Vitamin D and D3 (Cholecalciferol) – Read This or Be Forever in the Dark!

Vitamin DVitamin D is essential to our survival, that’s why it’s called a Vitamin – the “vita” part is taken from Latin and means ‘life’.

Most people know that – it’s no secret…but what many people don’t know about are the health benefits that Vitamin D actually provides, and not just in the avoidance of something negative either.

Sure, you won’t get rickets if you grow up with the minimum daily amount, but there is far more to the “sunshine vitamin” than escaping death and avoiding the bowed legs.

What’s even less understood by people about Vitamin D is the quantity you need on a daily basis to really get the benefits from it. It shouldn’t be taken lightly either, because it can make difference between happiness and depression, strength and perpetual fatigue, sexual health and limp libido…and yes, the difference between a long life and premature death.

Vitamin D – The Benefits

Clinical trials and other scientific studies have fairly well nailed down Vitamin D’s health effects:

  • Strengthens Bones and reduces fracture risk
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Boosts Testosterone
  • Reduces Fat Mass
  • Improves Cognitive Function. Mood, Emotional Stability and Brain Health
  • Encourages Life Longevity and improves general functionality of the elderly
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Decreases risk of Asthma Attacks
  • Reduces incidences of Type-1 Diabetes
  • Improves Insulin Sensitivity (anti-diabetic inc. Type II)
  • Reduces risk of CardioVascular Disease
  • Reduces risk of Colorectal and Pancreatic Cancer
  • Reduces risk of Multiple Sclerosis (and reduces symptoms if already suffering)

Got all that?

Good…let’s move on.

Vitamin D – A Global Insufficiency

The majority of people are not deficient in Vitamin D, but they do have an insufficient amount in their system.

The fine line between those two terms: deficient and insufficient is that a deficiency will cause dramatic health problems, whereas as insufficiency will cause more subtle health problems that are nonetheless negative on both a physical and mental (cognitive and emotional) front.

37th Parallel

Reason 1 – Lack of Sunlight

Girl in the sunshineVitamin D is also called the sunshine vitamin or sunlight vitamin because it is synthesized in our bodies when the Sun’s radiation hits our skin.

There are several reasons why you might not get enough sunlight to synthesize an adequate amount of Vitamin D but one very large factor is your geographical location.

People who live above the 37th parallel (line of latitude) do not see enough sunshine throughout the year to make sufficient Vitamin D. Summer, perhaps, but even then, much of that is spent indoors working.

By the way, there is a lot of the globe above the 37th – just check it out. Most of North America for one thing.

And we mentioned another reason above; a LOT of people work in offices, warehouses, shops, workshops etc. without getting much real sunlight.

Reason 2 – Diet

Glass of MilkIt’s hard to get enough Vitamin D from your diet, and most of us don’t eat the right things anyway.
Oily fish is one of the best sources, but even then you’d have to eat like a seal to get what you need in Vitamin D.

In the case of Vitamin D, your diet should almost be viewed as a bonus to the primary collection method – the Sun. Read above: Reason 1 to see the problem there.

Vitamin D “fortified” foods give somewhat of a false sense of security as well. They generally contain a token amount (100 IU) which isn’t much to write home about, especially if the price tag is bumped up because of it.

Reason 3 – Old Health Data and Ridiculous Governments

Woman Doctor

Ignore government health advice. We have science.

Would you believe us if we told you that government health agencies are stupid? Yes, yes, you probably would.

Well, it’s true. The Recommended Daily Allowance in most developed countries is still pathetically low. Oh, you might not die if you get as much as they advise, but you sure as hell aren’t going to be at your peak.

It’s almost as if they want a weak and sickly population. And then they complain about the burden on the hospitals and care givers. It’s infuriating.

Canada, for example, is a country well and truly above the 37th Parallel. Hell, it’s above a country that is mostly above it!!

…and they recommend that adults over 50 take a daily supplement of 400 IU Vitamin D. And as if that doesn’t suck enough, they say men and women between 19 and 50 should aim for 600 IU a day from their diet AND supplements.

To cap it off, they advise the safe upper limit is 4000 IU per day!

Idiots!

A New World Order – At Least 2000 IU a Day!

DoctorWhat hope do we have, seriously, if governments are useless, nature is mean, and living anywhere but near the equator isn’t sunny enough?

We have science, that’s what.

Thankfully, there are ongoing studies in the field of nutrition and supplements, and the researchers don’t just stick with information from the mid ‘90s when they are considering the necessities of human health.

What we should be looking at is a minimum daily intake of 2000 IU (an International Unit – 1000 IU = 25 micrograms).

Most governments think 4000 IU is the ceiling, above which you should not go, but there are plenty of people taking more than this quantity per day, and only getting positive effects from it.

There are cases of much higher doses but from our perspective we would probably say that between 2000 and 4000 IU in the form of supplementation is good enough for rock and roll.

Types of Supplements and D3

There’s a few types of supplement, from capsules to softgels, liquid and tablets, but if you remember the general rule that Vitamin D is soluble in fat – and therefore should be taken with food (inc. a source of fat) – then you can’t really go wrong.

Vitamin D3 – aka Cholecalciferol is more bioavailable than its D2 cousin, so if you have the choice, which you will, take the D3.

Final Thoughts

ApprovedMagnesium is a mineral that is often undervalued and under-dosed. You can read about magnesium here.

If you are taking a multi-vitamin, it might be an idea to replace it with more specific supplements, like a separate Vit D3 and a Magnesium. Multi-Vitamins tend to include the bare minimum, which is why you’ll probably find the 400 – 800 IU Vitamin D dose on the label.

The other option you have is to take a supplement which is geared towards physical performance, such as Prime Male (read the review here).

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you are getting enough of this essential Vitamin.

Magnesium – The Most Important Mineral You Never Cared About

Magnesium Symbol WoodMagnesium is not in the headlines, it sounds like something your chemistry teacher used to bore your tits off about on a Wednesday afternoon, and it certainly doesn’t sound nearly as cool as passiflora caerulea, whatever the hell that is.

But…magnesium should be in the headlines, it was something your chemistry teacher explained (and you probably should have listened) and it does a bog load more for you than that passithingywhatsit shite.

There are lots of reasons why people in the third world are deficient in a multitude of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, but there are precisely ZERO reasons why the average person in the social-media-infatuated developed first world might ever be deficient in anything in their entire life.

And yet…it’s one of the most common deficiencies in the developed world. Second only to Vitamin D.

And that’s just stupid.

What’s the Big Deal?

Magnesium is an essential mineral – “essential” being the key word here. You can’t love without it and you can’t be healthy with too little of it. You can be okay with just enough of it, and you can be Optimus Prime with the perfect amount of it.

So, if you had the choice, would you want to be a wet fart or the leader of the Autobots?

Here’s what magnesium does for you:

  • Keeps your Blood Pressure in the green
  • Improves Insulin Sensitivity so you don’t become a Type II Diabetic
  • Increases Bone Mineral Density
  • Helps you Sleep Deeply
  • Boosts Muscle Oxygenation and Aerobic Exercise
  • Protects your Brain from Depression, Seizures and ADHD
  • Reduces chance of Migraines and reduces frequency if you get them often
  • Helps Relieve Symptoms of PMS

If any of the above evokes feelings of longing, then you might be a good candidate for the global magnesium correction program (not a thing) and perhaps you might start thinking about getting more from (a) your diet, or (b) a supplement.

Magnesium is supposed to be the second most prevalent electrolyte in your body. Pretty much wherever there is fluid in your body, there should be a certain concentration of magnesium. And considering we are basically just sacks of fluid held together by bones – which, by the way, also need magnesium – it’s a pretty big deal!

Fair Enough – What About the Diet Thing?

Yes, magnesium is in food. Yes, you can correct a magnesium deficiency with diet. No, most westerners and first worlders don’t eat enough of the right foods.

We’re talking about:

  • Leafy greens – e.g. spinach, swiss chard
  • Other veg – e.g. potato skins, tamarind, okra (ladies fingers), Edamame
  • Nuts and Seeds – e.g. almonds, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, cashews
  • Fruit – e.g. prickly pear
  • Beans and Legumes – e.g. peas, black-eyed peas
  • Soy produce – e.g. Tempeh, soy beans, soy nuts, tofu (that’s been made with Mg)
  • Fish and Seafood – e.g. salmon, mackerel, crab, pollock
  • Other – e.g. quinoa, toasted wheat germ, All Bran

Meats and poultry don’t contain much magnesium at all, and neither do nearly all grains. Basically the food types that much of the first world diets are based on.

When was the last time you took a crab sandwich and quinoa salad to work for lunch, with a little bag of almonds for a snack?

Not only do most of these foods satisfy a good portion of your magnesium quota, but they are good for you in all sorts of other ways.

How much Magnesium do we Need per Day?

Between 200mg and 400mg per day is recommended. Average portions of the example foods above contain between 40 and 90mg.

Some things like shell-less pumpkin seeds give you over 300mg of magnesium per 1/4 cup.

Talk To Me About Supplements

SupplementsSupplements are a good way to boost your dietary intake so that you are reaching that daily 200 – 400mg.

In fact out of all of the essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients, we highly recommend a supplement or supplements that at least fill out your Magnesium, Vitamin D3 and Zinc requirements. Others are easier to get from your food, but those three will get you on your way.

There are multi-vitamins available, but they are often dosed according to recommended daily allowances, which come from antiquated studies done by government health agencies about a thousand years ago. For example, most countries’ RDA for Vit D3 is 400 to 800 IU, which is just not enough for an adult that lives above the 37th parallel.

Supplements designed with physical performance in mind are probably your best bet. They usually come with a good Vitamin and Mineral base that takes exercise and sweating into account. They usually contain additional ingredients for helping you grow muscle, burn fat, boost testosterone, or a combination of some or all of them.

Prime Male

read about PRIME MALE – click the link below the article

Testosterone boosters often have a decent lump of Magnesium, Vitamin D and Zinc in them because they are all associated with elevated testosterone levels.

Vit D and Zinc have been proven in this context and the jury is still out on Magnesium, but whether it does or not, it’s good to have it in healthy doses in those products.

Take a minute to read our review of Prime Male – it’s one such supplement that does it all. We can’t say enough about it. For the modern man, it’s a must-have…

Click Here to read it

Smoothies – You Need Them In Your Life

Fuelling your Day Ahead

waking upWhen you wake up in the morning, you have gone quite a few hours without eating. What you eat and drink at this point in the day is critical in determining how the rest of your day will go.

You may not think that breakfast is important to you, with regard to your energy levels and cognitive function throughout the day, but I’m willing to bet that this is because you are either a habitual breakfast avoider, or you don’t get the right stuff into your system when you do.

A coffee and a donut just don’t cut it.

Even if you think you’re fine without breakfast, that’s excellent news, because imagine what you’d be capable of with a good fuel-up first thing in the morning.

Maybe you don’t like to eat just after you have woken up, perhaps you don’t have time to fix something healthy because you’ve got the kids to get ready for school, or you’re just a rusher in the morning and need to get in the car, on the bus, metro, or whatever else.

That’s all fine, because there isn’t a scenario that can’t be solved with smoothies. All of the usual excuses – valid or not – for being a breakfast no-show can be turned around with the whirr of a blade.

Fuel Endure Recover

cardioIf you’re an active person then there’s even more reason to start getting into smoothies, but really the Fuel-Endure-Recover philosophy can be applied to any day that you need to function at your best, whether it’s power, endurance, concentration or motivation you need.

No matter what your level of activity during a day (and I hope there’s quite a bit), there’s a smoothie that can help you get ready for it, get through it, and get over it.

We’ll get into why liquidizing food is a good idea in a second, but you might be put off straight away by the thought that you will have to go out and spend a ton of money on a blender…

Do I Need a Fancy Blender?

smoothiesThe short answer is – No.

You will no doubt have heard of the top-end brands of blenders like Vitamix or BlendTec, and be thinking ‘I’m not spending that much just to make a few smoothies every week.’

Well, don’t worry because the type of blender I’m going to demonstrate most of the smoothies on this website can be bought for less than $40. So, why does anyone get a super expensive blender?

A Vitamix, for example, is so powerful it can be literally measured in horsepower! Power has certain advantages where blending is concerned: tougher foods require more of it to truly liquidize them. In some cases, this can make it more pleasant to drink and makes it quicker to digest, and also absorb more of the nutrients.

Yes, in a perfect world, everyone would have a super powerful blender, but the difference they make is not worth breaking the bank if the cost is too much at the moment.

You may want to graduate to one after a while, and there may be times that I will use one to demonstrate something particular, but I have purposely avoided ‘needing’ one so that I can show you it’s possible to be a smoothie maker on a low budget.

Why Are Smoothies a Good Idea?

I’ve touched on a couple of the reasons in the previous sections, but I’ll add and expand on those.

Nutrient Density

You can fulfill many of your daily requirements for Vitamins, Minerals and the Macro Nutrients (protein, carbohydrate, fat), which would be impossible by making a solid breakfast

Digestion and Absorption

A liquid meal is broken down much easier and faster than solid food, meaning you get the benefit a lot sooner.

Bio-Availability

When you smash the solid material that makes up a food’s structure, you can force the release of a lot more of the nutrients that might otherwise make it through your system locked up and purged as waste.

Time Saving

You’ve noticed the words like quick, easy, fast that I keep associating with smoothies. You might think you don’t have time to make anything, but trust me (and we will time one or two of them for this purpose) you can blitz out a drinkable breakfast in the shake of a dancing bear’s skirt.

Light Breakfast

For those people with an aversion to eating a lot at breakfast, drinking is way easier to cope with

They are NOT Fruit Juice

Fruit juice is basically taking the good parts of fruit, throwing them away and then leaving you with the sugar to drink. They might even add sugar and other flavouring compounds. When you blend fruit, it keeps the tasty juicy stuff but also the very important fibre and other nutrients normally discarded by the juice makers

Weight Loss

If losing some excess baggage is your goal then you will have a much better chance by incorporating a meal replacement smoothie every day.

This can be because you can take on more nutritional value in less calories. Also, there are even ingredients you can use which can induce a direct thermogenic fat-burning effect.

I’m not sure we need any more benefits to smoothies actually. If you’re not sold at this point, you’re never going to be.

So Should I Just Blend Everything?

crunchy walnutsNot at all, that’s not what this is about. There are some people who are built to go full-bore at something, and I’m going to say that liquidizing every meal is not a good idea. Sure, a smoothie a day, or even two, is a great way of boosting your nutritional needs, but keep it at that.

Don’t start replacing every meal with a smoothie, if for no other reason than it will make you sick of them after a while.

There’s a definite mood-boosting factor to biting, chewing and crunching solid food and I would consider my life a nightmare if I had to live without those sensory experiences, not to mention the fact that it’s probably the better way to really taste your food.

So remember, keep a balanced outlook on this and you can’t really go wrong.

Here’s a couple to have a go at in the meantime, and we’ll try and get some more recipes on here:

  1. Fuel Smoothie – The Mochana
  2. Recover Smoothie – The Provacana