A deficiency in which micronutrient is the single greatest cause of mental retardation and brain damage?
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(The good news is it's easily prevented by adding iodine to salt)
Just one example that when it comes to micronutrients, it's the little things that are a very big deal
A few other interesting facts
At least half of children worldwide, ages six-months to five-years, suffer from one or more micronutrients deficiencies. Globally more than two billion people are affected (!)
It's calculated that every dollar spent on nutrition delivers between $8 and $138 (US) of benefits
Many European countries add fluoride to salt, instead of to water.
People who live near rocky, glacial waters tend to live longer, healthier lives than people who don't. Scientist think it's at least partially because of their natural access to trace minerals like zinc, selenium, and copper
When it comes to cooking, steaming our food is best for preserving micronutrients
Refined and processed foods have been bleached and leached of the natural micronutrients we need. Afterward, they're filled with the chemical version of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that were originally taken out (yikes!)
Today a continuation of a short series about micronutrients
Part I covered what micronutrients are, a brief history of their discovery, and how minerals are categorized
How do Micronutrients Interact?
All of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients form a beautiful web of interconnections, not only in nature but also in our bodies. In fact, if we drew a circle and labeled the nutrients sound the outer edge and drew lines to represent their relationships, in short order the circle would be filled in
Therefore, the first place to get our nutrients is (again) from a wide variety of organic, natural foods. Whole foods nutrients while, just as important, they'll be present in the ratios our bodies need.
For example, magnesium can't function without calcium. Zinc + copper work hand in hand, although too much of one will deplete the other. Sodium + potassium, if we aren't getting them in the proper ratios
they aren't effective
Micronutrients as Biological Modifiers
Jeffrey Bland's work includes the concept of micronutrients acting as biological modifiers.
In other words, food is truly medicine and will have a profound impact on our bodies. Too few nutrients, and we won't be able to maintain our health. Too much, whether the nutrient comes from food or supplements, and toxicity will set in.
For example, Vitamin E, for which the RDA is ten international units.
At less than 10, IU's, disease will surely follow. At the RDA disease isn't typically seen, although that doesn't mean we're free and clear. When it's bumped up to 100 IU's, the lungs are far more resistant to infection. At 400 IU's, fat is metabolized much better, and it's very effective at reducing inflammation. At 800 IU's, our immune system is far more competent. At 1200 IU's +, mild toxicity can set in
The key is to stay within optimal levels, that are typically far above the RDA. Those that promote health and wellness. Levels that allow us to recover from injury, illness, or trauma.
A concept developed in the early 1960s by Dr. Roger Williams. The belief that everyone is biochemically unique, and therefore, not everyone is going to do as well with the same amount of nutrition.
His experiments started on inbred guinea pigs, and then applied the science to humans. What he discovered was remarkable. One person may need 60 mg of Vitamin C, where somebody else may need 10 g to yield the same levels in their blood
With these variations, what kind of measurements should we rely on? The RDA's?
It can get tricky. As you're working with your health professional, you'll want to always keep tabs on how you feel. Not just as nutrient levels are modified, but also as the depletors come into and out of your days
What are some of these depletors that reduce the efficiency of the micronutrients? Do the conditions our food is grown in make a difference? What are the functions of micronutrients?
A new recipe to share, for an easy and deliciously moist honey cake. It's rich, nicely spiced, and a standout in both taste and stature
The kitchen smelled wonderful while it was baking
One of those cakes that are both distinctive and memorable in an understated way. Like most honey cakes, it can be made a couple of days ahead and is as good on the day of baking as it is days later.
ps: You can read more about Micronutrients in Part I | Part III | Part IV of the series
References used include: The Micronutrient Miracle by Jayson Calton and Mira Calton .. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon .. Advanced Nutrition: Macronutrients, Micronutrients, and Nutrition by Carolyn D. Berdanier and Lynnette A. Berdanier .. Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch .. UnitedCallToAction.org .. SightAndLife.org .. Unicef.org .. The South Coast Insider .. WorldHealthOrginization.org
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~ Adapted from Bon Appetit
Spiced Honey Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅔ cup natural sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ vanilla bean split lengthwise
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 3 oz cream cheese, at room temp
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- pinch kosher salt
- ½ vanilla bean split lengthwise
- 1 (13.5 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk, cream separated from milk, at room temperature
- bee pollen, fennel fronds, edible flowers, and berries (for topping and serving; optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Coat a 9" cake pan with non-stick spray and line bottom with a parchment paper round.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and whisk to combine
- In another bowl, add the sugars, oil, honey, egg, and egg yolk and mix to combine.
- Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg and sugar mix until it's pale and thickened (~ 4 minutes)
- Reduce the mixer's speed to medium-low and gradually pour in orange juice and buttermilk.
- Beat until frothy (~ 2 minutes)
- Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients. Beat just until smooth and homogenous (it will be thin, similar to pancake batter).
- Pour into prepared pan and bake until cake is golden brown and the center springs back when gently pressed (a cake tester will not come out clean), 45–55 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in pan (~ 20 minutes)
- Run a knife around edges of the cake to loosen and invert onto rack
- Let cool completely before serving
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar, lemon zest, and salt and scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; saving the pod for another use
- Beat on low speed until mixture is very light and thickened (~ 2 minutes) and then scrape down sides of the bowl.
- With motor running, add the coconut cream by the tablespoonful and beat until very soft peaks form (saving coconut milk for another use)
- Pile frosting on top of the cake and spread to edges (it’s okay if it cascades over the sides).
- Decorate with bee pollen, fennel fronds, flowers, and berries, if desired.
You are right! Food truly is medicine and it helps nourish our soul. Without micronutrients we wouldn’t be able to function. This spiced honey cake is something I could definitely eat right about now !