Our culture is over obsessed with carbs, fat and protein. But what if I told you another nutrient was responsible for everything from your mental health to your weight? Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD is a health care attorney who worked with medical professionals to write Minerals The Forgotten Nutrient: Your Secret Weapon for Getting and Staying Healthy. Here are three specific ways he says minerals play a vital role in your mental and physical health.
- Minerals and your weight. Low magnesium has been associated with high blood sugar, obesity and diabetes and some research indicates a relationship to weight gain. Phosphorous has also been shown to aid in preventing and managing obesity especially in the abdominal area. A third mineral associated with weight gain is iron. Research suggests iron deficiency is related to obesity and taking it with vitamin C can help. Zinc is another mineral that can protect against the negative effects of obesity.
- Minerals and mental health. If you suffer from anxiety, increasing zinc and magnesium (Epsom salt baths are great for that) levels may relieve some of your symptoms. Stephenson-Laws also cites several studies that show relief from symptoms of depression including irritability, insomnia, hopelessness and anxiety following an increase in magnesium. Selenium deficiency is associated with an increased risk in mental disorders including depression and anxiety.
- Minerals and fatigue. If you’ve been more tired lately, you might want to have your mineral levels checked. Low levels of calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and iodine could be the reason for your fatigue.
Why the need for minerals? These days, we’re busy, stressed out and don’t consume enough mineral rich foods. Stress prevents us from absorbing minerals and retaining the minerals we do have. Drinks such as soda, alcohol, coffee and even our drinking water all contribute to mineral deficiency.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian practice that holds the key to greater emotional and physical well-being. In Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom, author and Vedika Global founder and spiritual director Acharya Shunya shares specific ways it can heal and transform your life. To start experiencing its holistic benefits, start with these five nourishing tips.
- Set your sleep and wake schedule. Sleep is pivotal to a healthy life. Getting to bed by 10 pm and waking up at or before 6 am sets you up for better rest.
- Stay cool. To counteract the external heat during summer, Shunya recommends cooling off with light, cool and calming foods, and engaging in cooling activities such as taking moonlit walks.
- Change your thinking. Instead of looking to Ayurveda as a way to fix something wrong or heal from illness and disease, she says it’s important to realize “your true nature, your Self, is already flawlessly healthy. So you are invited to quit thinking thoughts such as I want health. Think instead, I am health. And this Ayurveda lifestyle will simply aid me (the mind-body–based me) to live in closer proximity to this inner perfection, my true Self.” Instead of “chasing health,” she believes a change of mindset to accept our inherent perfection and body’s ability to heal plays an important role in your health and well-being.
- Eat whole foods. Processed and packaged foods are convenient, but lack many essential vitamins and minerals needed to keep us healthy. More importantly, these types of foods are considered toxic, harmful and can interfere with proper digestion.
- Skip fad smoothies and juices. It’s a trend these days to fast on liquid diets, but so-called miracle foods in frozen drinks can actually cause more harm than good by causing stomach upset and wreaking havoc on our digestion.
What’s the secret ingredient to practicing Ayurveda? Keep it simple, fresh and follow the natural flow of the seasons and your body.
During stressful times, we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Whether it’s big projects at work, trying to loss that stubborn weight, saving money or anything that makes you feel like you’re failing. We can be SO hard on ourselves that it causes depression, anger and self-abusive tendencies. Stop being so hard on yourself today. Know that failure can happen, but putting yourself down doesn’t make getting back on the horse any easier. Take these steps into consideration next time you’re feeling down on yourself.
- Life is one big learning experience. Everything you do teaches you a lesson. Stand tall, recover and move on when in the face of failure.
- Stop comparing your situation to others. Not one situation is identical, we all handle our problems in different ways. Be at your own pace and don’t try to be like anyone else.
- Stand up for yourself, if you feel what you are doing is right, don’t let someone else tear you down, respectively stand up for yourself. The more confidence you express, the easier others can see your side.
- Learn from criticism. You can’t ignore or get angry at criticism. Everyone dishes it out, so do you. Let it happen and take it as a positive.
- Take pride in your weaknesses. We all have something we don’t like about ourselves or our mannerisms, doesn’t mean we beat ourselves up for them. Take those faults and spin them in a positive way. Be proud of being human.
- Dwelling on the past will dig a big hole that you will struggle to get out of. Seriously, dwelling on something you did wrong days, months, years ago will drive you into a deep depression. Instead of saying “why did I do that?” say “ok, that happened, let’s not do that again and instead do this…”
- Be smart. Think before you act. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with yourself, step back write it all down and assess the damage and stress. Think smarter not faster.
- Remove negative energy from your life. Whether it’s people, objects, situations, if it’s causing you to hate on yourself then maybe you should re-think how and where you spend your time.
With a vast majority of overweight people in the U.S., it’s no surprise that people refer to being overwight as, “more to love” or “well-built”
“being overweight” can mean a few things. Today’s media emphasizes the normal body very distored from real life, often depicting weights not normally achievable by an average american. On top of being dangerously skinny, photos are often edited to show the models thinner than they actually are. It’s easy to see where the bar is set, and give up trying to reach it.
Body Mass Index (BMI): defining “normal”
The BMI scale is the common go-to for assessing if you or someone else is “overweight”. This scale is based on a formula, BMI = (lb)/height2(in2). If that looks complicated, there’s plenty of calculators like this one.
A BMI above 25 is considered overweight and a BMI above 30 is considered obese. Its not just a label though. Having a higher BMI could lead to serious health risks such as heart disease, high blood pressure, trouble breathing or stroke.
Another Measure of Healthy Weight
“There is a rule of thumb for body weight that may be used instead of BMI. For women, ideal weight is 100 pounds for the first five feet of body weight, with approximately 4-7 pounds for every inch over five feet. This results in a BMI between 20 and 23. For men, normal weight is 105 pounds for the first five feet and 5-7 pounds for every inch over five feet, for a BMI between 22 and 25. These are the ideal weights. A man who is 5’ 10” is overweight when he weighs more than 174 pounds. A woman who is 5’ 7” is overweight when she exceeds 159 pounds.” according to John Messmer, MD.
BMI Not Always Accurate
Although it is a widely used scale, there are certain times that the BMI scale isn’t necessarily true. If a man, lets call him Aaron, is 5′ 8″, their max weight without being overweight would be 160 Lbs. Now, if this man enjoys lifting weights, and eating healthy, he may build up enough muscle to weight 185 Lbs. This puts his BMI at 26 instead of 24. Now, is he obese? Of course not. He eats right and just gained more muscle, which weighs more. For people like Aaron, the BMI scale may not be accurate, but there is a Waist-to-Height Ratio (WHtR) that can help determine if he is overweight.
Low BMI Also Unhealthy
Having a BMI that is too low is also unhealthy. A BMI below 23 can cause things like fatigue, low blood sugar, and may be sign of an eating disorder. Models kin the fashion industry often have BMIs that are around 18, which is unrealistic to most of the population. The best plan of action is find a healthy weight, and find a diet that allows you to maintain that weight.
Do you practice smartphone attention deficit disorder? We all do it don’t deny it! You pickup your phone to do one little thing and you end up off on a tangent whether it be a ranting text dialogue with a friend or acquaintance, flipping through Facebook posts or playing the latest game. Your initial action or drive that was sending you to the phone long forgotten and alongside whatever action plan your next hour or two had also thrown to the wind. Or maybe in the middle of a very productive workflow your phone dings and the dopamine triggering text message that just came in requires your immediate attention, despite the fact that it was your friend who is on holiday texting or snapping a photo of their lunch to you. Personally I have picked up my phone to check one piece of information and looked up only to find that I have lost an entire hour and haven’t even completed the five minute task I had intended to do.
Maybe my scenario is not exactly how it goes down for you but in one form or another you experience this and more than likely daily. I mention this so that we can all be aware of this problem. Once you have that awareness what you do with it is up to you. I myself try and be mindful that more often than not it is likely a distraction that takes me away from something productivity. And I am not only talking about while I work but even when I am doing things with my personal time. Challenge yourself to not pick up your phone or at a minimum pick it up and only do the one thing you intended. If you instill this sense of discipline into your life there is a good chance that you will feel good about your own sense of accomplishment and productivity.
With that said and out in the open there is absolutely nothing wrong with reading texts, snapchatting or spending time flipping through social media but like everything else in life do it with purpose and intent so that you’re in control of your behavior. In other words be mindful of your behavior. A smartphone is no excuse to be distracted, inefficient or scatter brained.
So, Avocado is one of the tastiest foods, you can eat it plain, spread it on breads and crackers, add it to a salad or a dish, make it a Dip and even drink it in a smoothie. This “Superfood” is loaded with good fats, and vitamins! Now that we know Avocados are tasty and healthy what are the main reasons to add it to your diet? First of all, they are high in monounsaturated fats that help fight heart disease and reduce cholesterol. Avocados have a ton of antioxidants which help protect your cells, and they are loaded with vitamins like K, C, B5, B6 and E and potassium. This is a big selling point, Avocados contain protein! They also contain folate which is helpful for pregnant women. Avocados can also be used as a healthier and less fattening oil or butter. Want to go a step further than eating an Avocado? They can also benefit your hair! It acts as a moisturizing, shine-boosting hair mask. It can help boost hair growth, strengthen and soften hair. Avocados also help maintain healthy, smooth skin from drying out. Other than it being a tasty treat and delicious additive to any meal, Avocados can do a wonder to your body. Add it to your next grocery list!