The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals- Part IV (Potassium and Sodium)

Potassium-sodium-salt

Continued from: Part I; Part II; and  Part III;

POTASSIUM

Potassium is another mineral many people do not get enough of –especially if they overcook meat (the juices leaving the meat leach out potassium) or avoid tubers and fruits (both high in potassium) – or don’t eat meat to begin with.

Benefits of Potassium

Potassium is an electrolyte that is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure (it works in conjunction with – and counterbalances the effect of – sodium) – low levels of potassium, however, are not only associated with a risk hypertension, but also with heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, digestive disorders, and infertility.   As such, potassium is important for proper functioning of heart, kidneys and other organs and maintaining acid-base balance.

Potassium’s primary functions in the body include regulating fluid balance and controlling the electrical activity of the heart and other muscles.  Basically, it helps nerves and muscles communicate. It also helps move nutrients into cells and waste products out of cells.

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The Essential Guide to Vitamins and Minerals – Part III (Magnesium and Calcium)

minerals-magnesium-calcium-others

(Continued from Parts I and Part II)

This installment of the series starts the discussion on minerals that are essential for your health and deserve special mention. Starting with calcium and magnesium (and moving on to other minerals in subsequent articles), we will cover how to make sure you get the most out of them, what their adequate intakes are and some of the caveats with their supplementation.

Before we start, however, let’s look at a few factors that are important to consider.  These factors are common for many of the minerals we will discuss and need to be understood before their absorption and the effect they have on health is discussed.

Factors affecting mineral absorption and availability

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Calories and why counting them is not a good idea

counting calories

One of the most frequent questions I get is something along the lines of: “I am only eating 1000 calories per day, which is far less than my calculated number of calories to maintain weight, how come I’m not getting slimmer?!”

It appears that everyone has been conditioned to think in terms of calories all the time, when evaluating nutritional value of foods and effectiveness of exercise.  Food manufacturers are trying to convince us that a specific product is awesome simply because it has zero calories (diet Coke, anyone?) and equipment manufacturers incorporate all sorts of displays to show calories burned during exercise.  Calorie calculators are abundant on the net and apps, programs and even smart kitchen scales exist to let you easily determine – and maintain – your specific daily caloric intake.

Calories have long become a cornerstone of modern nutrition – the concept of a calorie is realtively easy to explain (and even easier to sell).  But it would probably surprise you to learn that this system is completely useless for all practical purposes – counting calories to maintain weight (or calories needed to lose weight) is too unpredictable, hard to adhere to and often detrimental.

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HELOC: get better investment returns and accelerated portfolio growth

It has been a while since we discussed money matters – so today we are going to quickly talk about home equity loans (HELOC) and how you can use them to maximize your returns.

The readers of The Ultimate Alpha Project know that, alongside with maintaining exemplary health, physical strength and mental capacity, financial success is a major part of being an Alpha and kicking butt in all areas of life.  You also know that I consider real estate one of the very few investment vehicles that are worth your while.  Let’s see how HELOC loans fit into the bigger real estate investment picture.

Life before HELOC

Because banks do not lend 100% of the value in question, a typical buyer ready to purchase an investment property needs to come up with at least some down payment – typically around about 20% or so.  The actual amount of such down payment depends on where you live and what types of properties you specialize in.  Let’s say that a “starter home” in a densely populated and otherwise promising suburban area that satisfies other investment criteria, would cost you $300,000.  This might mean at least $60,000 as a down payment.  Add legal, land transfer tax and other closing costs – and you are potentially looking at more than $65,000.

What do most people do? They save up first for that down payment.  But what if you run out of personal funds or simply want to accelerate the process?  Naturally, your only other avenue is borrowing to invest (using other people’s money to generate profits for you).  We have briefly touched upon the benefits of a properly managed debt in one of the previous articles – borrowing to invest in a profitable project is always a better option because it generates an infinite return on investment (ROI), because there really is NO initial investment out of your pocket, only the return.  Essentially, you are creating money from nothing.

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