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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Calcium and Sodium are Vital Nutrients

Two of the most important health improvements you can make are to build stronger bones with a calcium-rich diet and lower your blood pressure by reducing table salt. The first thing that comes to mind when people hear calcium is dairy products. While dairy products do contain calcium, they are also very acidic to the body. When the body is in an acidic state, it will naturally pull calcium out of the bones to bring the body back to an alkaline state. A much healthier source of calcium is green leafy vegetables. Broccoli, kale, spinach and bok choy are a few calcium-providing winning foods, as they contain a wealth of other nutrients as well, and won’t harm the body.

Vitamin D is also helpful to maintain strong bones because it helps the body to absorb calcium. Physical activity such as walking, climbing, hiking or jogging gets your muscles and bones working together against gravity, making them stronger and giving your heart and metabolism a healthy boost, too.

Table salt is one of those things that many feel they can’t live without, even knowing that too much of the stuff can be fatal. The average American consumes as much as twice the daily amount of sodium, leading to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

If you can reduce the amount of processed foods you eat, you’ll be in much better shape, as these tend to have astronomically high amounts of sodium and other unhealthy ingredients. Start lowering your intake of sodium by choosing no-salt or low-salt varieties of your favorite store-bought products. It takes an extra moment at the grocery store, but will go a long way in improving your health. At home, start using other seasonings in place of salt, such as garlic and onion powder, curry, turmeric, dried and fresh herbs and freshly ground peppers.

Invest in a bottle of good quality Himalayan salt, which is high in minerals and more concentrated in flavor, enabling you to use less with great results. Dynamite-mined varieties tend to be cheaper and lower quality, whereas pick-mined salts are more expensive, yet well worth the price.

Celery salt is another great seasoning option to use as a healthy alternative to traditional salt. You can dehydrate celery and grind it into powder to make your own nutritious seasoning. Be sure to choose organic celery, because this is one of the “dirty dozen” foods that tend to be very high in pesticides.

Energy Calcium Smoothie

Ingredients: 1 apple 3 stalks celery 1 handful sunflower or broccoli sprouts 1 Tbsp dulse seaweed flakes ½ avocado 3 cups spinach or kale 3 cups alkaline water

Directions: Blend all ingredients in the Vita-Mix until creamy. Add water to thin the consistency.

Brenda Cobb is author of The Living Foods Lifestyle and founder of The Living Foods Institute, an educational center and therapy spa in Atlanta, offering healthy lifestyle courses on nutrition, cleansing, healing, anti-aging, detoxification, relaxation and cleansing therapies. For more information, call 404-524-4488 or 1-800-844-9876 and visit LivingFoodsInstitute.com.

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