Top Foods That Can Remedy Insomnia and Give Better Sleep

tart cherry juice for sleepInsomnia and sleeplessness are a widespread problem.  Sleep inducing foods and relaxing minerals are a first-line remedy to help people with insomnia to fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply.

There is a helpful chart below that shows twelve ways to use foods as natural sleep aids.  Many of these foods are high in melatonin and magnesium and are supported by research studies.  This article describes many of these sleep-inducing foods in detail and names the studies that support their use in improving sleep.

Melatonin is a hormone that’s produced in the brain.  At night or in the dark, melatonin is naturally released to regulate the sleep cycle.  A recent study on the use of melatonin-rich foods for sleep appeared in the journal “Nutrients”.  The study was called “Dietary Sources of Melatonin.”

The researchers noted that nuts contain some of the highest quantities of melatonin.  Topping the list are almonds and walnuts.  Almonds deliver a two-part punch as they are also high in magnesium, a mineral known to induce sleep.

Bananas are high in both magnesium and potassium, and each of these minerals are proven to help good sleep in research studies.  The Journal “Sleep” recently reported that the use of potassium for sleep results in significant improvements in quality of sleep and less waking up during the night.

In addition to improving the quality of sleep, potassium has many other valuable health benefits.  Dr. Joseph Mercola writes about potassium in his article: “Potassium Plays a Key Role in Your Everyday Functions.”  He says:

“Sometimes referred to as the “good salt,” potassium is a mineral that helps support a variety of essential body functions, including the contraction of muscles, regulation of body fluids, transmission of nerve impulses, and maintenance of normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels.”

”Since your body does not have the ability to produce potassium naturally, one of the ways for you to maintain optimum levels of it is to eat potassium-rich foods….When it comes to increasing your potassium levels through diet, one of the first foods that may come to mind are bananas — one medium banana contains 422 mg of potassium.”

”However, bananas are far from being your only source of potassium, since you can also obtain this nutrient from the following foods:

  • Beet greens Provides 654 mg of potassium per half-cup.
  • Swiss chard Contains 962 mg of potassium per cup.
  • Acorn squash Provides 996 mg of potassium per cup.
  • Avocado Contains 364 mg of potassium per half-cup.
  • Spinach Contains 740 to 838 mg of potassium per cup.
  • Baked potato flesh and skin – Contains 941 mg in one medium potato.
  • Wild-caught Alaskan salmonProvides 534 mg of potassium per 3-ounce serving.
  • Plain yogurt Contains 579 mg of potassium per cup.”

Continuing on, those experiencing sleeplessness or insomnia should definitely include more of these healthy sources of potassium in their diet.  And even more vital than potassium, the two most famous minerals for calming insomnia are calcium and magnesium.  This is what makes warm milk one of the most popular natural sleep aids.

James F. Balch, M.D, author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes that: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”  The European Neurology Journal supports this with their study showing that the normal course of sleep can be restored by increasing calcium levels in the body.

Regarding the use of minerals for insomnia, a study called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium” discusses the differences between calcium and magnesium and their effects on sleep.  The author notes that the type of insomnia associated with a calcium deficiency causes difficulty with falling asleep.

On the other hand, the classical sign of magnesium deficiency is insomnia characterized by falling asleep easily, but awakening frequently throughout the night, with individuals finding themselves tired even after several hours of sleep.

Chronic insomnia is known to be one of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Sleep in magnesium deficiency is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. A high magnesium, low aluminum diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. This was proven in a study titled “Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women.”

A balanced ratio of calcium to magnesium is important to overall health and the two minerals should be taken together for best results.  The best calcium and magnesium ratio is twice as much calcium as magnesium.

One natural insomnia remedy showing good results is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs.  This natural sleep aid contains potent forms of calcium and magnesium, the best known minerals for relaxation and sleep, as well as for restless leg syndrome, stomach health, teenage insomnia and menopause insomnia.  The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbed than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot.  I wake once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.  This has been a great improvement.”

Sleep inducing foods and minerals are a healthy alternative to taking sleeping drugs. Make good use of them as an insomnia remedy.  Enjoy the chart below and be sure to visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

12 foods that help sleep

Diabetes Prevention: Study Finds Specific Fruits are Remedies

                  
Because of the natural sugars in fruit, one might think that it should be avoided in order to prevent diabetes.

On the contrary, a study recently published in the British Medical Journal has found that greater consumption of specific whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, is significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (adult-onset diabetes), whereas greater consumption of fruit juice is associated with a higher risk.

Fruits are very rich in antioxidants, which are substances that protect our tissues from the reactions of oxygen inside the body.  Natural processes such as digestion and metabolism create accumulated oxygen reactions that contribute to the aging and disease process.  Fruits are good at neutralizing these particles and are also a valuable source of fiber and plant coloring and pigments that have beneficial health effects.

The study on fruit’s effect on diabetes prevention was centered at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.  Participants totaled 187,000 people and were women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1984-2008), women from the Nurses’ Health Study II (1991-2009), and men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2008).  They were all free of major diseases at the starting point. Questionnaires were used to collect detailed data.

While blueberries, grapes, and apples provided the most benefits for diabetes prevention, blueberries provided the greatest advantage when three servings per week were eaten — a 26% reduction in the odds to develop diabetes.  Servings of cantaloupe on the other hand, increased the risk by 10%, and three servings of fruit juice increased the risk by 8%.  Peaches, plums, apricots, prunes, oranges, and strawberries had a neutral risk for diabetes.

Blueberries have other significant health benefits as well. The bilberry fruit is a close cousin to the famous blueberry. During World War II, British fighter pilots reported improved nighttime vision after eating bilberry jam.

One of the most important studies on bilberries was done by researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center in Boston, MA. The researchers used an enriched extract of bilberry in a test tube along with human retina cells. The cells were exposed to oxygen damage and bilberry was shown to have a profound antioxidant effect – protecting and reversing the damage.

Bilberry removed the stress in eye tissue, which is a strong indicator that it can safeguard the eyes against disorders of aging such as macular degeneration (blurred vision), cataracts (cloudy vision) and glaucoma (eye pressure on the optic nerve).

So let’s get that fruit out for dessert and eat it for refreshing, nourishing snacks!

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, arthritis, aches and pains, stronger hair, better nails, and more energy.

Good Stomach Health: Top Four Most Proven Remedies

Stomach healthGreetings to you,

The stomach, intestines and bowel are vital to good health as they are the processing center for all our foods and beverages.

When our intestinal tissues are healthy and pain-free, the nutrients we eat get absorbed well into the body and nourish every cell and organ.

Sometimes the stomach and intestinal areas may become sore, irritated or upset and can benefit from some natural remedies to heal them.  The lower bowel can also become inflamed or irritated and this may be a sign of hemorrhoids.

Here is a summary of some of the most proven remedies for the stomach and intestines, with links to the products most recommended by Nutrition Breakthroughs.

Standard Process has a superior product line for stomach and intestinal health. This company grows the great majority of their whole-food ingredients on their own certified organic farm and performs repeated testing to ensure the quality and safety of their supplements. Many of their formulas were introduced as early as 1929 and have stood the test of time.

* Gastrex by Standard Process: This is a gentle supplement made from condensed whole foods that helps to support digestion and acts to cleanse toxins from the small intestine.  It also has been proven to soothe sores in the stomach, increase health in the tissues, and even heal ulcers.  Gastrex contains okra, which is valued for its edible green seed pods. Okra has been proven in studies to relieve ulcers.  See the reviews of Gastrex here: https://amzn.to/2UYv8V6

* Collinsonia by Standard Process: A wonderful herb that helps to normalize the intestinal tract and related organs such as the liver.  It is also effective for vein health and remedying hemorrhoids according to an article taken from the American Materia Medica. It assists in keeping the bladder and kidneys healthy as well. See the reviews of Collinsonia here: https://amzn.to/2V3WJ7D

* Cataplex C by Standard Process: This is a whole food version of the famous vitamin C. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to anus. Chron’s disease is one form of this and the symptoms can include stomach pain, diarrhea, fatigue and malnutrition.

In one study, it was found that 7 out of 10 people with Chron’s had a severe vitamin C deficiency – so vitamin C is highly recommended for any type of intestinal ailment.  See the reviews of Cataplex C here: https://amzn.to/2KEbjP9

* Organically Bound Minerals by Standard Process: Mineral deficiency can have a
profound effect on our intestinal heatlh.  One study showed that a deficiency of
magnesium leads to inflammation in the small intestine, as well as significant
changes in nearby and remote organs and increased overall stress in the body.

Organically bound minerals contain natural kelp and alfalfa.  These are high in magnesium and potassium and can assist with good enzyme functioning as well as encouraging healthy connective tissues and aiding nervous system health.  See the reviews here: https://amzn.to/2X98aYX.

In summary, irritations in the stomach, intestines and bowel can be helped and even remedied.  Here’s to the very best intestinal health for all.

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs shares easy to understand information from new discoveries.  Visit us often to learn about the most effective natural alternatives to drugs.

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(The product links above are directed to nutritional products on Amazon.  When you purchase these products, this site will receive a small commission.  This helps to support the nutritional research done by Nutrition Breakthroughs).

Antidepressants Can Lead to Hot Flashes, Night Sweats and Insomnia

hot flashes night sweatsHot flashes and night sweats create a sudden feeling of warmth and often a breakout of sweating in the upper half of the body.

These flashes are experienced by up to 80% of women around the time of menopause, and also by men due to a lessening of testosterone in middle age.

Hot flashes are normally brought on by a reduced function in the brain’s temperature regulation, caused by changing hormone levels.  Night sweats that occur while sleeping can cause overheating and frequent awakenings.

Another source of hot flashes are medications. According to WebMD, “Taking certain medications can lead to night sweats. Antidepressant medications are a common type of drug that can lead to night sweats. From 8% to 22% of people taking antidepressant drugs have night sweats. Other psychiatric drugs have also been associated with night sweats.”

The “Sleep in America” poll results from the National Sleep Foundation found that more than half of all Americans (60%) experience a sleep problem every night or almost every night.  Interestingly, a ten-year study to discover which drugs are used to treat insomnia was published in the journal “Sleep”.  The study found that prescriptions for sleeping medications have decreased by 53.7%, but that antidepressant drugs prescribed for insomnia have increased by a surprising 146%. Examples of antidepressants prescribed for insomnia are trazodone, doxepin, trimipramine, and amitriptyline.

Medications may not always have the desired effects.  For example, Drugs.com says the following about an antidepressant drug called Welbutrin — “Nervous system side effects have frequently included headache (27%), insomnia (16% to 33%)….and sleep abnormalities.”  Health.com lists some other possible side effects of antidepressants as sexual dysfunction, weight gain, dry mouth and throat, racing pulse, confusion, disturbed dreams, and an increased risk of suicide.

On the other hand, Nature has provided us with some natural sleep remedies and relaxants that have stood the test of time.  Regarding mineral deficiency as we age and at the time of menopause, the pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis says, “The amount of calcium in a woman’s blood parallels the activity of the ovaries. During the menopause, the lack of ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) can cause severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur, including irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, and insomnia. These problems can be easily overcome if the intakes of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are all generously increased and are well absorbed.”

One sleep remedy that’s increasing in popularity is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep aid contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for restless legs syndrome, bone strength, aches and pains and menopause insomnia. The formula also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making the minerals more quickly assimilated than tablets or capsules.  The softgel formulation provides a deeper, longer-lasting sleep and is an effective alternative to medications.

Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable.  After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep.  I have much less interruption from flashes, I’m sleeping much better and I’m a lot more comfortable.”

Alex R. of Ramseur of North Carolina says: “Sleep Minerals II has been a blessing for me.  It has given me the opportunity to withdraw from a highly addictive sleep medication over time, and has allowed me to sleep while going through this most difficult ordeal.  What’s great about it is it doesn’t lose its effectiveness, which is something that happens with sleep medications.  I am most thankful for this product.”

In summary, while antidepressant medications and other drugs are being prescribed widely for insomnia, natural remedies for sleep and relaxation should be tried first.  Those with absorbable calcium and magnesium have been proven effective.  And they come without side effects such as hot flashes and night sweats and can even be a good remedy for these.  For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Enzymes: The Secret to Vibrant Health and Energy

This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
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Greetings to you,

Health-conscious people have often asked: “What are enzymes and what can they do for my health and energy?”  And also, “What effects do an enzyme deficiency have on my body?”

The magic of enzymes is that they are a delicate lifelike substance found in all living animal and plant cells.  They are energized protein molecules that are essential for digesting food, repairing tissue, and creating virtually all of the chemical reactions in the body. 

Life cannot be sustained without them, and because our bodies produce only so many enzymes during our lifetime, there are less and less of them available as we age (1). This may lead to poor digestion and blocked absorption of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients we need for good health.

Digestive enzymes are made in the pancreas and released into the intestine to break down food and turn it into energy.  Raw food enzymes are obtained from eating raw foods such as fruits and vegetables. Foods high in natural enzymes are avocados, bananas, mangos and sprouts. 

Cooked and processed foods are depleted of all of their enzymes.  Another type of enzyme is a metabolic or systemic enzyme. These are also made by the pancreas and other glands, but they travel directly through the bloodstream and initiate chemical reactions inside the cells that orchestrate life’s processes in every organ, gland, tissue and cell. 

It is a key part of our nutrition to eat raw foods and to take enzyme supplements when eating cooked or processed foods, in order to not rob the body of the metabolic enzymes it must have to keep the body running. When there aren’t enough digestive enzymes, the body forces its metabolic enzymes into use to digest our food. 

This takes them away from their vital duties of repair, maintenance and infection fighting, all of which need constant attention.  Enzymes from raw food or supplements act to reduce the burden on the body’s natural healing powers, allowing it to perform its natural self-curing function.

Enzymes can either be taken with food or on an empty stomach.  When enzyme supplements are taken on an empty stomach, 45 minutes to one hour before meals, they stimulate the immune system to engulf and remove waste material such as bacteria, cysts, and tumors (2), and they can treat a variety of conditions. 

Many studies have confirmed the successful use of proteolytic (protein digesting) systemic enzymes for treating a wide variety of conditions.  They have benefited arthritis and eased the pain of sports injuries.  They are used to control inflammation and swelling, to bring about faster recovery after surgery, and to maintain good heart health by breaking down fats and cholesterol (3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11).

Proteolytic systemic enzymes include bromelain, papain and pancreatin.  Taken between meals, they can fortify the blood and be stored for later use when needed.

Without enough enzymes, our digestive tract deposits a large quantity of toxic material from undigested food into our blood, which is carried throughout our body.  It accumulates over time and contributes to many chronic health problems and conditions. The body has to use up a lot of its energy in order to digest enzyme-deficient foods.  By using supplemental enzymes, you can divert this energy right back to yourself!
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This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
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REFERENCES:

1.Enzymes: The Foundation of Life. Neville Press, Inc.1994.

2.Oral Enzymes – New Approach to Cancer Treatment. Munich, Germany: Forum-Medizin, 1996 

3. Pliml W, et al. Effects of ribose on exercise-induced ischaemia in stable coronary artery disease. Lancet 1992;340:507-10.

4. Zuschlag JM. Double-blind clinical study using certain proteolytic enzyme mixtures in karate fighters. Working paper. Mucos Pharma GmbH (Germany). 1988;1-5. Rathgeber WF. The use of proteolytic enzymes (Chymoral) in sporting injuries. S Afr Med J. 1971;45:181-183.

5. Shaw PC. The use of a trypsin-chymotrypsin formulation in fractures of the hand. Br J Clin Pract. 1969;23:25-26.

6. Rahn HD. Efficacy of hydorlytic enzymes in surgery. Paper presented at: 24th FIMS World Congress of Sports Medicine; May 27-June 1, 1990; Amsterdam.

7. Vinzenz K. Treatment of edema with hydrolytic enzymes in oral surgical procedures [translated from German]. Quintessenz. 1991;42:1053-1064.

8. Seltzer AP. Minimizing post-operative edema and ecchymoses by the use of an oral enzyme preparation (bromelain): a controlled study of 53 rhinoplasty cases. Eye Ear Nose Throat Mon. 1962;41:813-817.

9. Blonstein JL. Control of swelling in boxing injuries. Practitioner. 1969;203:206. 26. Zatuchni GI, Colombi DJ. Bromelains therapy for the prevention of episiotomy pain. Obstet Gynecol. 1967;29:275-278.

10. Tassman GC, Zafran JN, Zayon GM. Evaluation of a plant proteolytic enzyme for the control of imflammation and pain. J Dent Med. 1964;19:73-77.

11. Gylling U, Rintala A, Taipale S, et al. The effect of a proteolytic enzyme combinate (bromelain) on the postoperative oedema by oral application. A clinical and experimental study. Acta Chir Scand. 1966;131:193-196.

Why Do Some People Get a Charley Horse? (Muscle Cramp)

young women calf pain on white backgroundBy Dr. Joseph Mercola, a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine who provides up-to-date natural health information.
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This article is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium, magnesium and vitamin D based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.
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A charley horse, or muscle cramp particularly in your calf muscles, is an incredibly common condition that results in your muscles becoming tight, stiff and extremely painful. If you’re an adult, there’s a good chance you’ve had one at some point (and likely multiple points) during your lifetime.

In case you’re a trivia buff and wondering why these muscle cramps are referred to as “charley horses” (a name that’s primarily used in North America), it’s said to be a tribute to Charley “Old Hoss” Radbourne, an 1880s-era baseball pitcher who often suffered from muscle cramps during games.

Another version states the term came from a lame work horse named Charley who limped around doing various jobs around the baseball park (also in the 1880s).

Whenever a baseball player would get injured or have a cramp in the lower legs, thus limping around like Charley the horse, teammates would call the player “Charley Horse.” Regardless of the name’s origin, the pain of a charley horse is unmistakable and can be excruciating.

What Causes a Charley Horse?

According to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, about 1 in every 3 adults is affected by muscle cramps in their lower limbs. In many cases, the pain is temporary and goes away on its own, but for some the cramps interfere with sleep, quality of life and daily activities.

In one study of more than 500 people aged 60 years and older, 31 percent reported being woken up by muscle cramps and 15 percent had cramps more than three times a month. Anyone can get a charley horse, but they’re most common in the following populations and scenarios:

  • During exercise
  • At nighttime, especially in the elderly
  • In pregnant women
  • In people with neurological disease
  • During kidney dialysis

It’s not clear what triggers a charley horse to occur, but it is thought the cramp may be related to a rapidly firing nerve (up to 150 electrical dischargers per second), which causes the muscle to tense up, as opposed to an issue with the muscle tissue itself.

Many medications are also associated with muscle cramps, including statin cholesterol-lowering drugs, ACE inhibitors (blood pressure drugs), certain asthma drugs, diuretics and more. In addition, the following factors may also increase your risk of a charley horse:

  • Poor blood circulation in your legs
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Dehydration
  • Mineral deficiencies, including magnesium, potassium or calcium

magnesium and menopauseIs Magnesium Deficiency Causing Your Charley Horses?

By some estimates, up to 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium and may be deficient. Other research shows only about 25 percent of U.S. adults are getting the recommended daily amount of 310 to 320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400 to 420 for men.

Magnesium is often thought of primarily as a mineral for your heart and bones, but this is misleading. Researchers have now detected 3,751 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins, indicating that its role in human health and disease may have been vastly underestimated.

Further, if you suffer from charley horses, low levels of magnesium could be to blame. Magnesium is necessary for activating muscles and nerves, and a key sign of ongoing magnesium deficiency can be muscle contractions and cramps like charley horses.

Magnesium deficiency may be particularly problematic for your muscles in the presence of an overabundance of calcium. Americans in general tend to have a higher calcium-to-magnesium ratio in their diet, averaging about 3.5-to-1.

If you have too much calcium and not enough magnesium, your muscles will tend to go into spasm. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, a medical and naturopathic doctor:

“What happens is the muscle and nerve function that magnesium is responsible for is diminished. If you don’t have enough magnesium, your muscles go into spasm.

Calcium causes muscle to contract. If you had a balance, the muscles would do their thing. They’d relax, contract and create their activity.”

This underscores the importance of eating a nutritious diet, which will naturally give you optimal amounts of the minerals and other nutrients your body needs.

Eating plenty of organic leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds every day, and drinking fresh green vegetable juice will help keep your magnesium stores replenished. In addition, Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate that can absorb into your body through your skin.

Soaking in a bath with Epsom salts is an excellent way to not only help prevent magnesium deficiency but also to soothe and relieve the pain of a charley horse.

potassiumLow Potassium Levels May Also Trigger a Charley Horse

Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte. (An electrolyte is a substance that produces an electrical conducting solution when dissolved in water. Electrolytes carry a charge and are essential for life. In our bodies, electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium).

Potassium is essential for your cells, tissues and organs to function properly. It plays a vital role in heart health, digestive and muscular function, bone health and more. One of the symptoms of low potassium levels is muscle cramps.

While potassium is found in many foods commonly consumed in the U.S. — including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, salmon, sardines and nuts — only 2 percent of U.S. adults get the recommended daily amount of 4,700 mg.

This is especially problematic because potassium is a nutrient that needs to be kept in proper balance with sodium in your blood. If you consume too much sodium, which is common if you eat a lot of processed foods, you’ll have an increased need for potassium.

Others who are at particular risk of low potassium, or hypokalemia, are those with chronic malabsorption syndromes, such as Crohn’s disease, or those taking heart medicine (particularly loop diuretics). However, anyone who eats a poor diet — an excess of processed foods and not enough fresh, whole foods — is potentially at risk of inadequate potassium levels and related muscle cramps.

Green vegetable juicing is an excellent way to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients for optimal health, including about 300 mg to 400 mg of potassium per cup. Some additional rich sources of potassium are:

  • Lima beans (955 mg/cup)
  • Winter squash (896 mg/cup)
  • Cooked spinach (839 mg/cup)
  • Avocado (500 mg per medium)

Foods rich in calciumToo Little Calcium May Trigger Muscle Cramps

While too much calcium in the absence of magnesium can be problematic for muscle cramps, so too can a calcium deficiency. Low blood levels of calcium (as well as magnesium) may increase the excitability of nerve endings and the muscles they stimulate.

This may be a trigger for muscle cramps, especially in the elderly and during pregnancy. If you’re deficient in vitamin D, meanwhile, your body may have inadequate calcium absorption, again predisposing you to muscle cramps.

It’s very important to maintain a proper balance of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and also vitamin K2, as these four nutrients perform an intricate dance together, with one supporting the other. If you’re calcium deficient, your best bet is to increase consumption of foods high in calcium before opting for a supplement. This is because many high-calcium foods also contain naturally high amounts of vitamin K2; nature cleverly gives us these two nutrients in combination, so they work optimally.

Good sources of calcium include nuts, seeds and raw, organic, grass-fed dairy especially cheeses, and vegetables, although veggies aren’t high in vitamin K2. One exception is fermented vegetables where a starter culture specifically designed to produce ample amounts of vitamin K2 was used.

Homemade bone broth is another excellent source. Simply simmer leftover bones over low heat for an entire day to extract the calcium from the bones. You can use this broth for soups and stews or drink it straight.

What to Do If You Get a Charley Horse

A charley horse often occurs without notice, sometimes waking you up from sound sleep. If you’re lying down when the pain starts, stand up and put some weight on your foot. Walking around will help to increase blood circulation to your muscles and possibly help to soothe and relax the cramp.

charley horse stretch leg crampYou can also try a simple stretch. If the cramp is in your calf in the back of your lower leg, pull your toes and foot upward until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg. You can also do this sitting down with your legs outstretched. Put a towel around your feet and gently pull both ends toward you until you feel a stretch.

As mentioned, soaking in an Epsom salt bath may also help to relieve pain (and possibly help with prevention). Massaging the area and applying a heat pack, which will increase blood flow to the area, promoting healing and soothing pain, may also help.

Staying well-hydrated is also important for muscle cramp prevention. You’ll want to drink enough pure filtered water so that your urine is pale yellow in color. In addition, performing regular stretching exercises on your legs may help reduce your risk of a charley horse.
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Comment from Nutrition Breakthroughs: Interestingly, the same mineral deficiencies that can cause charley horses are the same ones that can cause sleeplessness and insomnia.  Studies show that calcium and magnesium are effective natural sleep aids.  Highly absorbable forms of these minerals are featured in the Sleep Minerals II softgels. For more information visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

8 Ways to Select the Highest Quality Food

Greetings to you,

I’ve included a great chart below that contains the top eight ways to select the highest quality food and the most healthy fruits and vegetables.  Feel free to share it with others.

For example, studies have shown that organically-grown foods provide many benefits such as higher levels of health-giving plant chemicals, higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in organically raised milk and beef, and a lack of pesticides.  Pesticides are strong chemicals used to kill insects on fruits and vegetables and they’ve been linked to reproductive harm and other illnesses.

Animals that have free-range access to the outdoors (rather than being kept in crowded cages) and that are fed non-gmo feed, can truly give us a healthier way to eat meats. 

Best of health,

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs
Maker of Natural Sleep Aids and Joint and Pain Relief Products

8 ways to select quality foodShared by Nutrition Breakthroughs

Yogurt and Acidophilus: The Top 10 Major Health Benefits

Greetings to you,

There is an informative chart below with the top 10 health benefits of yogurt and acidophilus. These include improving digestion, reducing the risk of diabetes, assisting weight loss, reducing cholesterol and stimulating a stronger immune system.

One study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming yogurt or the beneficial bacteria from it, has promising health benefits for many conditions and increases immunity. Some of these include constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, stomach bacteria infections and allergies.

A study on yogurt was published in the journal called “Archives of Osteoporosis”. It reviewed the ability of yogurt to strengthen bones and found that milk and yogurt are the best dairy choices for increasing bone mineral density in the hip.

Yogurt is a boost to weight loss. A healthy supplement similar to the acidophilus used in yogurt was recently found in a Canadian study to help overweight women lose weight and keep it off.  It was discovered that the supplement made the intestinal wall stronger and more able to prevent inflammatory, obesity-causing substances from passing into the intestine and entering the bloodstream.

Yogurt is great for strengthening and boosting one’s immunity against infection and illness per studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  In particular, yogurt with the Lactobacillus bulgaricus form has been shown to reduce the frequency of colds in older adults after they ate it over a twelve-week period.

This news is shared with you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of natural health articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails, and more energy.

Yogurt benefitsNutrition Breakthroughs.com

The Healthiest Fats for Good Skin, Hair, Nutrition and Sleep

Greetings to you,

There’s a helpful chart below that shows the healthiest fats for glowing skin and hair, as well as for good nutrition of the organs and hormones.  All hormones are formed with healthy fats, so eating more of these foods can nourish you in many ways.

Eating healthy fats with our meals can play a vital role in helping us sleep better and achieve overall greater health as these provide the basic building blocks for cholesterol production — a surprisingly healthy substance in our bodies.  The best fats to eat are nutrient rich foods like eggs, natural butter, salmon, sardines, cod liver oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and coconut oil.

For example, a healthy heart and long life are associated with eating walnuts.  They have been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and also extend life spans in general. Walnuts contain the amino acid l-arginine, which offers protective benefits for the heart.

Walnuts can be a good sleep inducing food.  Eating a handful of walnuts before bedtime may be a good way to soothe sleeplessness and insomnia. Russel Reiter, Ph.D., a professor of cellular biology at the University of Texas says, “Relatively few foods have been examined for their melatonin content. Our studies demonstrate that walnuts contain melatonin and that it is absorbed when it is eaten.”

Avocados are a healthy, creamy, tasty food, whether they sit on top of a sandwich, an omelet or a salad — or become transformed into guacamole. The healthy fats in avocados balance hormones and this food features over twenty vitamins and minerals.

In summary, eating good healthy fats can enhance one’s health in many ways. This information is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II.

Nutrition Breakthroughs

How to Use Coconut Oil for Healthy Gums and Teeth

By Kayla McDonell, RD (Registered Dietician) | Courtesy of Authority Nutrition

coconut oil teeth gums*************************************
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II *************************************

Coconut oil has been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason.

It’s linked to numerous health benefits, including weight loss.

There have also been claims that it can clean and whiten your teeth, while helping to prevent tooth decay.

This article examines the latest research on coconut oil, your dental health and teeth.

What is Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from coconut meat, and is one of the world’s richest sources of saturated fat.

However, coconut fat is unique because it is made almost entirely of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

MCTs are metabolized differently than the long-chain fatty acids found in most other foods, and have many potential health benefits.

Lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid that makes up almost 50% of coconut oil. In fact, this oil is the richest source of lauric acid known to man.

Your body breaks lauric acid down into a compound called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin can kill harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses in the body.

According to research, lauric acid is more effective at killing these pathogens than any other saturated fatty acid (1).

What’s more, studies suggest that many of the health benefits associated with coconut oil are directly caused by lauric acid (2).

The most popular ways to use coconut oil for your teeth are using it in a process called “oil pulling,” or making toothpaste with it. Both are explained later in the article.

Bottom Line: Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the meat of coconuts. It is high in lauric acid, which has been known to kill harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses in the body.

Lauric Acid Can Kill Harmful Mouth Bacteria

 

One study tested 30 different fatty acids and compared their ability to fight bacteria.

Of all the fatty acids, lauric acid was the most effective (3).

Lauric acid attacks harmful bacteria in the mouth that can cause bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease (4).

It is particularly effective at killing an oral bacteria called Streptococcus mutans, which is a leading cause of tooth decay.

Bottom Line: The lauric acid in coconut oil attacks harmful bacteria in the mouth that can cause bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.

It Can Reduce Plaque and Fight Gum Disease

 

Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, involves inflammation of the gums.

The main cause of gum disease is the buildup of dental plaque due to harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Current research shows that coconut oil can decrease plaque buildup on your teeth and fight gum disease.

In one study, oil pulling with coconut oil significantly decreased plaque buildup and signs of gingivitis in 60 participants with plaque-induced gum disease (5).

What’s more, a significant decrease in plaque was noticed after just 7 days of oil-pulling, and plaque continued to decrease over the 30-day study period.

After 30 days, the average plaque score decreased by 68% and the average gingivitis score decreased by 56%. This is a major decrease in both plaque and gum inflammation.

Bottom Line: Oil pulling with coconut oil helps decrease plaque buildup by attacking harmful mouth bacteria. It can also help fight gum disease.

It Can Prevent Tooth Decay and Loss

Coconut oil attacks Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus, which are the two groups of bacteria primarily responsible for tooth decay (6).

Several studies suggest that coconut oil can reduce these bacteria as effectively as chlorhexidine, which is the active ingredient used in many mouth rinses.

For these reasons, coconut oil can help prevent tooth decay and loss.

Bottom Line: Coconut oil attacks the harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay. Studies have shown that it can be as effective as some mouth rinses.

How to Oil Pull With Coconut Oil

 

Oil pulling is a growing trend, but it’s not a new concept.

In fact, the practice of oil pulling started in India thousands of years ago.

Oil pulling is the act of swishing oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes and then spitting it out. In other words, it’s like using oil as a mouthwash.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth.
  • Swish the oil around for 15–20 minutes, pushing and pulling it between teeth.
  • Spit out the oil (into the trash or toilet, since it can clog sink pipes).
  • Brush your teeth.

The fatty acids in the oil attract and trap bacteria so each time you oil pull, you are removing harmful bacteria and plaque from your mouth.

It’s best to do this right away in the morning, before you eat or drink anything.

Bottom Line: Oil pulling is the act of swishing oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes and then spitting it out. It removes harmful bacteria and plaque.

Homemade Toothpaste with Coconut Oil

 

Coconut oil has many uses, and you can also make your own toothpaste with it.

Here is a simple recipe:

Ingredients

  • 0.5 cup coconut oil.
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda.
  • 10–20 drops of peppermint or cinnamon essential oil.

Directions

  1. Heat the coconut oil until it becomes soft or liquid.
  2. Stir in the baking soda and mix until it forms a paste-like consistency.
  3. Add the essential oil.
  4. Store toothpaste in a sealed container.

To use, scoop it with a small utensil or toothbrush. Brush for 2 minutes, then rinse.

Bottom Line: In addition to oil pulling, you can make your own toothpaste using coconut oil, baking soda and essential oil.

Take Home Message

Coconut oil attacks the harmful bacteria in your mouth.

It can reduce plaque buildup, prevent tooth decay and fight gum disease.

For these reasons, oil pulling or brushing your teeth with coconut oil can significantly improve oral and dental health.

This nutrition article is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, providing joint relief, better hair and nails, and more energy.

Article source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coconut-oil-and-teeth