Rockin’ With Minerals

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I remember one time going garnet hunting with my aunt, uncle and their rock-hound friends.

It was desert, for sure – sun high overhead, sinking down its rays into my head and body and heating up the sand where my feet where crunching up a hill. There had been an earthquake recently, but only big enough to loosen up rocks and shake out hidden things in the ground.

Which was perfect for us rock hunters. Deciding it best to put my hat on despite the interference of the wide brim in looking for rocks, I was becoming profoundly irritated at hearing individual cries from the group, “I found some!….I found some more!…..Yeehaaa, check out this one! ”

I, alas, had found none.

I was told they were so easy to find because the earth did the shaking up for us and they were literally sitting on the ground. After many moments of eye squinting while the rebel yells continued, I sat down with a hmmphff in complete and utter frustration to finally see a small dusty deep purple-red stone in front of my foot.

And the more I focused on it the more others just seemed to pop up all around.

Yippeee! There’s gold, er, garnets in them there hills!

And so my love of rocks began.

How can rocks be important in health? Because they are the storage bins for minerals. Every living cell on this planet needs minerals for proper function and structure. From the formation to blood and bone, proper balance of body fluids and maintenance of healthy nerve function to the regulation of the heart beat and body muscle, minerals basically run the show of the body’s activities.

David Wolfe, author of “Eating for Beauty,” tells us that the beauty of our hair, skin and nails depend on how mineralized we keep our body. And he’s right. Stored in the bones and muscles, minerals activate the cell’s metabolic processes and the importance of having significant amounts of both the major and trace minerals shows outwardly in our appearance and inside in the precision workings of our internal system.

What are the minerals? The major ones consist of calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and phosphorus. The micro or trace elements are chromium, copper, iron, germanium, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, silicon, sulfur, vanadium and zinc.

Minerals are pulled out of the soil by plants. So it is vitally important to grow our food in mineral-rich soil so we can absorb the minerals from plants into our bodies. Eat organic! Commercially grown foods are produced with chemicals and have far fewer nutrients than organically grown.

Better yet, eat homegrown vegetables that are mineral rich and grown with love and care.

Deteriorating bones become so prevalent due to mineral imbalance from poor food choices. Ingest calcium/magnesium/phosphorous rich foods for bone health. For calcium eat deep green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, dandelion and mustard greens.  Apples, avocados, watercress and sesame seeds are a good source of magnesium.  Chow down on some raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds for a healthy way to intake phosphorous.

Sulfur-rich brussel sprouts, cabbage, and garlic boost the immune system by disinfecting the blood and helping the body resist bacteria.

For more immune system bolstering, keep selenium roaming your body. It inhibits the oxidation of fats, making it a vital antioxidant, preventing the formation of free radicals that play havoc on the body. Brazil nuts, brown rice, molasses, onions and whole grains carry a nice amount of selenium.

A deficiency of zinc might manifest in the loss of the senses of taste and smell so eat your legumes and pecans and well, if you’re into slippery, snotty texture, oysters might be to your liking.

The healthy food list is endless when it comes to treating yourself to a mineral-rich diet. So when you pick up a rock – and I highly advise you to – check it out, this ancient substance in your hand and the minerals that keep it bound together, just like the minerals that bind your body in health.

Slip it into your pocket as you once did as a kid. Mother Earth won’t mind a bit.

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