act in concert with vitamin E to protect cells from free-radical damage.
Depending on the selenium content of the soil where the food is grown, selenium can be found in meat and grains. Especially good sources include brewer’s yeast, broccoli, brown rice, dairy products, seafood, and whole grains. The suggested daily intake for selenium ranges from 100 to 400 micrograms.
Zinc: Zinc is the most crucial mineral because of its link to male potency, fertility, and sex drive. A man may lose some 420 micrograms of zinc through ejaculation so, clearly, the more sexually active the man, the more he needs this essential mineral. Low zinc levels have been linked to low semen volume and low levels of testosterone. The mineral is also in small amounts through sweat, resulting in decreased levels.
As a component of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), zinc helps the body to combat free radicals. It also promotes immune-system health and wound healing, and can be helpful in treating benign prostate hypertrophy (BPH), which commonly affects men over fifty.
Zinc is found primarily in red meats, eggs, and seafood. The recommended intake is about 15 to 50 milligrams per day. Zinc picolinate is the form that is best utilized by the body.
Enriched foods are those to which nutrients have been added in an attempt to replace vitamins and minerals that were lost in the refining process. However, “enriched” does not necessarily equal “nutritious,” because the nutrients are generally put back in their inorganic forms, which are not well utilized by the body.
Another problem with the enriching process is that some nutrients are added without the vitamin and mineral counterparts needed for their utilization For example, iron is replaced in enriched foods, while copper, which is essential for iron absorption, is not added. Unabsorbed iron adds to the body’s storehouses and can be especially problematic for men because, overall, they do not need additional iron in their diets. Ultimately, all nutrients work synergistically, meaning that some vitamins and minerals enhance the function of other vitamins and minerals, enabling them to work better within the body. When any one nutrient is removed from the whole food, the activity of those remaining is adversely affected. Enriched food provides only a small portion of the full spectrum of nutrients needed for optimal health, growth, and strength.
Nutrient deficiency predisposes both plants and humans to disease conditions. Crops become infested with insects and then are treated with chemical pesticides. We medicate our sick soils in much the same way as we medicate ourselves when our bodies are invaded with germs. In both instances, the problem may well be averted by providing the host with nutrient-dense food—for the plant that is natural fertilizer, such as rock dust, and for humans, it is food grown in soils supplemented with natural fertilizer, known as organic foods. Organic foods are those grown without the use of chemicals that, as a result, show minimal toxicity and provide superior nutrition They are becoming increasingly popular. In 1994, there were three thousand more certified organic farmers in this country than there were in 1990.
There is great variation in the mineral content of vegetables grown in different locations and under different conditions. Variable soil quality makes for variable food quality. The Firman Bear report, as shown in Table 2 below, originally issued through Rutgers University in 1948, shows just how great these variations can be.
Table 2. The Firman Bear Report Variations in Mineral Content of Vegetables
Since this report is almost fifty years old and mineral depletion of the soils has greatly increased in the intervening years, we can assume that today’s figures would be even lower than those cited above. Take a close look at this chart. It should be great incentive to go organic.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved some 2,800 food additives. These include chemicals added to extend shelf life, enhance flavor and color, and stabilize, thicken, and emulsify our foods.
Preservatives such as benzoates, sulfites, nitrates, and nitrites retard food spoilage by checking the growth of microbes—bacteria, yeasts, and molds and other fungi. Of these preservatives, benzoates are used most frequently. Sulfites are found in beer, wine, and dried fruit. Both of these additives can cause allergic reactions in some people, so they should be avoided by allergy-prone individuals.
Sodium nitrate and nitrite protect against bacterial growth and preserve food color. They are widely used today in curing meat and smoking fish. Packaged meats containing sodium nitrite should be avoided because, in the stomach, nitrites combine with products of protein breakdown called amines to form carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) known as nitrosamines. Nitrogen from chemical fertilizers is a documented source of nitrates. Seepage into underground aquifers can contaminate drinking water supplies. Vegetables, too, can absorb nitrogen compounds from fertilizers, and these are passed on to humans when we eat the plants. Bacteria in the stomach then convert the nitrogen compounds to deadly nitrites. When nitrites enter the bloodstream, they react with hemoglobin to form methemoglobin. The resulting disease, methemoglobinemia, causes the victim to turn blue from lack of oxygen. Suffocation and death may result.
Benjamin Feingold, M.D., found that a large percentage of hyperactive children are unusually sensitive to preservatives and to artificial colors and flavors. He found a link between food additives and learning and behavioral disorders. Today, hyperactivity is better known as attention deficit disorder (ADD). ADD affects a number of adults, as well as children, and is commonly treated with counseling, behavior modification techniques, and drugs. Since drugs destroy nutrients, thereby deepening deficiency, they can aggravate the problem by increasing sensitivity to adverse effects of food additives.
In truth, many of these additives are dispensable. Artificial colors, for example, do not provide any benefit, but are used only to make food look attractive. Dietary restriction of food additives is certainly a safer and, most likely, a more effective approach, as demonstrated by the success of the Feingold diet. Choose whole foods whenever possible to avoid preservatives and other food additives.
Despite their bad reputation, saturated fats, consumed in moderation and in balance with other dietary components, will not harm a healthy body. The harm comes from the altered, damaged fats consumed in the typical American diet. Over the last century, a 350-percent rise in the incidence of cardiovascular disease has paralleled the rise in both sugar and processed oil consumption, but has not correlated with cholesterol consumption, which has remained about the same.
The myth still persists that substituting margarine for butter is the “heart smart” thing to do. The reasoning is that, because margarine is made from unsaturated vegetable oil, it is healthier than butter, an animal fat that is more saturated with hydrogen. But many people don’t realize that margarine is created from unsaturated oils through the hydrogenation process.
Hydrogenation was first developed in 1912 by a Frenchman who created it as a means of hardening soap. The process involves supersaturating oil with hydrogen at temperatures exceeding 400°F, using nickel as a catalyst. Hydrogenated com, soybean, safflower, and canola oils are a much greater health risk than are naturally saturated fats such as butter. The harm caused by these oils is partly due to the hydrogenation process, which destroys nutrients, including those needed for a healthy heart—vitamins E and B6, and minerals chromium and magnesium But to make matters worse, unhealthy fats called trans fatty acids (TFAs) are formed during hydrogenation.
The trans fatty acid molecule is strictly man-made. It does not appear in nature, and so the body has difficulty metabolizing it. Because vegetable oils typically have low hydrogen levels, it takes a long time to thoroughly saturate them during hydrogenation. During this time, harmful trans fats are formed. On the other hand, tropical oils—palm, palm kernel, coconut, and cottonseed oils—start out with a high level of hydrogen saturation. Because it takes much less time for them to become hydrogenated, TFAs do not form in the process. These fats do not have to be eliminated from the diet if they are regulated by the inclusion of essential fatty acids. In fact, research has shown that, in some countries, people with a high intake of tropical oils have a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and cancer than those of us in the United States.
A special word should be said here about cottonseed oil. Because cotton is considered a “nonfood” plant, it is sprayed with numerous herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides. Residues of these poisons can be found in the seeds and in the oil from the seeds. I recommend avoiding cottonseed oil altogether in the diet. Remember that it’s important to read product labels, because partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil is one of the major ingredients in processed and packaged foods.
Trans fatty acids usually remain in the blood, where they tend to increase “bad” LDL cholesterol and decrease “good” HDL cholesterol. A study printed in the British medical journal, TheLancet (March 3, 1993), warns that a high intake of trans fats may increase the risk of coronary death by as much as 50 to 67 percent. Altered fats also block the pathways used by the essential fatty acids, leaving the body deficient even when these good fats are part of our diets. This can adversely affect cell function and depress the immune system
No one knows for certain what level—if any—of trans fatty acids can be safely tolerated by the body, but many researchers feel that amounts in excess of 2 grams a day should be avoided. To get a sense of how easy it can be to exceed that limit, take a look at Table 3.
Consuming as little as 3 to 4 grams of trans fatty acids each day can lead to a 30-percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease. Industry officials and the federal government claim that Americans take in 8 to 10 grams of TFAs daily. Dr. Mary Enig of Silver Springs, Maryland, thinks this is an underestimate. She believes that the average American consumes between 11 and 28 grams a day, which is approximately 20 percent of total daily fat intake.
Table 3. Trans Fatty Acid Content of Common Foods*
Trans Fatty Acid Content
|Chocolate chip cookies|
|Processed American cheese|
|Danish pastry (one large)|
|Crackers made with partially|
|hydrogenated soybean oil (10 small)|
|Margarine (1 Tbsp,)|
|Vegetable shortening (1 Tbsp.)|
|Butter (1 Tb&p )|
To avoid TFAs, you’ll need to eliminate vegetable shortenings, margarine, processed cheeses, commercial baked goods, mayonnaise, candy bars, processed peanut butters, and microwave popcorn from your diet. Make a habit of reading labels and avoiding anything that says “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated.”
MAINTAINING ELECTROLYTE BALANCE
Electrolytes are mineral salts that conduct electrical energy when dissolved in solution. In the body, the bloodstream provides the fluid medium for electrolytes to carry out this function. Electrolyte deficiency or imbalance results in energy loss, leaving us feeling fatigued—a common complaint. No wonder, considering the scarcity of vital trace minerals necessary for electrolyte formation in the body. As we’ve already discussed, deficiencies are wide spread today, owing to the depletion of our soils and depletion through food processing—so we won’t find our food supply to be a reliable source of trace minerals.
Fatigue is the first symptom of just about everything. When we have insufficient energy to run the body, its processes break down and we feel tired and sluggish as a result. Adequate levels of electrolytes, then, are crucial to our health. Without enough of these vital elements, we can’t maintain homeostasis, our body’s balancing mechanism When electrolyte balance is disrupted at any level, energy flow is disturbed and chemical processes that are needed for good health are adversely affected, leading to development of disease conditions. As Henry A. Schroeder, M.D., tells us in The Trace Elements and Man (Devin-Adair, 1973), homeostatic mechanisms will break down under two conditions: 1) a deficiency of vital trace elements, and 2) an excess of vital elements.
Mars Bars, Minute Rice, and Margarine: A Flawed Study
In doing the research for this website category, I ran across a scientific study that stopped me dead in my tracks. It focused on the effects of carbohydrates and fats on energy levels in the human body. What was appalling about it was that the carbohydrates used were in the form of Minute Rice and Mars Bars, and the fat used was margarine. All of these are highly processed foods, altered from their natural states. The resulting nutrient loss makes them fragmented foods that react very differently in the body than do natural, whole foods. Processed foods are unbalanced in their nutrient composition and therefore create imbalances in the body, disrupting normal physiological processes and leading to disease conditions. To draw conclusions about how the body responds to carbohydrates and fats in general based on how it responds to these unnatural, devitalized ones in particular is not accurate and can give rise to the formulation of erroneous data.
The potential benefits of the 40/30/30 formula cannot be achieved if you eat a diet made up of 40 percent refined carbohydrates, 30 percent hydrogenated fats, and 30 percent protein from animals who “do drugs. ” The benefits of the three major nutrients, carbohydrates, fat, and protein, are seriously compromised when vitamin and mineral content is altered, as it is in today’s foods. That’s why quality counts.
Cultures that enjoy exceptional health and longevity drink mineral water that cascades down from mountain streams and swirls over rocks, creating vortexes. This whirling motion generates an electrical charge in the minerals taken up by the water, changing them from a colloidal to a much more bioavailable, or readily absorbed, crystalloid form In this manner, nature creates electrolytes, which are fully assimilated by the body, owing to their crystalloid form
Two of the most effective ways of purifying water are the distillation and reverse-osmosis methods, both of which remove minerals in addition to pollutants. If you use these methods, then you’re going to need to add trace minerals back to the water. However, most liquid mineral formulas on the market are colloidal in nature. Colloidal minerals are inorganic elements that cannot fully penetrate cell walls, and are not well utilized by the body. Additionally, many come from sources that are contaminated with heavy metals.
We can duplicate nature’s electrolyte formation by adding crystalloid minerals back to our purified water. A liquid mineral supplement containing the correct minerals in the correct amounts and in a crystalloid form constitutes a true electrolyte formula. The only such formula available on the market today, to the best of my knowledge, is a product called Trace-Lyte. – Regular use of this product will help restore electrolyte balance.
Restoring electrolyte balance assists the body in combatting virtually any disorder by eliminating conditions that gave rise to it. Among those basic conditions is pH imbalance, which can be corrected through the regular use of Trace-Lyte in combination with a balanced diet. A balanced diet alone cannot be counted on to regulate pH, however, in the face of electrolyte imbalance. This is unfortunate because pH balance is one of the body’s major defenses against disease. Another is osmotic equilibrium, the equalization of force or pressure between the inside and outside of cell walls. The restoration of osmotic equilibrium strengthens cells and makes them unfit hosts for bacteria and other germs. This restoration is accomplished by re-establishing homeostasis through electrolyte balance. Electrolytes must be in balance for certain beneficial bacteria to exist and carry out their function of fighting harmful bacteria. Therefore, the proper functioning of the immune system depends upon electrolyte balance.
Many scientific papers written in the last twenty years indicate that by restoring pH and osmotic equilibrium, we may significantly decrease our risk of infection. In addition to normalizing pH and osmotic pressure, electrolytes have also been proven to help restore peristaltic action of the bowel muscles; increase digestive efficiency; increase oxygen to the cells; reduce water retention problems; correct neuromuscular imbalances; improve enzyme production; regulate blood-sugar levels; increase energy levels; and strengthen the immune system
Trace-Lyte can be used as an electrolyte supplement, and it can also be used to remineralize purified or distilled water. Just add one teaspoon to each gallon of water. Taken in conjunction with other nutritional supplements, it will enhance the activity of electrolytes by improving assimilation. If very large amounts of isolated minerals are taken over a long period of time, however, we run the risk of disrupting balance once again, since excessive mineral intake as well as deficiency can cause a breakdown of homeostatic mechanisms.
While inorganic forms of minerals may form deposits in various organs and tissues of the body— causing such problems as kidney and gall stones, hardening of the arteries, constipation, and arthritis —the crystalloid form will not do so. In fact, it will actually help eliminate existing deposits by creating balanced conditions that allow the minerals to go back into solution. Crystalloid minerals, as electrolytes, likewise play an active role in “escorting” heavy metals out of the body. They are nature’s own chelators.
Overabundance of some minerals can create deficiencies of others. Ideally, we want to incorporate mineral-rich whole foods, such as sea vegetables, into our diet, as a highly usable and balanced source of organic minerals. Sea vegetables include nori, dulse, hijild, wakame, arame, kombu, and agar-agar. These are good in vegetable soups and natural gelatins.
A FINAL WORD
In order to choose quality macronutrients, it’s necessary to become educated about what “good quality” means. Quality foods include fruits and vegetables grown organically, meat obtained from organically raised animals, “fertile” eggs laid by chickens that roam free, sea vegetables, whole grains, and unrefined oils. Quality beverages include fresh fruit and vegetable juices, herbal teas, and purified water to which electrolytes have been added.
Packaged, canned, and bottled items should be avoided as much as possible. Never purchase these items without first checking the label, even in a health food store. Avoid artificially sweetened foods and all products containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, as well as commercially processed dairy products, packaged meats, and smoked fish. Shop the outside aisles of your supermarket—where the whole foods are—and patronize your local health food store.
Remember that, although the nutrients you need for good health are not always available in the foods you buy, you can compensate for nutrient loss from soil depletion and food processing by choosing organically grown whole foods and taking nutritional supplements. In addition, the regular use of a true electrolyte formula can help you restore balance, or homeostasis, to the body. This will assist in the prevention of disease conditions and aid in recovery from all types of illnesses.