Another element that is critical to animal life is Manganese. Not to be confused with Magnesium, Manganese must be in correct balance if a higher level of intellect is wanted due to its necessary role in the maintenance of brain and nerve health. This mineral has been linked to having good memory! It gives humans a strong nervous system, but because nerves are constantly firing, it can be difficult to keep our manganese levels elevated. Manganese is a critical part in the breakdown of proteins and sugars, or nucleic acids. DNA, or Deoxyribonucleic Acid, naturally needs this mineral for good health. Without it, our DNA would not be able to replicate itself and pass on the genetic information to the next generation of cells. To control our metabolic demand, the Thyroid needs Manganese in order to produce Thyroxin, which helps with this crucial process. Metabolism is one of the most primitive survival mechanisms humans have, thereby making this element beyond critical to humans. Manganese works similar to Iron in that it binds with Oxygen to deliver needed nutrients to all parts of the body. This element is hard to come by, making many, if not most, humans deficient. It is found in foods truly in their natural state – raw nuts still inside their shells on the trees, wild berries, pineapple, steel-cut oats, and in almost all raw green leafy vegetables. Let me be clear here, you cannot COOK greens because you want them more appetizing. Heat will destroy this element, which means humans need to eat lots of raw green leaves every day. Animals and our ancestors from 15,000 years ago and earlier ate leaves straight from the plant, so stick your hand in a bucket of kale or swiss chard and put it in your mouth (or use a fork). The point is you need Manganese for a healthy brain and nervous system, and nuts contain anti-nutrients that prevent mineral absorption. This means that raw, dark green, leafy vegetables are your best bet in getting this far too important mineral. As you know by now, assuming you have read the Magnesium post, green leaves are high in fiber and help with relaxing the digestive system so that we have normal bowel movements that are not strenuous. Both Magnesium and Manganese are critical for healthy digestive tracts, healthy nerves, and healthy brains. My suggestion: grab yourself a home made salad with a mixture of dark green leaves and repeat this process every day for the rest of your life. Unless of course you don’t mind making trips to different doctors and complaining about an overactive nervous system, not being able to stay focused, having too stress, and having issues with your Thyroid.