Scientists Identify Mineral That Destroys Organic Compounds, With Implications For Mars Curiosity Mission

Scientists Identify Mineral That Destroys Organic Compounds, With Implications For Mars Curiosity Mission

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Scientists have discovered that the mineral jarosite breaks down organic compounds when it is flash-heated, with implications for Mars research.

Jarosite is an iron sulphate and it is one of several minerals that NASA’s Curiosity Mission is searching for, as its presence could indicate ancient habitable environments, which may have once hosted life on the red planet.

In a new study published today in the journal Astrobiology, researchers from Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum replicated a technique that one of the Curiosity Rover’s on-board instruments is using to analyse soil samples, in its quest to find organic compounds. They tested a combination of jarosite and organic compounds. They discovered that the instrument’s technique -which uses intense bursts of heat called flash-heating – broke down jarosite into sulphur dioxide and oxygen, with the oxygen then destroying the organic compounds, leaving no trace of it behind.

The concern is that if jarosite is present in soil samples that Curiosity analyses, researchers may not be able to detect it because both the jarosite and any organic compounds could be destroyed by the flash-heating process.

In 2014, Professor Mark Sephton, co-author of today’s study, investigated the mineral perchlorate. This mineral also causes problems for flash-heating experiments as it breaks down to give off oxygen and chlorine gas, which in turn react with any organic compounds, breaking them down into carbon dioxide and water. Professor Sephton showed that though perchlorate was problematic, scientists could potentially use the carbon dioxide resulting from the experiment to detect the presence of organic compounds in the sample being analysed.

Professor Sephton, from the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London, said: “The destructive properties of some iron sulphates and perchlorate to organic matter may explain why current and previous missions have so far offered no conclusive evidence of organic matter preserved on Mars’ surface. This is despite the fact that scientists have known from previous studies that organic compounds have been delivered to Mars via comets, meteorites and interplanetary dust throughout its history.”

To make Curiosity’s search for signs of life more effective, the team are now exploring how Curiosity might be able to compensate for the impact of these minerals on the search for organic compounds. Their work could have important implications for both the Curiosity mission and also the upcoming European-led ExoMars 2018 Rover mission, which will be drilling for subsurface samples of the red planet and using the same flash-heating method to look for evidence of past or present alien life.

James Lewis, co-author of the study from the Department of Earth Science and Engineering at Imperial College London, added: “Our study is helping us to see that if jarosite is detected then it is clear that flash-heating experiments looking for organic compounds may not be completely successful. However, the problem is that jarosite is evidence of systems that might have supported life, so it is not a mineral that scientists can completely avoid in their analysis of soils on Mars. We hope our study will help scientists with interpreting Mars data and assist them to sift through the huge amount of excellent data that Curiosity is currently generating to find signs that Mars was once able to sustain life.”

On Earth, iron sulphate minerals like jarosite form in the harsh acidic waters flowing out of sulphur rich rocks. Despite the adverse conditions, these waters are a habitat for bacteria that use these dissolved sulphate ions. This makes these minerals of great interest to scientists studying Mars, as their presence on the red planet provide evidence that acidic liquid water was present at the same time the minerals formed, which could have provided an environment favourable for harbouring ancient microbial Martian life.

On board Curiosity, the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument analyses soil samples for evidence of organic compounds by progressively heating samples up to around 1000 C, which releases gases. These gases can then be analysed by techniques called gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, which can identify molecules in the gas and see if any organic compounds are present. It is these SAM instrument experiments that the researchers behind today’s study replicated with jarosite and organic compounds.

The researchers stress that not all sulphates break down to react with organic compounds. For example, those containing calcium and magnesium would not break down until extremely high temperatures were reached during the analysis, and therefore would not affect any organic compounds present.

The team suggest that if jarosite is found in samples on Mars, then it may be possible for Curiosity’s SAM instrument to distinguish a spike in carbon dioxide level, which, as Professor Sephton has shown previously with perchlorate, would act as an indicator that organic material is present and being broken down by the heating process.

The next step will see the researchers using synthetic jarosite in their experiments, which will enable a cleaner decomposition process to occur when the mineral is flash-heated. This will allow for more precise quantitative measurements to be taken when the oxygen is being released. Ultimately, they hope this will enable more precise calculations to be carried out on Mars mineral samples to find ways in which Curiosity can identify the presence of these mineral to mitigate their impact on organic matter.

The jarosite samples used in the experiments in the study were collected from Brownsea Island in Dorset, with the permission and assistance from the National Trust.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

The Top 10 Healthiest Seeds on Earth

The Top 10 Healthiest Seeds on Earth

by John Summerly,
They come in all different sizes, shapes and colours. The seed is an embryonic plant itself and the origin of nutrition. A plant goes to great lengths to produce each seed and fill it with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils and dormant enzymes. If you’re looking for a high quality, nutritious and filling snack, seeds are tough to beat. Let’s look at the ten healthiest seeds on Earth and how to consume them.

bestseeds_world

A seed is life. It is a living food. It is impossible to eat a raw seed and not derive nutrition. Many seeds are edible and the majority of human calories come from seeds, especially from legumes and nuts. Seeds also provide most cooking oils, many beverages and spices and some important food additives. In different seeds the seed embryo or the endosperm dominates and provides most of the nutrients. The storage proteins of the embryo and endosperm differ in their amino acid content and physical properties.

How to Eat Seeds 

There is only one way to derive nutrition from seeds and that is to eat them raw. Once they are exposed to heat, they produce toxic substances and the vitamin, mineral and essential oil profiles are denatured. By roasting a seed, its classification moves from a living food to a dead food. There is no seed on earth that can withstand roasting or heating without breaking down its nutritional components. Always remember, eat seeds naturally…eat them raw. This also means they can be soaked, ground or mashed (i.e. tahini), especially if a seed’s shell or coat is too difficult to pierce with the teeth.

– Choose raw and unsalted seeds
– Avoid coated or roasted seeds
– Avoid sugar coated seeds


The 10 Healthiest Seeds on Earth

1) CHIA SEEDS

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Serving Size = 1 Tsp

Consider these facts about Chia seeds:
– 2.5 times more protein than kidney beans
– 3 times the antioxidant strength of blueberries
– 3 times more iron than spinach
– 6 times more calcium than milk
– 7 times more vitamin C than oranges
– 8 times more omega-3 than salmon
– 10 times more fiber than rice
– 15 times more magnesium than broccoli

The seeds are loaded with vitamins and minerals, are an excellent source of fibre, protein and antioxidants, and are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Consumption of chia seeds could help reduce joint pain, aid in weight loss, deliver an energy boost and protect against serious ailments such as diabetes and heart disease.

The seeds are gluten-free, which also makes them appealing to people with celiac disease or an aversion to gluten.

Consumption of chia seeds may increase blood levels of the long chain omega-3 EPA by 30%, says a new study from the Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina.

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Chia seeds are a source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of “short-chain” omega-3 fatty acid, whereas fish is a source of the “long-chain” fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). While growing research has linked consumption of EPA and DHA to heart health, improved brain function and possible other health benefits such as improvement in depression or rheumatoid arthritis, studies are now suggesting that ALA may bring about redistribution associated with heart and liver protection.

Consumption of chia seeds as a source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) may bring about redistribution associated with heart and liver protection.

The top benefits of chia seeds
 are far reaching and as far as superfoods go, this is undeniably one of the top ten.


2) HEMP SEEDS

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Serving Size = 1 Tbsp

More people are discovering the nutritional benefits of hemp seed, nut and oil.

Hemp contains:

– All 20 amino acids, including the 9 essential amino acids (EAAs) our bodies cannot produce.
– A high protein percentage of the simple proteins that strengthen immunity and fend off toxins.
– Eating hemp seeds in any form could aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the fact that hemp seed has been used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.3
– Nature’s highest botanical source of essential fatty acid, with more essential fatty acid than flax or any other nut or seed oil.
– A perfect 3:1 ratio of Omega-6 Linoleic Acid and Omega-3 Linolenic Acid — for cardiovascular health and general strengthening of the immune system.
– A superior vegetarian source of protein considered easily digestible.
– A rich source of phytonutrients, the disease-protective element of plants with benefits protecting your immunity, bloodstream, tissues, cells, skin, organs and mitochondria.
– The richest known source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids.

According to the hemp growers industry, industrial hemp grown for food, fuel and natural fibers contains virtually no THC (less than .3%).

In fact, when hemp is processed into hemp seed oil and hemp seed milk, for example, it further reduces the minute amount of THC in hemp.

And yet, there’s still a stigma due to the long-standing idea that hemp and marijuana are one in the same. Hemp is actually categorized with marijuana as part of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 and is therefore illegal to grow in the US.

The best way to insure the body has enough amino acid material to make the globulins is to eat foods high in globulin proteins. Since hemp seed protein is 65% globulin edistin, and also includes quantities of albumin, its protein is readily available in a form quite similar to that found in blood plasma. Eating hemp seeds gives the body all the essential amino acids required to maintain health, and provides the necessary kinds and amounts of amino acids the body needs to make human serum albumin and serum globulins like the immune enhancing gamma globulins. Eating hemp seeds could aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases. This conclusion is supported by the fact that hemp seed was used to treat nutritional deficiencies brought on by tuberculosis, a severe nutrition blocking disease that causes the body to waste away.


3) POMEGRANATE SEEDS 

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Serving Size = 1/2 Cup

Pomegranates are a rich source of antioxidants. Therefore, it helps to protect your body’s cells from free radicals, which cause premature aging.

In simple words, pomegranate juice pumps the level of oxygen in your blood. The antioxidants fight free radicals and prevents blood clots. This eventually helps the blood to flow freely in your body in turn improving the oxygen levels in your blood.

Pomegranates are especially high in polyphenols, a form of antioxidant purported to help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. In fact, pomegranate juice, which contains health-boosting tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid, has higher antioxidant activity than green tea and red wine.

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The pomegranate, with its edible seeds inside juicy sacs, is high in vitamin C and potassium, low in calories (80 per serving, which is just under one-third of a medium fruit), and a good source of fibre.

The antioxidant properties of a pomegranate prevent low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from oxidizing. This essentially means that pomegranates prevent the hardening of the artery walls with excess fat, leaving your arteries fat free and pumping with antioxidants.

“Mice that drank pomegranate juice were able to significantly reduce the progression of atherosclerosis, [by] at least 30 percent,” said study co-author Dr. Claudio Napoli, a professor of medicine and clinical pathology at the University of Naples School of Medicine in Italy.

Pomegranate health benefits run bone deep; it can reduce the damage on the cartilage for those hit with arthritis. This fruit has the ability to lessen the inflammation and fights the enzymes that destroy the cartilage.


4) FLAX SEEDS

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Serving Size = 1-2 Tsp (ground)

Dietary fiber from flaxseed suppresses rises in blood levels of lipids after a meal and modulate appetite.

University of Copenhagen researchers report that flax fiber suppresses appetite and helps support weight loss.

Flax has been cultivated for centuries and has been celebrated for its usefulness all over the world. Hippocrates wrote about using flax for the relief of abdominal pains, and the French Emperor Charlemagne favored flax seed so much that he passed laws requiring its consumption!

The main health benefits of flax seed are due to its rich content of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), dietary fiber, and lignans.

The essential fatty acid ALA is a powerful anti-inflammatory, decreasing the production of agents that promote inflammation and lowering blood levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation. Through the actions of the ALA and lignans, flax has been shown to block tumor growth in animals and may help reduce cancer risk in humans.

Lignans are phytoestrogens, plant compounds that have estrogen-like effects and antioxidant properties. Phytoestrogens help to stabilize hormonal levels, reducing the symptoms of PMS and menopause, and potentially reducing the risk of developing breast and prostate cancer.

The fiber in flax seed promotes healthy bowel function. One tablespoon of whole flax seed contains as much fiber as half a cup of cooked oat bran. Flax’s soluble fibers can lower blood cholesterol levels, helping reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Ground flax seed provides more nutritional benefits than does the whole seed. Grind the seeds at home using a coffee grinder or blender, and add them to cereals, baked goods and smoothies.


5) PUMPKIN SEEDS

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Serving Size = 1/2 Cup

They are the only seed that is alkaline-forming in this world of highly acidic diets.

Add pumpkin seeds to your list of foods rich in protein. 100 grams of seeds on a daily basis provide 54 percent of the daily requirement in terms of protein.

Most of us pop pills to replenish deficiency of vitamin B-complex, try pumpkin seeds next time. Pumpkin seeds are a good source for vitamin B like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folates.

For those who are down in the dumps, pumpkin seeds can help fight through depression. The chemical component L-tryptophan is the secret ingredient to boost your mood.

Did you know that pumpkin seeds can prevent kidney stones? Studies suggest that pumpkin seeds can help prevent certain kidney stone formations like calcium oxalate kidney stone.

Pumpkin seeds even hold the secret to fighting parasites, especially tapeworms.


6) APRICOT SEEDS

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Serving Size = 1/4 Cup

Apricot kernels are, like most nuts and seeds, very nutritious. Among the nutrients they contain is one called amygdalin, which is also known as vitamin B17. This attacks cancer cells, and thus can help prevent cancer from breaking out in our bodies.

Amygdalin (vitamin B17) is contained in many hundreds of foods, but ones that are particularly rich in amygdalin have disappeared to a large extent from our Western diet. People throughout the world who still eat a traditional diet, have been found to be largely free from cancer. These diets are rich in foods containing amygdalin.

Apart from apricot kernels, examples of other amygdalin rich foods are bitter almonds (amygdalin tastes bitter – sweet almonds do not contain it, and apricot kernels that are not bitter do not contain it). Other foods containing amygdalin are apple pips, grape seeds, millet, broad beans, most berries, cassava and many other seeds, beans, pulses and grains – but not ones that have been highly hybridized.

For prevention, however, Dr Ernst T Krebs Jr., the biochemist who first produced laetrile (concentrated amygdalin) in the 1950s, recommended that if a person would eat ten to twelve apricot kernels a day for life, then barring the equivalent of Chernobyl, he is likely to be cancer free.


7) SESAME SEEDS

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Serving Size = 1/4 Cup

Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man. They are highly valued for their oil which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity.

Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances:sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage.


8) SUNFLOWER SEEDS

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Serving Size = 1/4 Cup

Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E travels throughout the body neutralizing free radicals that would otherwise damage fat-containing structures and molecules, such as cell membranes, brain cells, and cholesterol.

Sesame seeds have some of the highest total phytosterol content of seeds. Phytosterols are compounds found in plants that have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol, and when present in the diet in sufficient amounts, are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the immune response and decrease risk of certain cancers.

Sunflower seeds are a good source of magnesium. Numerous studies have demonstrated that magnesium helps reduce the severity of asthma, lower high blood pressure, and prevent migraine headaches, as well as reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

9) CUMIN SEEDS

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Serving Size = 1 Tbsp

Cumin is a seed that has been used since antiquity. This traditional herb is known for its health benefits and medicinal uses for hundreds of years.

Cumin is useful for digestive disorders and even as an antiseptic. The seeds themselves are rich in iron and help boost the power of the liver.

Cumin also helps relieve symptoms of common cold. If you have a sore throat, try adding some dry ginger to cumin water, to help soothe it.

Cumin juice makes for a great tonic for the body even if you don’t have a specific ailment. It is said to increase the heat in the body thus making metabolism more efficient.

It is also considered to be a powerful kidney and liver herb which can help boost the immune system. It’s also believed that black cumin seeds can treat asthma and arthritis.


10) GRAPE SEEDS

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Serving Size = 1-2 Tbsp

Grape seeds have a great concentration of vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid and polyphenols.

Grape seed extract may prevent heart diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. By limiting lipid oxidation, phenolics in grape seeds may reduce risk of heart disease, such as by inhibiting platelet aggregation and reducing inflammation.

A study published in the journal Carcinogenesis shows that grape seed extract (GSE) kills squamous cell carcinoma cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

Grape seeds may even reduce the infectivity of Norovirus surrogates according to research published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Seeds anyone?

Sources:
whfoods.com
wikipedia.org
anticancerinfo.co.uk
ratical.org
bodyecology.com
chicagotribune.com

John Summerly is nutritionist, herbologist, and homeopathic practitioner. He is a leader in the natural health community and consults athletes, executives and most of all parents of children on the benefits of complementary therapies for health and prevention.
Source: Prevent Disease 

 

18 Causes of Mineral Depletion

18 Causes of Mineral Depletion

by April McCarthy

Minerals play a critical role in our bodies and they have specific cofactors that help them to work properly so that everything we eat is perfectly assimilated. Mineral deficiency is quite common all over the world, in part because of modern-day living. Our soil has been depleted of minerals, resulting in fewer mineral-rich types of produce on supermarket shelves. Here are 18 common causes of mineral depletion.

The Importance of Minerals

Magnesium is a vitally important mineral to good mental health. The lack is also one of the most common physical causes of depression. The lack of magnesium is also responsible for anxiety, agitation and even hallucinations. The other most well-known and important minerals needed to prevent (and sometimes treat) depression include calcium, zinc, iron, manganese and potassium. Each mineral has its own purpose.

Magnesium supports bone mineralization, protein building, muscular contractions, nerve impulses, and boosts immunity.

Calcium is responsible for the growth and health of bones and teeth and aids in blood clotting.

Zinc produces genetic material and protein, transports vitamin A throughout the body, and is responsible for taste perception, wound healing, sperm production and normal fetal development.

Iron is a part of hemoglobin, a protein which carries oxygen through the body’s cells.

Manganese facilitates cell responses, though it is the mineral scientists know the least about. It works with enzymes and is essential for many body functions, but how it is done remains somewhat misunderstood.

Lastly, potassium maintains the body’s fluid and electrolyte balance and helps with muscle contractions, cell health and nerve impulses.

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18 Causes of Mineral Depletion

1. Soil Depletion — This is the number one reason that most people are mineral deficient. Soil depletion has been well documented since the US Senate made their study back in 1936. Even organically grown vegetables are lacking in minerals — organic farming only addresses the pesticide/chemical issues most typically. The best way to get mineral rich grown fruits and vegetables is through bio-dynamic produce, local CSA’s that practice crop rotation and soil supplementation through compost and other means, and of course growing your own garden you can work on the integrity of the soil. Not to mention, the animals we consume also need to be raised on good quality pastures with good soil conditions as well.

2. Antacids & Acid blockers — deplete calcium, but often people are unaware as testing is done on blood levels and only 1% of the calcium in the body is in the blood. This doesn’t indicate the loss in the bones/tissues. Antacids/Acid Blockers contain aluminum hydroxide which prevents the absorption of calcium from the intestinal tract.

3. Low Stomach Acid/Hypochlorhydria — the body needs appropriate stomach acid in order to break down minerals, namely calcium. Also, low stomach acid can be a sign of low zinc because zinc is needed in the body to help produce stomach acid.

4. Cortisone — used for pain and inflammation can contribute to severe calcium loss with prolonged use. It also depletes potassium.

5. Pharmaceutical Drugs — this is too vast to go into, suffice it to say all drugs deplete the body of a vast amount of nutrients.

6. Birth Control Pills — deplete magnesium and zinc, along with numerous other vitamins. And since they have a direct impact on our hormones this also plays with our ability to get the minerals needed. They cause excess copper in the body, which can be toxic, this is why zinc becomes depleted as these two minerals are antagonistic to each other.

7. Coffee — calcium/magnesium are lost in our urine with coffee. It’s a diuretic. You will be losing potassium and sodium as well. The same goes for caffeine in general.

8. Alcohol — speeds up the excretion of magnesium through the kidneys. It can also deplete, calcium, zinc, iron, manganese, potassium and chromium.

9. Soda consumption — contains excess phosphorous which leads to reduced body storage of calcium because they compete for absorption in the intestines. Soday also causes potassium loss.

10. Sugar– for every molecule of sugar our bodies use 54 molecules of magnesium to process it. Insulin surges use up our zinc. Sugar also depletes magnesium, potassium and robs your bones of minerals in general. A high sugar diet results in increased losses of chromium through the urine.

11. Excess Insulin– causes calcium to be retained by the body through re-absorption by the kidneys.

12. Excess Estrogen — decreases calcium excretion. Same effects as birth control also apply.

13. Hyperthyroidism– causes increased calcium losses and increased calcium resorption from the bone. Creates the need for more magnesium. Often more copper is needed, along with iodine. Perhaps it would be better stated that deficiencies of selenium play a role in low thyroid hormone production

14. The Standard American Diet (S.A.D diet) — the typical diet of minimal fresh foods, higher amounts of refined and processed foods, foods grown on poor/depleted soils, excess phosphorous in these foods depletes calcium and has been shown to cause bone loss. Magnesium and chromium, (and all minerals really) are also lost in processing and due to poor soil.

15. Excess Grains– phytic acid binds with the minerals in the intestine and blocks absorption, causing them to be excreted unused.

16. Dietary Insufficiency — source of food, how it’s prepared, is it processed or whole real natural foods. And of course, was the food raised properly on mineral rich soils.

17. Heavy Metal Toxicity-

– Mercury — amalgam fillings, in certain fish, vaccines. Blocks magnesium and zinc. Mercury binds with magnesium and renders it void. Supplementing won’t be enough, must detoxify the metals.
– Aluminum — Antacids/Anti-perspirants/Cosmetics — aluminum foil — aluminum penetrates the blood brain barrier and is very difficult to detoxify. Impedes the utilization of calcium/magnesium/phosphorous. Neutralizes pepsin.
– Lead — binds with calcium and makes it unusable for the body.

18. Radiation – any type of electromagnetic (EMF) frequency has an effect on the bodies ability to absorb and assimilate minerals. Exposure to EMF on a daily basis can reduce certain minerals in the body by almost 15%.

The best way to ensure you are getting a wide array of minerals is by a whole foods, properly prepared nutrient dense diet. Understanding traditional foods and what our ancestors and indigenous tribes and cultures ate throughout history can really help us in our modern day peril of industrialized processed foods and depleted soils. It is critical in my opinion to learn how to make mineral rich bone broth and consume it regularly. This is one of the absolute best options and most absorbable forms available to us. Mineral rich salts are another great source. Our water used to be the best source, but nowadays our waters are so polluted that is not the best option anymore.

Today’s vegetables might be larger, but if you think that means they contain more nutrients, you’d be wrong. Donald R. Davis, a former research associate with the Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas, writes that jumbo-sized produce contains more “dry matter” than anything else, which dilutes mineral concentrations. In other words, when it comes to growing food, less is more. Scientific papers have cited one of the first reports of this effect, a 1981 study by W.M. Jarrell and R.B. Beverly in Advances in Agronomy, more than 180 times since its publication, “suggesting that the effect is widely regarded as common knowledge.”

Less studied, though, is the “genetic dillution effect,” in which selective breeding to increase crop yield has led to declines in protein, amino acids, and as many as six minerals in one study of commercial broccoli grown in 1996 and ’97 in South Carolina. Because nearly 90% of dry matter is carbohydrates, “when breeders select for high yield, they are, in effect, selecting mostly for high carbohydrate with no assurance that dozens of other nutrients and thousands of phytochemicals will all increase in proportion to yield.”

On the “Industrialization” of Agriculture: Thanks to the growing rise ofchemical fertilizers and pesticides, modern crops are being harvested faster than ever before. But quick and early harvests mean the produce has less time to absorb nutrients either from synthesis or the soil, and minerals like potassium (the “K” in N-P-K fertilizers) often interfere with a plant’s ability to take up nutrients. Monoculture farming practices – another hallmark of the Big Ag industry – have also led to soil-mineral depletion, which, in turn, affects the nutrient content of crops.

The excessive use of resources, industrial development, erosion, irrigation, drainage of wetlands, deforestation and mining for oil and minerals are other broader perspectives on why mineral depletion exists. Addressing these problems will be one of the biggest challenges for humanity in the next few decades.

Sources:
time.com 
divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com
ehow.com
wiki.answers.com

April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.
Read more at: Prevent Disease 

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Crisis In The Congo: Uncovering The Truth

Crisis In The Congo: Uncovering The Truth

Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering The Truth explores the role that the United States allies, Rwanda and Uganda, have played in triggering the greatest humanitarian crisis at the dawn of the 21st century.
Support the completion of the film: http://congojustice.org/take-action/
Sign The Petition:http://www.change.org/petitions/fully-implement-public-law-109-456
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CrisisInTheCongo
Twitter: http://twitter.com/CongoCrisis
Congo Resources: http://friendsofthecongo.org

Four-billion-year-old surprise from space

Four-billion-year-old surprise from space

A group of NASA scientists have discovered a new mineral of space origin in a meteorite found in Antarctica in 1969 (Image by Leonard Wikberg III / sciencedata.net)

A group of NASA scientists have discovered a new mineral of space origin in a meteorite found in Antarctica in 1969 (Image by Leonard Wikberg III / sciencedata.net)

A group of NASA scientists have discovered a new mineral of space origin in one of the most historically significant celestial objects – a meteorite found in Antarctica in 1969.

­The new mineral was discovered by NASA scientists inside the meteorite known as Yamato 691, according to NASA’s official report. The meteorite was among the first nine meteorites discovered by the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition in the ice-fields of Antarctica in 1969.  The analysis has shown that it is over 4.5 billion years old and originated from an asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter.

Latest discoveries by NASA scientists and their co-researchers from Japan and South Korea revealed small inclusions of an unknown mineral in the meteorite specimen. It was discovered surrounded by other materials of unidentified nature that are now being investigated as well.

The newly discovered mineral is made up of sulfur and titanium molecules that form an intricate crystal lattice. The characteristics of the lattice have yet to be defined. The mineral makes up only a tiny fraction of the sample (50 x 450 nanometers, or less than one-hundredth width of human hair). Yet it is an important integral part of its chemical composition.

The finding was named Wassonite in honor of Prof. John Wasson (UCLA) known for his unrivaled achievements in meteorite research. The research team, headed by NASA scientist Keiko Nakamura-Messenger, added the mineral to the list approved by the International Mineralogical association. Wassonite is unlikely to be found on Earth; therefore the discovery is quite outstanding.

Wassonite is probably not the only mineral that for billions of years has remained unknown to scientists. Meteorites from Antarctica hold many mysteries that fascinate researchers worldwide. “More secrets of the universe can be revealed from these specimens using 21st century nano-technology,” said Nakamura-Messenger, once again emphasizing the pivotal role of the nano-technology equipment available at NASA facilities.

All in all the searches in Antarctica resulted in recovering over 40,000 specimens of celestial materials including Martian and Lunar meteorites. The co-discoverer of Wassonite, Lindsay Keller underlined the importance of studying meteorites for further research on formation of our solar system: “Through these kinds of studies we can learn about the conditions that existed and the processes that were occurring then”.

Meteorites have been constantly providing geologists with research material. Extreme conditions are created when meteorites pass the Earth’s atmosphere and collide with the surface. This results in the appearance of new chemical elements on the surface of meteorites. Lonsdaleite is one example of such elements. Being almost two times harder than diamonds, it is one of the hardest minerals known to scientists.

Find out more: RT