So there’s always this talk about superfoods, meat eating vs non meat eating, and all sorts of other philosophical debate over what and how the best way is to eat. Very seldom do we actually break it down to the basics of what specific nutrients there are and how much we actually need. Not only that, even if we do know the names of the many vitamins and minerals essential to maintaining our health…what do they actually do? Well, insufficient amounts of just one mineral, magnesium, can result in anxiety, asthma, anorexia, birth defects, hardened arteries, mental disorders, hyperactivity, hypertension, hypothermia, insomnia, menstrual pain, muscle weakness, tremors, seizures, AND it’s been linked in studies to be associated with increased risk of cancer development. I think its important for you and me and everyone we know to know more about magnesium, where it’s found, and how much we need.
Magnesium is involved in activating hundreds of biochemical actions in the body. Some of these very important functions include food metabolism, adjusting cholesterol levels in the body, reactions that make ATP (energy the body uses), and many more. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. Magnesium is also intrinsically involved in nerve and muscle function. When it is ingested, magnesium is absorbed in the small intestine. Magnesium is attributed with boosting the immune system, keeping heart rhythm steady which makes it in important mineral in maintaining cardiovascular health. The thing about magnesium, is that it is depleted through the kidneys. Meaning, when you urinate, you lose magnesium. This makes it extra important to consume magnesium rich foods frequently. The use of diuretics can speed the depletion of magnesium as well.
From my own personal experience, after discovering just how critical and life changing this mineral is, decided to purchase a magnesium supplement which also had calcium and potassium in it. At the time I was suffering from extreme mood swings, excessive food binges, and just an overall feeling of fatigue. As soon as I starting taking the supplement, I kid you not, the next day my appetite was under control. I then realized that my body urging me to consume consume consume was actually it nutritionally calling out for more of some combination of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It blew my mind. Remember that it is important to not get so focused on one nutrient whether it be magnesium or protein. Instead we should be focusing on getting a wide range of foods in our diet to ensure we have optimal health. Learning about vitamins and minerals is just one additional tool that can allow us to see earning signs where we may be imbalanced. -XoXo Nicola, Signing in for Raw Girl
Food Sources of Magnesium
Mustard greens, blackstrap molasses, turnip greens, sea vegetables, green beans and collard greens, spelt, cucumber, bell peppers, celery, kale, cantaloupe, cacao, brazil nuts, almonds, cashews and a variety of seeds, including sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds.