Welcome back to our second set of questions and answers about the Chemical Quadrant. If you missed part one, you can catch it here. Our friends on Facebook asked some great questions about the Chemical Quadrant, and we answer the rest of the questions below.
Cuky C. H.: What is a chemical remedy for deep thigh and calf muscle cramping when sleeping?
There are a lot of reasons why leg cramps happen at night. But since you asked specifically for a chemical remedy, the first I would try is magnesium. You may have heard the old wives’ tale to eat a banana, which is one of the foods very high in magnesium. Other than bananas, you have two options, you can take magnesium glycinate as a supplement, or you can rub magnesium oil or magnesium lotion on your legs before bedtime.
Dr. Norm Shealy explains that 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium and it has a variety of health impacts, one of which is our muscles.
Gail H.: Bone broth! Sounds like something Hansel and Gretel ran from. What is it? What does it do?
Bone broth is all about gut health. It can heal your gut and promote healthy digestion. It boosts your immune system, reduces inflammation, detoxifies your liver, and promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Bone broth is full of a variety of ingredients, and in combination they deliver these great effects. Researchers have isolated which ones relate to which result, but there is also research being done on food combinations. So taking one of these ingredients out might not have the same effect. But since it is interesting to know the science behind the food, let’s look at a couple of the ingredients:
Gelatin and nutrients help with gut health. The combination of nutrients help reduce inflammation in the gut which helps with digestion and heals the gut. Bone broth attracts and holds liquids, which also helps with digestion. Bone broth has several amino acids. Two of them, glycine and proline, help detoxify the liver. Collagen and hyaluronic acid are the two ingredients in bone broth that are beneficial for skin, hair, and nails.
If you click on the image below, you can view or print a full page copy that includes information and recipes. There is also a detailed recipe in my free ebook, Small Changes, Big Shifts. And Jackie Caldwell provided us with a little more information and her own recipe in our article on healthy skin.
Christina H.: Question: Collagen! How do you use it? Drink it in your coffee or smoothie? Where do you get it and what does it do?
I mentioned above that one of the beneficial ingredients in bone broth is collagen. It is beneficial for digestion and gut health and for hair, skin, and nails.
Many people are now advocating consuming collagen as a supplement or added to food so that you can easily get the hair, skin, and nails benefits from it. But for me, the primary benefit of collagen is helping the gut heal. If the gut is healthier, we are going to be healthier all over.
Collagen heals the gut because it is a protein that forms connective tissue. So getting more of it in our diet can seal the thinning or leaky membranes of our digestive system. It also breaks down other proteins, which makes our food easier to digest. A lot of inflammation begins in our digestive system, and collagen can help soothe that and make our whole body system work better.
Collagen helps skin, hair, and nails because it is one of the primary components of those tissues. As we age, our bodies start producing less collagen. This is why you might start to have ridged nails that split or break really easily, thinning hair, and thinning skin. As people age into their 80s and 90s, you will notice how thin and papery their skin is — because their bodies aren’t producing collagen. Consuming more collagen in your diet can replace what is not automatically produced and can strengthen your skin, nails, and hair.
There are now a wide variety of collagen products on the market. Most of them are a powder that can be added to smoothies, or any other beverage. People have developed a variety of recipes that you can also add collagen powder to, but I think drinking it in a green smoothie is the easiest way to add it to your diet, and I like this brand.
While we have an excellent opportunity to supplement our diets with these great products, none of these should replace having a variety of plant-based foods in your diet. Drinking apple cider vinegar or collagen, no matter how good they might be, will not replace a healthy lifestyle and diet.