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Magnesium for the mind

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Magnesium is the second most important mineral to take as a supplement. The most commonly deficient mineral is zinc. Our food is grown in soil depleted of magnesium, because of chemical fertilizers. Our grandparents didn’t have this problem – they didn’t have so much depression, either.

Patients with depression can be helped with magnesium.

It has been known for almost a hundred years that magnesium can help in relaxing and getting sleep. It is helpful in depression, anxiety, headache and memory loss. It is also useful in chronic stress, because the adrenal glands use magnesium.

Could you believe that green leafy vegetables play a role here again! They are just incredibly healthy, what can I say?  Green vegetables, especially dark, leafy ones, are rich in magnesium – this mineral is part of the “green molecule”, the chlorophyll. Also seeds and nuts are excellent sources of magnesium.

Sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds are food for the mind, because of magnesium as well as the good oils in them!

Those who train  a lot physically, usually know to take extra magnesium. The muscles need it. Taking it prevents muscle pain and  helps recovery after hard training. It is difficult to be relaxed if your muscles are all tensed. Magnesium helps!

If you have a tendency for depression, eat enough green vegetables! At least one big plateful every day,  always with olive or rape-seed oil on the top, maybe nuts, too.  If you don’t fall asleep, take magnesium ( 300 mg ) in the evening, before bedtime. If you have chronic stress, you need more magnesium. Never take more than 350 mg  a day as supplements.

How do you know, if the intake of magnesium is too high? It’s simple: it will cause diarrhea. So, having too little can be a cause of constipation.

Take care! Remember to eat green, again! I love the green stuff, as you have noticed by now…

“Where are you?” N:o 25 The enmity in the history

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THE STORY OF EDEN AS AN INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD HISTORY: SPIRITUAL DEATH AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

“Then the Lord God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this you are accursed more than all cattle and all wild creatures. On your belly you shall crawl, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your brood and hers. They shall strike at your head, and you shall strike at their heel.'” Gen.1: 14-15

The story of the garden of Eden in the beginning of the Bible is as important reading as the rest of the Bible. You can consider the story as an introduction that already contains the core of the whole book.

The serpent had broken the harmony in the garden. The man was now spiritually dead and had to begin a new in the land of thorns and thistles, which is where we all are now. Also the serpent got its share of the curse.

The end of the story of Eden, the curse that came upon man and all the land, has long consequences in our history. The enmity would be leaving its stamp on everything in the human history from then on.

Watching nature programs on TV we can learn a lot about wildlife, for example about snakes. Normal snakes do not eat dust. They eat living animals which they paralyze with their poison. They can swallow animals bigger than themselves. After such a meal they are full for a long time.

“On your belly you shall crawl, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.”

God didn’t talk about the diet of snakes here. Dust was for the devil, after he was cursed. If he hadn’t been telling lies, he could have had a wonderful time in Eden. He was allowed to be there!

The enmity between man and the devil is there all along. The history is full of it. It is the consequence of spiritual death. It is something we have to know to understand better.

Then, what does an antioxidant do?

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This week I was amazed to learn that even people very near me do not know what the term antioxidant means. I realized that I have kept talking about something that may mean nothing to most people.

An antioxidant is a substance that prevents our own molecules from being oxidized.

Our surroundings (like the air) contain oxygen and nitrogen ( so-called free radicals) that try to bind and destroy our molecules. This chemical binding leads to changes in our body. The result of this  is to get older and sicker all the time. The molecules in our tissues get oxidized – that is what life is about. Getting oxidized is about the same as burning slowly.

For example the fatty acids in our cell walls get rancid. After that the cells get damaged easier. As a consequence of this process, we might get ill, at least if the damage continues. Some of the damage can be repaired, and a lot is being repaired all the time. That, however, has a limit.

The antioxidants may prevent cardiovascular diseases, cancer, macular degeneration, obesity etc. They prevent inflammation, which is the basic phenomenon behind many illnesses.

Thus, if you wish to stay healthy and good-looking, take care of your diet: it should contain about 7000-20 000 units of ORAC every day.

ORAC is oxygen radical (free radical) absorption capacity, read more in previous post under health. It means antioxidants. The most powerful of them are different herbs, berries and many green and colourful stuff (and onions!). They should be our main food, in order to get enough antioxidants!

“Where are you?” N:o 24 To grasp God’s secret

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“I want them to continue in good heart and in the unity of love, and to come to the full wealth of conviction which understanding brings, and grasp God’s secret. That secret is Christ himself; in him lie hidden all God’s treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Col.2:2-3

Christ himself is the Knowledge, the Wisdom, the richest and deepest information of all. He is Logos, the Word of God. He is also a secret – we don’t fully understand everything that is hidden in him. It is too big for us.

Paul had got the gift of faith, the mustard-seed, so that he could see how the things are. He wanted everybody else to have these same overwhelming views of the universe, too.

Do you remember Julian of Norwich (b. 1342) and the tiny little thing like a hazel-nut?  She was shown that thing, round as a ball. It contained all that ever had been made, the whole of the universe. ( Read more in “Where are you?”  N:o 7 The revelation of God’s love and N:o 9  Love is not an emotion).

The  revelation of Julian helps us to realize how immense is the size of God. If so infinite a person wants to create human beings, to be a man himself in Jesus and to be in contact with us people, what are we to resist it?

Are we afraid of stepping outside of the warmth of everything cosy and familiar?

What is this comfort-loving life of ours worth, compared to eternal life with the secret of God? The big thing is there for us to grasp. That’s not a secret.

Herbs and spice – super antioxidants

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Green stuff like herbs and fresh spice are quite healthy if eaten with moderation. They are actually quite powerful containing a variety of different active compounds. They are all rich in antioxidants.

There is a measure of the ability to bind oxygen radicals, called T-ORAC (micromol/100g).

The T-ORAC of  dried rosemary is 165 280 and of fresh estragon 15 542. Fresh peppermint has also 13 978. Fresh garden dill has T-ORAC of 4392 and parsley 1 301. The higher the count the stronger the antioxidant activity. Banana’s T-ORAC is 221-879 and redbeet’s 841-1767, just for comparison.

And strawberries have a T-ORAC 1540-3577, wild strawberries being the best.

The tasty herbs used as a spice are all biologically potent and when they are dried the  intensity is concentrated. We should be aware of this and maybe not use the same herbs every day. The herbs have a long list of active compounds and some of them are not healthy for all people in large amounts.

If we have trouble with our liver or kidneys, not every herb is healthy. Rosemary protects the liver and is good for the peripheral circulation. However, in large quantities it can be harmful for kidneys. Parsley is good for the urinary tract and prostatitis, but contains myristisine, which is toxic for liver. I wouldn’t eat it every week. Also pregnant women should not eat large amounts of herbs or strong spice.

Herbs are the most powerful antioxidants existing.

We should learn how to make good use of the diversity of herbs and spice. Thus we would get all the good antioxidants in them and live happily and healthy ever after.

“Where are you?” N:o 23 Faith gives substance to our hopes

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“And what is faith? Faith gives substance to our hopes, and makes us certain of realities we do not see. By faith we perceive that the universe was fashioned by the word of God, so that the visible came forth from the invisible.” Hebr.11:1,3

Wouldn’t we want that all the most wonderful things would be true? Looking with the eyes of faith they are! As adults we have difficulty in believing in things as we have lost the ability to plunge into anything that isn’t immediately a 100% certain. Ar we hardened by the disappointments in life? Every disappointment takes us further away from the world of a child. In a child’s world even fairy tales can be true.

The world of faith can be compared to the world of fairy tales in that both of them are at first seemingly unreal. The best of all fairy tales (best that you could ever imagine) become reality to us when we see everything through faith. All the questions are getting answers, all the mysteries of the universe become clear.

Faith is really like a glue that sticks the visible and the invisible together. The invisible becomes as real as the visible was before.

The concept of life gets new. The whole idea of the universe is changed if we perceive it by faith. Everything in relieved.

It is getting free, no more being stuck. What a relief it is to have faith in Jesus! He gives real substance to the best of our dreams and hopes.

Getting the most out of the Youth Vitamin

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I have heard the vitamin K called the youth vitamin. It can make our arteries younger by cleaning them. Our vitality is based on good circulation. The arteries must be kept in good condition in all times. That’s where we need green stuff. Vitamin K in green leafy vegetables effects on the calcium metabolism, by actually taking care of the right address of calcium: to the bones, not to the arterial walls.

About half of our daily need of this vitamin is coming from the food, about 75-150 micrograms. The other half is manufactured in the intestinal tract. The metabolism is dependent on normal bile secretion and normal bacterial flora in the gut.  Women having 100-250 micrograms of vitamin K in the daily food, have less hip fractures, according to one study.

However, there is one stumbling block to getting this otherwise abundant vitamin: the natural forms of it (K1 and K2) are fat soluble (the synthetic K3 is not). The absorption of vitamin K from food is totally dependent on fat. There is great inter-individual variety in the absorption rate, but also even greater in eating the stuff with oil or without any fat.

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Eating all the green stuff with oil or butter enhances the absorption of vitamin K many folds, in some study even 25 fold! So never ever eat lettuce or broccoli without oil on the top. Do have butter melt on the top of the steamed kale, Savoy cabbage or Brussel sprouts. All of them are more delicious with some fat, a little salt maybe, and black pepper. But what really matters is fat.

I have to keep telling this to people every day. Some of my patients have never heard of the importance of eating fat together with vegetables. Having the fat on the top of the right foods can make a very big difference for health.

Getting the most of the Youth Vitamin is insured by eating the veges with fat. This can help keeping the circulation going all the time.

“Where are you?” N:o 22 Faith no bigger even than a mustard-seed

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“I tell you this: if you have faith no bigger even than a mustard- seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there!”, and it will move; nothing will prove impossible for you.” Matth.17:20

The mustard-seed is famous for being very small. Peculiar that Jesus is using something so small here and on the contrary something so big as a mountain. It must be that he wanted to make this fact about faith completely clear to everybody: we don’t need a big faith!

What Jesus is saying here, is that a faith as small as we can imagine, is perfectly enough. I have heard so many people struggling for getting more faith, needlessly indeed. If we can imagine something very small, just like a little seed, it is really nothing compared to a mountain. But Jesus says, that it can move a mountain.

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Faith isn’t something that we grow by ourselves. It is always given from God. We can, however, do something: we can read Bible. That is all we need to do by ourselves. Not to struggle at all. It is God’s business to give us faith. And he will: he’ll always give enough. You don’t ever have to believe more. You don’t have to have super faith. Why? Because faith is the most powerful thing in this world indeed.

A little amount of faith is like a hurricane in its power. Jesus himself is comparing it to a natural disaster, where a mountain is ripped from its roots.

Faith is about opening our hearts to the Word. That makes us more dependent on him. We might even become smaller. You don’t have to get bigger and stronger. Even your faith doesn’t have to be more than just that little seed of a mustard. It’s really simple and easy. It’s ment to be.

Vitamin K, our friend in green

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Vitamin K is fat soluble like A and D. It is produced in the healthy gut but the dietary intake is of value, too. It has an important role in strengthening our bones – a partner of vitamin D in that sense. Many of us don’t know that vitamin K also helps our arteries to keep clean by moving the calcium to the bones. Otherwise calcium might deposit in the walls of arteries – this is more likely to happen in shortage of vitamin K.

Vitamin K has its major role in blood clotting, for ex by working in the formation of prothrombin. However, we don’t have to be afraid of too much clotting if we eat a lot of this vitamin in vegetables. The problem lies in having too little: people who avoid vitamin K  by avoiding eating green, get trouble for ex. in their eyes. Now I’m talking about patient with medication against blood clotting.

Those having dicumarol treatment (or warfarin, Marevan) should not eat less green than before the medication. On the contrary, the dosage is modified to suit the amount of dietary vitamin K intake.

It’d easy to get this super vitamin if you eat a lot of green stuff. We all should. It is found in all leafy greens: the darker green, the better. Excellent sources are broccoli, chard (I love it!), green lettuce, spinach, kale, asparagus and green peas.

More about this super Green Vitamin in a week or so. Keep eating the over mentioned stuff!

“Where are you?” N:o 21 Action of the mind

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Faith is opening our hearts to the truth that has been there all along, long before us. We are just newcomers to this joyful communion that was existing already in the garden of Eden, when everything was just perfect in the beginning.

“For we have become Christ’s partners if only we keep our original confidence firm to the end.” Hebr.3:14

Keeping the confidence firm happens in our mind, or heart. That’s where we decide what our attitude to the truth is. This isn’t work – it doesn’t take any energy. A little action of our mind is however very decisive considering the whole course of our life. Having faith has very long consequences. All that has to happen in our heart – the attitude of our heart is what matters something.

Now we are used to exercising our body – going to gym etc. What really is needed is that action of the mind that makes all the difference.