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Alternative Medicine Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food

Why Water Alone Doesn’t Hydrate the Body: Dehydration, Minerals, & Adrenal Exhaustion


If you have been dutifully drinking your 8 eight-ounce glasses of water daily, here’s why you aren’t getting the benefits you believe you are:

Tap water and bottled water are purported to contain some minerals, varying in content from source to source.

However, most bottled water is expensive and may not be any better than tap water, which can have dangerous substances in it such as remnants of pharmaceutical drugs and other chemicals, heavy metals like chromium, lead, and arsenic, plus the added chemicals fluoride and chlorine.

According to this report from ABC News:

“20/20″ took five bottles of national brands of bottled water and a sample of tap water from a drinking fountain in the middle of New York City and sent them to microbiologist Aaron Margolin of the University of New Hampshire to test for bacteria that can make you sick, like e. coli. “There was actually no difference between the New York City tap water and the bottled waters that we evaluated,” he said.

According to Body Ecology:

  • Tap water is municipal water that comes out of the faucets and has been treated, processed and disinfected. It is purified with chlorine and generally has added flouride. But one of the byproducts from using chlorine in our drinking water is linked to cancer1.
  • Distilled water can be any kind of water that has been vaporized and collected, leaving behind any solid residues, including minerals. Distilled water has no minerals in it at all.
  • Reverse osmosis water has been forced through membranes that remove larger particles, pollutants and minerals. Reverse osmosis water is usually acidic2.
  • Deionized water has had ionized impurities and minerals removed from it but not bacteria or pathogens.

In general, most of the water available is lacking in essential minerals we need for health. Mineral deficiencies can cause just about every major disease and symptom known to humankind including rapid heartbeat, headaches (including migraines), 

If you are chronically dehydrated, you may be suffering from symptoms of adrenal exhaustion:

  • Sugar cravings
  • Salt cravings
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling thirsty or dehydrated, and need to drink a lot of water at one time
  • Sleep issues: falling asleep, wake in the night or wake early in the morning
  • Tension, nervousness, anxiety or panic

Adrenal glands are found just above your kidneys, and in combination with your thyroid, work to generate energy for your body. Together, these organs secrete critical hormones for health including something called aldosterone. This hormone is secreted by your adrenals and regulates the concentration of minerals and water levels in the body – such as sodium and other minerals – to keep you hydrated.

Another important job your adrenal glands have is to regulate the body’s response to stress. In modern life, stress is frequent and acute, thus creating a constant state of adrenal fatigue. This issue is so rampant, in fact, most people suffer from it – especially women. The more stress you have, the more hormones like aldosterone and salt circulate in the body.  As stress levels begin to fall, aldosterone tapers off and sodium must exit the bloodstream. Your kidneys process salt, and as it leaves your body in the form of urine, water goes with it.

So, the more stress you experience, the weaker your adrenal glands will become, which means the more you will have to rehydrate. That’s why even if you are drinking water all day long, you may not be getting the rehydration through adequate mineral repletion your body needs for good health.

What can we do to obtain enough minerals in our diets?

  • Drink nettles infusions
  • Make and consume bone broths from the bones of pastured animals and birds (cattle, bison, lamb, poultry, etc.)
  • Eat foods from pastured animals and birds – meat, eggs, poultry, dairy, raw milk
  • Eat cultured foods – yogurt, kefir, sour cream, cultured vegetables made from home
  • Use cell salts homeopathic tablets or liquid minerals – add the liquid minerals to your filtered water and stocks and soups you make at home. I have been using Best Process Trace Minerals as recommended by my Naturopath, and I’m noticing a huge difference in the way I feel.
  • Drink mineral water or filtered water with added minerals, fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, or unsweetened cranberry juice

13 more ways to rehydrate and nourish your adrenal glands:

  1. Make sure to consume plenty of liquid gradually throughout the day, and  don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink a large amount.  If you drink too fast, you risk diluting your blood, which may cause faster excretion of water by the kidneys. Everyone needs different amounts of liquid, but a good rule of thumb is to drink half your weight in ounces. If you weigh 150, drink 75 ounces. This can be mineral water or water with minerals added. Fulvic acid is an excellent substance to add to water.
  2. During meals, consume 4 ounces of liquid or less. Drinking more than this dilutes the hydrochloric acid and other stomach juuices your body produces to properly digest your food.  Small amounts of warm or hot liquid such as bone broths, or cultured vegetable juices, or other fermented drinks like water kefir or kombucha will help you to digest your food better.
  3. Avoid processed, packaged, and junk foods. Make sure you are eating a healthy diet with real food with plenty of healthy fats and proteins.
  4. During and after you exercise, make sure you replace lost fluids with water. When we exert ourselves and sweat, our bodies lose salt and minerals, so replacing them is critical.
  5. Avoid beverages and chemicals such as alcohol, soda, and coffee. These substances cause mineral depletion.  Coffee, tea, soda, and alcohol are diuretics and cause the body to release liquid and minerals.  The kidneys are triggered to excrete water but  by triggering the kidneys to excrete pure water without releasing toxins stored in the body.
  6. Consume kelp, dulse, nori, or other sea vegetables. These foods are a good source of minerals. Kelp flakes are a very good addition to your diet and are extremely versatile for adding to soups, stews, casseroles, and many other meals as they don’t change the taste of your food.
  7. Consume safe-source seafood.  As well as being a rich source of Vitamins like A and E and Omega 3 essential fatty acids, these foods are some of the best sources of important minerals available: especially iodine, selenium, and zinc.
  8. Consume plenty of proteins and fats from animals and birds on pasture. Grassfed meats and poultry, eggs, raw dairy foods like butter, milk, yogurt, and kefir, pork, lamb, bison, and other meats and animal products from healthy animals raised on pasture or range. These foods are naturally higher in minerals than their conventional counterparts, as well as Omega 3 essential fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid, an important antioxidant).
  9. Take a good quality, bioavailable mineral supplement. Dr. Ron Schmid, ND, recommends Cal 1000 – Mag 500 Hydroxapatite Plus. This supplement is made of the bones of grass-fed animals from New Zealand and is one of the most highly-absorbable forms of minerals available. Another good supplement from a plant-derived source is Morningstar Minerals Energy Boost 70 Supplement. Plant sources are another bioavailable source of minerals since we get our minerals directly from plants as well as animals.
  10. Use topical magnesium oil, gel, bath flakes, or lotion.  This transdermal oil is a great way to obtain enough magnesium, especially if you have compromised digestion. It bypasses your digestive system by soaking directly into the skin and into the bloodstream, and can help you avoid one of the main side-effects of magnesium supplements – mal-absorption and diarrhea.
  11. Use a good water filter.  Our family uses the Big Berkey water filtration system and we love it. They are easy to assemble and use, and if for some reason there is a situation where water supplies are cut off, you can use your system to filter out pond or river water. Berkey also has a fluoride filter available as well. Avoid distilled as most of the minerals are removed in those processes. Although reverse osmosis water removes everything, another alternative is to add fulvic minerals or liquid ionic minerals.
  12. Control blood sugar levels by eating regularly throughout the day. Elevated blood sugar causes osmotic diuresis, where the sugar exits through your kidneys and carries water out with it into the urine. As a result, your kidneys are unable to reabsorb the water. Body Ecology once again provides you with an excellent solution. Fermented foods and beverages that are naturally sour take away cravings for sugars. You’ll find yourself feeling quite satisfied with the natural sugars in foods like carrots and fruit.
  13. Manage stress and get to bed at an early hour. Sleep gives your body a chance to repair and is critical for nourishing the adrenal glands and allows for repair and restoration.

Drinking water to support your adrenal glands is only part of the whole equation.  Everyone needs adequate amounts of water to live, and we need healthy adrenals to maintain fluid and mineral balance in our bodies, but a healthy diet and lifestyle are also essential to keeping the mineral levels in your body to help you stay hydrated too. If you are drinking a lot of water and still feeling dehydrated, or if you have symptoms of adrenal exhaustion, replenish your adrenals with these recommendations.


Green Living Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food

How to Get More Calcium in Your Diet


You may hear from your doctor or health practitioner that you should take a calcium supplement or drink fortified, low-fat milk or other dairy products for good bone health.  For as long as I can remember, many people l know talk about taking these supplements and eating those types of foods so they can avoid diseases like osteoporosis.

But what are these calcium supplements really doing for your health? And, what did people do for calcium before the advent of dietary supplements and processed, fortified foods?

Before I answer those questions, let’s review the importance of calcium in the diet. What purpose does it serve? Besides bone and teeth health, it’s important for restful sleep and also guards against colon cancer. Magnesium is its mandatory counterpart, and 80 percent of Americans are deficient! This nutrient is necessary to protect from heart disease, low blood sugar, thyroid problems, infertility, asthma, panic attacks, migraines, PCOS, Alzheimer’s disease, PMS, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue and eating disorders…just to name a few. Without calcium and magnesium together, you are in big trouble.

Here’s something else – Vitamins A, D, and K are also necessary for proper assimilation of calcium in the body. To bind calcium and other minerals to bone, you need all of these vitamins which are found in foods like eggs, meat, dairy products – in their whole forms. The presence of Vitamin K actually allows calcium to flow from the bloodstream to bone and bone marrow, fortifying bones.

You can’t get the proper balance of minerals or other nutrients out of foods like skim milk and egg whites, or meats from animals on feedlots bred to contain less fat. That’s why in milk without butterfat, you won’t find a complete source of fat-soluble vitamins, protein, or calcium.

How calcium and other minerals work in the body

Calcium and other minerals fall in the category of co-enzymes, which are critical to the activation of enzymes in the body. Your muscles and nerves won’t function properly without a balance of mineral salts in the fluids of your tissues.  When this mineral balance is off,  the result can be paralysis or convulsions.

Our hormones are governed by the mineral balance in our bodies. They depend on vitamins, amino acids, and specific essential fatty acids from the food we eat to maintain normal hormonal production.

Minerals are elements from the earth which cannot be manufactured in the human body. Only a small fraction of the minerals we need come from the water we drink, the rest comes from plants and indirectly from animals who eat plants.

The sources of these minerals are extremely important. If you are trying to get minerals from a synthetic supplement, you will eventually experience diarrhea, bloating or cramping, and other digestive problems. Minerals that are not chelated – that is, bound up correctly with the corresponding amino acids which deliver them to your bloodstream – won’t be absorbed properly.  If you are taking a vitamin supplement – and most are synthetic – you won’t actually be absorbing these nutrients at all.

To absorb the minerals we eat, minerals and proteins should be consumed together. If we lack digestive acid levels in our stomach to alter minerals into ions, which is necessary for absorption and to break down proteins into amino acids, those elements won’t do us any good. Amino acids must be combined with minerals in a naturally-occurring formation – from nature.

Supplements and fortified foods are synthetic

When you take calcium and magnesium supplements – or really any other synthetically-produced dietary preparation – your body does not recognize it as something natural and cannot properly utilize it.  This is why we receive constant warnings from medical and health professionals against “overdosing” on nutrients. These are actually considered toxic when they reach certain levels in the body – because they are not real nor recognizable.

The same is true about foods processed to such an extent like pasteurized, low-fat dairy products. They are denatured and damaged through processing and removal of the fat. To amend for nutritional inadequacy of the food, laboratory-generated “nutrients” are added back in, according to “recommended daily allowances”. These foods are then no longer nourishing, and are severely lacking for valuable, nutrient-dense qualities.

Real food provides calcium and other nutrients we need

What did people do to get adequate calcium in their diets before they took supplements? The answer is, they ate whole foods containing the nutrients needed for health. Before the world was polluted with massive amounts of chemicals and toxins continually being dumped into our food supply, air, water, and soil by industrial agriculture, chemical, and manufacturing industries, people who had access to a variety of real foods could obtain an adequate supply of nutrients in their diets from animal foods, seafood, whole grains, vegetation and plants from mineral-rich soils. Nutrients from real food cannot be overdosed because they are in balance, your body knows when it is satiated, and you will stop eating when you become full.

One of the only calcium supplements I know of which can be absorbed by the body is a product like Dr. Ron Schmid’s Cal 1000 – Mag 500 Hydroxyapatite Plus. This supplement is entirely different than bone meal because it includes trace minerals which closely resemble the proportions that exist in human bones. The calcium is extremely bio-available, making it easily-digested, and is cold-processed to preserve organic factors and protein matrix of the bones. It includes 1000 mg of calcium and 500 mg of magnesium, plus other trace minerals boron, manganese, boron, natural Vitamin D3, and buffered vitamin C – all essential nutrients for optimizing calcium absorption and utilization.

This type of calcium supplement also contains 20% of Type I collagen protein, the predominant collagen in bone. A small clinical trial of osteoporosis patients experiencing pain in their back displayed a marked decrease in pain when they used this type of calcium. The control group experienced an increase of pain during the trial. In addition, several clinical trials have revealed this type of supplement actually helps in preventing bone loss, aids in the restoration of healthy bone, and is well tolerated without compromising digestion.

Clinical trial of microcrystalline hydroxyapatite compound (‘Ossopan’) in the prevention of osteoporosis due to corticosteroid therapy
Efficacy of ossein-hydroxyapatite complex compared with calcium carbonate to prevent bone loss: a meta-analysis
Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite compound in prevention of bone loss in corticosteroid-treated patients with chronic active hepatitis
Dr. Gary A. Bachman, Naturopathic Physician
Oral chelation

Real food sources of calcium (and other essential minerals):

  • Raw dairy products – milk, cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, cream, ghee, and butter
  • Bone broths – home made stock from the bones of animals, birds, and fish that are sustainably raised
  • Sea salt – not refined sea salt, but real salt that has visible colors/minerals in it
  • Grass-fed meat
  • Safe-sourced seafood – especially mussels, oysters, clams, and other mollusks
  • Fish roe (eggs)
  • Organ meats from animals and birds on pasture
  • Bone marrow from grass-fed animals
  • Pasture-raised poultry
  • Eggs from pasture-raised hens

Foods that contribute to calcium loss

Contrary to popular belief, raw vegetables like spinach containing calcium do not absorb into the digestive tract very well. In fact, eating them raw can actually interfere with the absorption of important minerals like calcium and iron.  So cook your vegetables to release lutein and beta-carotene, and neutralize oxalic acid or oxalate – the compound in some vegetables which inhibits absorption of minerals. And eat them with a healthy fat containing fat-soluble vitamins like butter, tallow, lard, or ghee.

Besides processed, industrial foods that contain chemicals which cause nutrients to not be absorbed and add toxins to your body, other deterrents to absorbing enough calcium in the diet are diets containing gluten. Gluten is an irritant to the digestive tract, and if enough of it is consumed, it can actually cause a reduction or shortening in villi – tiny, finger-like substances in the small intestine which enable the body to absorb food, and create penetrations or holes in the intestinal lining.

Once holes are present in the small intestine and undigested foods go through the lining into the bloodstream, these substances actually contribute to mineral loss in the body – especially in the bones – among other health problems.

For more information about how gluten consumption contributes to nutrient loss and health issues in the body, read Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride.

Learn about foods containing calcium and other minerals which are vital to health:

Raw milk


Grassfed meat

This post is part of Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays Carnival.