SUGAR: Are You a Slave to Sweetness?

Every modern convenience that makes your life easier from electricity to cars; every treat from the global marketplace that you might buy as pantry basics from South American chocolate to South East Asian rice: all are courtesy of a cascade of events picking up speed some 250 years ago.

The Industrial Revolution forever transformed our lives and expectations. It particularly gathered force with the development of the steam engine which powered ships across oceans with unprecedented speed and efficiency. This opened up new markets as more perishable cargo could at last be traded to numerous and further destinations.

Unfortunately this fresh cargo included slaves. The British – master of the seas and many adjacent continents – and other Europeans brutally abducted black Africans and transported them across the world under merciless conditions. They were forced to work until death on the sugar cane plantations of the West Indies and later the United States. The product was so profitable it was called ‘white gold’ and became the world’s largest and most lucrative industry. It enabled nice, Christian ladies to offer hospitality in the form of a dainty sweetener to accompany another exotic import, tea from China (where the British introduced and profited from opium – but that, boys and girls, is another story).

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CAFFEINE: What the Herd Does Is Not Necessarily the Enlightened Choice

Here’s a package deal for you. With one new habit you can look better and feel better while you save a pleasing sum for that home, holiday or car.

Consumer magazine estimates that by cutting out five lattes per week (or other questionable habit) and making the sum an additional mortgage payment instead, you could pay off your house more than seven years earlier. This could save you close to $40,000. Or your savings can make other debts disappear, or go into a nice Something Special for Me Fund.

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MINERALS: Your Most Important Ingredient For Healthy Bones, Nerves, Muscles, Sleep, Digestion, Brain Function, Stress Management and More

Without minerals your heart would stop beating, you couldn’t move a muscle or transmit a thought, and you wouldn’t have a leg – or the rest of your skeleton – to stand on.

Minerals are only found in the soil, and the rocks that erode into it. From there they go into waterways – and thus fish, seafood and ‘sea vegetables’ such as seaweed – or on land are taken up by plants, and the animals and people who eat plants and animals. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are called macronutrients while vitamins and minerals are called micronutrients. Plants can produce vitamins such as the vitamin C in an orange, but they cannot produce minerals. If the soil is deficient then so is the plant and anyone who eats it.

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Are You ACIDIC? Why You Need POTASSIUM to Keep You Alkaline

…and Your Heart Beating; Nerves Calm; Digestion Working; Nails, Joints and Bones Strong

Potassium is powerful: too much or too little can make your heart stop beating. Although many foods contain this alkaline mineral, your storage sites can become depleted if you are frequently stressed, or your body or diet is too acidic (check for aches, pains, reflux and other digestive complaints, coated tongue, bad breath). Your body prioritises keeping your blood slightly alkaline. If it is too acidic, then potassium and other alkaline minerals (especially magnesium and calcium) will be withdrawn from bones, joints, teeth, hair, nails, and your muscles including the heart.

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ACHES and PAINS: What Your Joints, Muscles and Nerves are Trying to Tell You

Arthritis New Zealand states* that by age 65 more than 45% of people have some form of arthritis. Do you have any stiffness, aches, numbness, cramps or shooting pains? Your body is trying to get your attention.

Discomfort is an arrow pointing to Inflammation that urgently requires resolution (see website TIPS for related article). Detective work is needed to determine the causative factors. If these are not addressed then the damage can intensify, move or spread elsewhere, or become systemic and even appear unrelated.

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MAGNESIUM: The Stress-Challenged Person’s Best Micronutrient Friend

Nutrition can be as affected by fashion as skirt lengths are. Calcium for instance, has current cover girl status and its role in good bone structure seems to warrant this celebrity attention.

The workings of the human body though are not based in a star system, but in the interrelationships of equally significant contributors. While calcium can help build bones, without sufficient magnesium – its key partner in life – those bones will be brittle. Likewise calcium allows muscles to contract, but only with enough magnesium are muscles and their owners able to relax.

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CALCIUM: A Marketing-Hype Success Story

Consider this line of reasoning. If all tables have four legs, does that make everything with four legs a table? Or what about the incontrovertible fact that most people who develop breast, ovarian or cervical cancer wear dresses. Should we then assume that dresses cause cancer?

This is the problem when a real or apparent fact is applied broadly and taken out of context – which alters its meaning. Marketers and lobbyists with big budgets have successfully implanted public and institutional mindsets with concepts about calcium that are similarly askew. Calcium is critical for bones: fact. Dairy products contain calcium: fact. Therefore everyone needs milk for their bones: fiction. Yale University researchers reviewed 34 published studies in 16 countries and found that countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis (weak bones) “…are those in which people consume the most milk…”. Read more