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Monday, November 27, 2017

Are We Art?



Are We ART?

HOW TO BEGIN YOUR NEW LIFE....WHERE TO START? CAN I EVEN DO IT?EVER BEEN TOLD YOU’RE A FAILURE?WE JUDGE. WE ALL JUDGE OR INTERPRET WHAT WE SEE. WE ARE ALL FACED WITH CHALLENGES OR CHOICES ON A DAILY BASIS. HOW WE SURVIVE IS BASED ON HOW WE RESPOND....WHAT IS NEXT ON THE AGENDA....WE NEED TO DO A DAILY ASSESSMENT. WE REALLY NEED TO BE HONEST WITH OURSELVES...NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT TO START.WE NEED TO STAND NAKED IN THE MIRROR AND TAKE A LONG HARD LOOK. DON'T YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF TO BE HONEST?


               Every beginning has an end, vice versa. When one door closes, another door opens. What happens when one day you are told , “You are a failure and disappointment.” or “What do you want to be when you grow up?” or “You need to decide what you want to be.” When or what you decide is completely your decision. As Robert Frost coined,    I shall be telling this with a sigh.

Somewhere ages and ages hence: “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”  Recently, I had my image shattered, because I had chosen my path not theirs.. I began to ponder and these words came to mind...I began to put it in writing to release from my shoulders. My mirror was shattered...

The Shattered Mirror

Recently, I had my mirror cracked actually it was shattered...
What I thought I saw in the mirror wasn't as it appeared to be.
The mirror sometimes lies to us or distorts the truth.
We are actually afraid to appear naked in the mirror.
The mirror like TV adds 10 pounds and so on...
So, the mirror delivers bad news when we least expect it.
How to put the mirror back together once it is shattered?
The mirror is like our life.
Once shattered it is hard to put back together.
So, you slowly pick up each piece and glue them back in the "same" place.
Eventually, the mirror will be back together.
Will it be as it was in the beginning or before?
Doubtful...
There will be a new mirror and new image.
Will the image be better than before....only time will tell.
My image in the mirror is still me, 10 pounds and all...
So what appears with our image may be slightly different.

Our choices when putting the mirror back together will decide the view....Through The Shattered Mirror. Only you can put the image in the mirror back together. Only you can decided where each piece goes. Only you can paint the image of what others see.

How do you respond? Do you respond? How do you repair the mirror? You think, If I had only decided differently, or had a crystal ball, things would be different? You begin to ponder. Sometimes you have to go back before you can go forward. Because the mirror sees...

The Mirror    

The Mirror sees The Truth,
But ponders the words.
The Mirror sees the object,
But clouds The Vision.
The Mirror tells a story,
But lends itself to variation.
The Mirror tells your age,
But can lie.
The Mirror speaks of your life,
But utters nothing.
The Mirror hangs on the wall,
But adds dimension.
The Mirror shatters an image,
But shows many facets.
And as I stepped into The Mirror,

I lose all perception but gained a new facet of myself...

Dunno if my story is important but...How you see you through my paintings is important as is yours.. We are Art and the artist. Lets begin by painting the first few strokes.

Let’s begin at birth.  I had a traumatic birth with many complications, which extended throughout my childhood until the age of eleven. I was in and out of the hospital with many childhood health issues along with my weakened immune system. They found out I had peripheral nervous system issue in my legs. It was discovered after ironing my legs. In elementary school, my parents were asked to hold their son, me, back one grade because of missing too many days of school. My parents felt it wasn’t necessary. So I started being healthier and focused on school, as well as less social. I sat upfront in class, completed my homework ahead of schedule and studied making high marks.

             I had lost my job due to personal differences with my new manager. I lost my job after nine plus years. The road not chosen had been chosen for me. The journey down this road was a tough winding and full of potholes. It began with losing my house then my car. I was ejected from my house Thanksgiving week. I had no place to go but a friend helped me with a reference to a landlord. The apartment wasn't in the best of areas but close to work. It had the space at a reasonable price. I stayed in the apartment through thick and thin. I had gotten robed 4 times which prompted a security system. My car had gotten vandalized. I am not sure why I was being tested in this manor. I had a friend to tell me, “I can see that you miss taking care of patients.” He referred me to his hospital. I applied to 4 positions at the hospital. I had interviews setup. I took the first opportunity before me a PCA position at the hospital, I had gotten a regular 9 to 5 job at bank after being unemployed. I had to rethink my choices. Actually the bank decided I was not a fit for their institution. During the bank position, I was driving almost an hour each way five days a week. I should thank the bank for telling me, “I wasn't a “fit” for their establishment.” The position was monotonousness, boring, and not me. I thought, “How dare they let me go on the 90th day of training?” How dare they? I guess my road was going in another direction. I guess I had unfinished work. My day of waking up at 4:30am ended. My day changed again...


The Day

Hustle, Hurry!
The Day has begun.
Stop!Look, you forgot to shave!
Rush, even faster, you are getting behind.
Water, soap, towel...
Wet, wash, dry...
Wake Up!
Tic, Toc, tic, toc.
The clock chimes half past the hour.
Out the door to a cold car, but no time to waste.
One block, two blocks, and then stop, the light is RED.
Hurry, turn Green.
Park? Where?
Finally a parking spot...
Clock in with a few minutes to spare.
Work, work, and more work...
Lunch...Yeah.
Work, work, and more work.
Tic, Toc, tic, toc.
The clock chimes half past the hour.
Out the door to a cold car, but no time to waste.
One block, two blocks, and then stop, the light is RED.
Hurry, turn Green.
Park...Finally Home.
Today is a good day to have a good day!

             You start by imaging or creating. You image you having a good day. You will have a good day. So you have to be creative or inventive. I am an artist, which creates art or skillfully and creatively performs something.  Art implies the mastery of any sort of craft.  An artist begins to conceptualize or ponder ideas. The problem with words-once spoken, you can't take em back. Words are usually literally read but a painting or sculpture lends itself to interpretation by the artist and the viewer.

             Let me paint you a picture. I am from an Appalachian family. I am the first person to attend and graduate from college. These experiences and family shaped my character and professional goals. At birth, I was born with eight ounces of blood, lack of iron and an impaired immune system. Throughout my childhood, I was sick for three to six months out of each year. These among other life experiences developed my admiration and respect for the medical profession. I asked my family physician many questions furthering my interest in healthcare.
My heritage starts in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky. Years later, my family moved to another rural
part of Kentucky. My grandmother had a fourth grade education, while my mother and father had ninth and eighth grade education, respectively. At age 43, my mother attended night school to earn her GED and my father considered pursuing his as well.
I am the first to attend college and get a degree. My mother knew it was the only way out of rural Kentucky. My father  wanted me to follow in his footsteps working the family business.  During college, my grandmother  had open-heart surgery and her children wanted to place her in a nursing home. I left school to support her. She will say she took care of me , but I say  we took care of each other.
Eventually, I moved to Columbus. I needed employment. So I went to work for Brooks Homes Inc. caring for MRDD clients. I taught sign language, gave medication, performed general household chores, and assisted with their daily living .
I decided to return to college and attended The Ohio State University. There, I was a founding member of a few organizations, Campus Partners and Project Community, and on committees and other groups. Campus Partners is a group for Redevelopment and Revitalization of the University District, specifically, south campus gateway project. We formed Project Community to inform the student organizations of University District community volunteering activities.
While there were many unexpected turns in my life and breaks in my education, I do not regret any of my decisions. Everything happens for a reason. You just have to continue reaching for your goals.
You have traveled my road and seen my painting. You know the painting is ever changing and evolving through choices. What will be your painting? What others see will be different interpretation of your idea. The painting will be yours to interpret but others will attempt to interpret you. Time to get painting and no time for regret.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Nutrition 101

To get started the right way, take baby steps, for instance, you can try changing one item per week-drinking 10-12 glasses of water per day or cutting back on fried foods or doing morning exercise or cutting bread. Here is a proposed schedule for drinking water:
Wake up: 1 glass of water
Breakfast: 1-2 glasses of water
Snack: 1-2 glasses of water
Lunch: 1-2 glasses of water
Snack: 1-2 glasses of water
Dinner: 1-2 glasses of water
Snack: 1 glass of water

You can drink not enough or too much water. Your body is 75% water. Drink just enough water that doesn't mean coffee, tea, or pop ie soft drinks.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a role in maintaining the health of the body’s connective tissue as well as acting as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are important dietary supplement.

A severe vitamin C deficiency will result in scurvy, a disease resulting from the breakdown of collagen.
Scurvy is rarely seen today, as only a very small amount of vitamin C is needed to prevent it.
But even mild vitamin C deficiency symptoms include: easy bruising, bleeding gums, slow wound healing, dry splitting hair, nosebleeds, and dry red spots on the skin, where blood has leaked out of the capillaries.
Benefits of consuming vitamin C rich foods include:
  • Promotes healthy glowing skin and collagen formation
  • Improves mineral absorption
  • Fights free radical damage
  • Boosts immunity fighting colds and flu
  • Improves health of gums and teeth
  • Vital for circulation and heart health

The RDA for vitamin C is 90 mg/day for men and 75 mg/day for women. The Daily Value is 60 mg.

Top 10 Vitamin C Foods List
1) Oranges-1 large: 82 mg (over 100% DV)
2) Red peppers-½ cup chopped, raw: 95 mg (over 100% DV)
3) Kale-1 cup: 80 mg (134% DV)
4) Brussels sprouts-½ cup cooked: 48 mg (80% DV)
5) Broccoli-½ cup cooked: 51 mg (107% DV)
6) Strawberries-½ cup: 42 mg (70% DV)
7) Grapefruit-½ cup: 43 mg (71% DV)
8) Guava-1 fruit: 125 mg (over 100% DV)
9) Kiwi-1 piece: 64 mg (33% DV)
10) Green peppers-½ c chopped, raw: 60 mg (100% DV)


Following this vitamin C foods list can help you maintain optimal levels of vitamin C. Try and consume 2-3 of these vitamin C foods sources daily.


Top Health Benefits of Vitamin C
Healthy Immune Function
Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells and helps these immune cells to function properly. Vitamin C, since it is an antioxidant, helps protect white blood cells from oxidative damage and therefore keeps them functioning properly.
Although it is commonly believed that vitamin C will boost the immune system to help fight off colds, the studies regarding its ability to prevent or reduce illness have been inconclusive.
Skin health
Higher vitamin C intakes have been connected to a decrease in the appearance of wrinkles and skin dryness. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which can help reduce the effect oxidative damage caused by pollution, stress, or poor diet.
Free radicals formed by oxidative damage speed up the aging process, but adequate intakes of vitamin C may help slow it down, especially on the appearance of the skin.
Reduced Risk of Stroke
The
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition featured a study that found those with high levels of vitamin C in their blood had almost a 50% decreased risk of stroke.
The exact reason is still unclear and researchers are unsure if it is just the high consumption of fruit and vegetables from the diet that lowers the risk of stroke.

Top 10 High Antioxidant Foods
Antioxidants are substances that help prevent certain types of cell damage, especially those caused by oxidation.
When certain types of oxygen molecules are allowed to travel freely in the body they cause what is known as oxidative damage which is the formation of free radicals.
Free radicals are very dangerous to the body’s tissues and have been connected to cancer and premature aging. The body uses antioxidants to prevent itself from the damage caused by oxygen.
Oxidative damage plays a major role in disease today and has been linked to health conditions like heart disease, cancer and dementia.
Some of the benefits of consuming antioxidant rich foods include:
  • Slower aging
  • Healthy glowing skin
  • Reduced cancer risk
  • Detoxification support
  • Longer life span
Most fruits, vegetables, and herbs contain antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids and lycopene. There is no RDA or Daily Value set for antioxidants.
The levels of antioxidants is evaluated by ORAC Score (oxygen radical absorption capacity) and tests the power of a plant to absorb and eliminate free radicals.
These measurements were developed by the National Institute of Aging and are based on 100 grams of each food or herb.
Top 10 High Antioxidant Foods List
1) Goji berries-25,000 ORAC Score
2) Wild blueberries-14,000 ORAC Score
3) Dark Chocolate-21,000 ORAC Score
4) Pecans-17,000 ORAC Score
5) Artichoke-9,400 ORAC Score
6) Elderberries-14,000 ORAC Score
7) Kidney Beans-8,400 ORAC Score
8) Cranberries-9,500 ORAC Score
9) Blackberries-5,300 ORAC Score
10) Cilantro-5,100 ORAC Score
Other antioxidant rich foods include: pomegranates, strawberries, kale, red wine and wild caught salmon.  Try and consume 2-3 servings daily of these high antioxidant foods for optimal health.
Also, along with food, herbs and essential oils of plants are extremely high in antioxidants.  Here is another list of the herbs and essential oils highest in antioxidants.
Top 10 Antioxidant Herbs List
1) Clove--314,446 ORAC Score
2) Cinnamon--267,537 ORAC Score
3) Oregano--159,277 ORAC Score
4) Turmeric--102,700 ORAC Score
5) Cocoa--80,933 ORAC Score
6) Cumin--76,800 ORAC Score
7) Parsley (dried)--74,349 ORAC Score
8) Basil--67,553 ORAC Score
9) Ginger--28,811 ORAC Score
10) Thyme--27,426 ORAC Score

Other antioxidant rich herbs include garlic, cayenne pepper and green tea.  Try and consume 2-3 servings of these herbs daily.
Top Health Benefits of Antioxidant Foods
Antioxidants For Eyes
The antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene have been shown to have an effect on preventing macular degeneration, or age-related blindness. Lutein and zeaxanthin found in spinach have also been proven to decrease eye related degeneration.
Flavonoid antioxidants found in bilberries and rescueeratrol found in grape skins have been shown to be especially beneficial at supporting vision.
Antioxidant Benefits For Skin Health
Free radicals formed by oxidative damage speed up the aging process, but antioxidants may help combat this damage. High intakes of vitamin C, beta carotene, and other antioxidants have been connected to a decrease in the appearance of wrinkles and skin dryness.
Vitamin C, specifically, is a powerful antioxidant which can help reduce the effect of oxidative damage caused by pollution, stress, or poor diet.
Stroke and Heart Disease
Since antioxidants help prevent against free radical damage, they may also protect against heart disease and stroke. At this point, the data does not show that all antioxidants are effective to protect against heart disease, but some, such as vitamin C may be.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition featured a study that found those with high levels of vitamin C in their blood had almost a 50% decreased risk of stroke.

Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride and magnesium. Most often, electrolytes can be found in foods but they can also be found in beverages such as coconut water and juices made from electrolyte-rich fruits and vegetables.

Calories in Common Foods

Food
Size
Calories
Apple
1 small (4 oz.)
80
Banana
1 medium (6 oz.)
101
Grape
each
2
Mango
1 (8 oz.)
135
Orange
1 (4 oz.)
71
Pear
1 (5 oz.)
100
Peach
1 (6 oz.)
38
Pineapple
1 cup
80
Strawberry
1 cup
53
Watermelon
1 cup
45
 
 
 
Asparagus
1 cup, boiled
36
Bean curd
4 oz.
81
Broccoli
1 cup
40
Carrots
1 cup
45
Cucumber
each
30
Eggplant
1 cup, boiled
38
Lettuce
1 cup
7
Tomato
1 cup
29
 
 
 
Beef, regular, cooked
1 slice (2 oz.)
120
Chicken, cooked
1 slice (2 oz.)
95
Egg
large
79
Fish, Catfish, cooked
2 oz.
80
Pork, cooked
1 slice (2 oz.)
130
Shrimp, cooked
2 oz.
70
 
 
 
Bread, regular
1 slice (1 oz.)
75
Butter
1 table spoon
102
Caesar salad
1 serving (3 cups)
360
Cheeseburger
1 (McDonald Medium)
360
Chocolate
1 oz.
150
Corn
1 cup, cooked
140
Hamburger
1 (McDonald Medium)
280
Pizza
1 slice
180
Potato (uncooked)
1 (6 oz.)
120
Rice, cooked
1 cup
225
Sandwich
1 (6" Subway)
310
 
 
 
Beer, regular
1 can or bottle
150
Coca-Cola Classic
1 cup
97
Diet Coke
1 cup
3
Milk, low-fat (1%)
1 cup
104
Milk, low-fat (2%)
1 cup
121
Milk, whole
1 cup
150
Orange Juice / Apple Cider
1 cup
115
Yogurt, low-fat
1 cup
200
Yogurt, non-fat
1 cup
150
* 1 cup = ~250 milliliters, 1 table spoon = 14.2 gram

Calories Burning Rate of Common Exercises

The following are the hourly calorie burning rates of common exercises in normal intensity. Intensity has very significant impact on the calorie burning rate.
Activity (1 hour)
125 lbs person
155 lbs person
185 lbs person
Golf (Using Cart)
210
260
310
Walk
240
300
360
Kayaking
300
370
440
Softball/Baseball
300
370
440
Swimming
360
440
530
Tennis
420
520
620
Running
480
600
710
Bicycling
480
600
710
Football
480
600
710
Basketball
480
600
710
Soccer
480
600
710

Energy of Common Food Components

Food Components
kJ per gram
Calorie (kcal) per gram
kJ per ounce
Calorie (kcal) per ounce
Fat
37
8.8
1,049
249
Proteins
17
4.1
482
116
Carbohydrates
17
4.1
482
116
Fiber
8
1.9
227
54
Ethanol (drinking alcohol)
29
6.9
822
196
Organic acids
13
3.1
369
88
Polyols (sugar alcohols, sweeteners)
10
2.4
283
68



How Many Calories Do You Need?

Nearly all of us seek to lose weight, and often the best way to do this is to consume a lower amount of calories each day than we usually do. But how many calories do we need to be healthy? Much depends, of course, on the amount of physical activity you engage in each day. And it's different for us all; there are a lot of different factors involved.
Factors include age, size, height, sex, lifestyle, and overall general health. A physically active, 25 –year-old six foot male requires considerably more calories than a 5 foot 70-year-old woman who is not especially active. The average male adult requires about 2,700 calories to maintain his weight, while the average female needs only 2,200 calories, according to the U.S Department of Health.
Just to stay alive, we obviously need far less calories, but our bodies will function poorly if we consume too few. The basal metabolic rate, used in our calculator, is the amount of energy you require when you are just resting. Depending on the amount of physical exercise you do, you can multiply the basal metabolic rate by a specific number to determine calorie needs. For example, if you are not very active, your needed calorie intake is the basal metabolic rate times 1.2. Somewhat active people should multiply by 1.375. if you do some exercise during the week, the number is 1.55. And, if you do a lot of sports, you multiply by 1.95.

Different Kinds of Calories

Did you know that how you eat can make a difference in terms of how many calories you consume? The longer you chew your food, the greater the amount of calories you absorb, a recent study has shown.
Foods that take more effort to chew—like fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains—make your body burn more calories. More calories are required to digest them, and, to top it off, they'll keep you feeling satisfied longer. Some other foods also increase calorie burn: Coffee and tea, for example, not only for the caffeine in them, but also for other ingredients they have. Certain spices like chilies, cinnamon, and ginger do also help to burn calories.
Scientists have recently discovered that there is a difference in terms of gaining or losing weight in the quality of the calories you consume, not just the quantity. There is an actual difference in consuming 500 calories of carrots from 500 calories of popcorn – although technically you should be consuming the same amount of energy, the popcorn makes you fatter just the same.
It turns out that a healthy diet, irrespective of quantities, will keep you thinner. The best thing is to eat at least five different fruits and vegetables with each meal. The process of converting these hard-to-chew foods into energy will have a healthy effect.

Drinking in Calories

We get a lot of our calories from drinks. On average, we take in about 21 percent of our calories from them. A drink sweetened with sugar can undo the effects of a long workout at the gym. What's more, we often drink right from the bottle, and that means we take in a lot more than we actually need.
The best things to drink, from the point of view of limiting calorie intake, are water, and coffee or tea without sugar. However, few of us are willing to drink nothing else all the time. Fruit juice is a low-calorie drink as well, but be careful not to take too much. A six-ounce glass is a healthy serving, while a bigger glass means you'll take in more calories than you probably should.
Americans also consume about 580 calories per day in unhealthy snacks. Nothing is worse from the point of view of calorie control, which is best maintained by regular healthy meals and little in between. Choose snacks carefully, and count the calories you are putting into your snacks. This can make a great difference in maintaining the right weight for your size.
Don't be misled by "health food." "Natural" foods still may contain a lot of sugar, and low-calorie foods may have unhealthy ingredients replacing the calories. For example, many reduced-fat foods have sugar added instead. There is nothing wrong with eating "health" foods, but always find out what is in the packages before you buy.

Lose Weight Sensibly and Carefully

A proper weight for your size is definitely a healthy condition. But it won't be healthy if you cut down too sharply on calories, do too much exercise without eating properly, or take other extreme measures. Weight should always be lost gradually. Maintaining a healthy diet while you lose weight will just help the whole process along.


As a general rule, between 10 percent and 15 percent of your total calories should come from protein. So, if you consume 2,000 calories per day, at least 200 should come from protein, or about 50 grams. You should try to eat around one gram of protein per one kilogram of body weight, or around 0.4 grams per pound.

The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. This amounts to: 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man. 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman.



Recommended Ranges (Percent of Calories)
Lower Carb Higher Protein (Percent of Calories)
Carbohydrates
45-65%
45%
Protein
10-35%
25%
Fat
20-35%
30%

Whether you need to use more than a single scoop of whey or less will depend onhow much protein you need in a day. According to Rice University, an average, moderately active adult needs about 0.4 to 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight, which equates to a range of 60 to 90 grams daily for a 150-pound person.

Maximum Safe Amounts. According to the "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism," a maximum safe protein intake is 2.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about 1.1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day.

Excess Protein May Fuel Weight Gain, Yeast Overgrowth, and Cancer. There are a number of reasons why I believe it's prudent to limit your protein intake. The first is that if you eat more protein than your body requires, it will simply convert most of those calories to sugar and then fat.

Fat

You need a moderate amount of fat in your diet -- between 20 and 35 percent of your total calories, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. Fat plays a role in hormone secretion, provides cushioning for vital organs and helps the body absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. Even though you need fat, it has more than double the amount of calories in carbohydrates and protein. Fat has 9 calories per gram, so if you adhere to a 2,000-calorie diet, you'll need 44 to 77 grams of fat each day. Opt for heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated and trans fats, which are detrimental to your cholesterol levels.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are your body's main energy source and eventually break down into glucose. As glucose enters your bloodstream, the hormone insulin helps cells pick up glucose molecules for fuel. The majority of your calories, 45 to 65 percent, should come from carbs, which have 4 calories per gram. Following a 2,000-calorie diet means that you need 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates each day. Select whole foods that are rich in carbs, as well as fiber, vitamins and minerals. Fruits, starchy vegetables, beans and other plant foods are healthy carbohydrate sources. You'll also get carbohydrates from milk, but opt for low-fat milk to avoid consuming a high amount of calories.

Protein

Protein, like carbs, has 4 calories per gram. Your diet should consist of 10 to 35 percent protein, so for a 2,000-calorie diet, you'll need 50 to 175 grams of protein. Requirements of protein vary drastically depending on your activity level. If you work out regularly or are training for an athletic event, you may need the higher end of the recommendation, but if you are relatively sedentary, your protein requirements are lower. Animal-based foods and seafood provide complete proteins, meaning they have all of the essential amino acids your body needs. Plant-based proteins, like tofu, beans, whole-grains and other foods, are rich in protein. However, these foods are incomplete protein sources. While you can meet your body's needs for essential amino acids by consuming solely plant-based proteins, you need to have a variety of different types throughout the day. For example, if you have a side of black beans for lunch, opt for grilled tofu at dinner.

Sodium

Sodium is an electrolyte that works alongside potassium, calcium and magnesium to maintain steady fluid levels throughout your system. Electrolytes are also responsible for conducting electricity, which is imperative for regular heart rhythm, muscle contraction and skeletal movements. For optimal heart health and to avoid developing high blood pressure, keep your intake of sodium to less than 1,500 milligrams per day, advises the University of Maryland Medical Center. Too much sodium leads to an influx in fluid levels, forcing your heart to work harder to get blood to your limbs. Over time, you'll have an increased risk of heart disease.