When I speak to people and we talk about supplements and what they are taking, almost every one makes a point to say they are supplementing with calcium. We’ve heard so much about the increase of osteoporosis and especially for women who are over 40, that most doctors even tell their patients to supplement with calcium.
I won’t go into all the details about this here but just supplementing with calcium for bone health isn’t enough – because with the continued increase in osteopenia and osteoporosis obviously it isn’t working.
You also need companion nutrients to make sure the calcium gets where it is supposed to go – in the bones – and keeps it from depositing in soft tissue like arteries. But that’s for another blog post.
Today I wanted to talk about a mineral that gets overshadowed by calcium yet is critical to health. In fact this mineral has an effect on more than 300 bodily chemical reactions, including heart health, energy levels, bone health, linked to lower diabetes risk and it is believed that as many as 80% of people are deficient. As a natural calcium channel blocker, this mineral may also reduce damage caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields and microwave radiation from cellphones and other wireless technologies. Recent research has also revealed it mimics a key underlying mechanism of calorie restriction, an extremely effective method of slowing aging and extending lifespan. And it does this without limiting caloric intake.
Have you guessed which mineral I’m referring to? It’s magnesium.
Most people are not eating enough foods with magnesium and even if they do, the soils are so depleted that they still are not getting what they think they are. Also certain very common drugs, like those prescribed for reflux, are associated with low magnesium levels. Also antibiotic use can damage the digestive tract preventing the body from properly absorbing and utilizing magnesium in foods. So while it is always best to get nutrients from whole foods, supplementing wisely in this case may be a good idea.
It’s difficult to determine deficiency via blood test since most is in cells or bones, but here are some common signs that may indicate a deficiency:
Low bone density or osteoporosis
Abnormal heart rhythms
Agitation, Anxiety, Irritability
High blood pressure
High blood sugar, diabetes or pre-diabetes
Muscle cramping, spasms or weakness
Increased PMS symptoms
Poor nail growth
Restless leg syndrome
More is not always better so keep in mind that nutrients act in synergy in the body which is why getting them from food is always best. Magnesium supplements help counterbalance high levels of calcium that accumulate when regularly supplementing with calcium. Also as important as vitamin D3 is, taking high amounts or being deficient in vitamin K2 can lower magnesium stores and result in deficiency.
That being said, here are some good food sources of magnesium you may want to include in your diet:
Almonds 105 mg. per ¼ cup
Banana 1 medium, 33 mg.
Pumpkin seeds 74 mg. per ounce
Oatmeal 57.6 mg. per cup
Peas 48 mg. per cup
Sesame seeds 101 mg. per ounce
Sunflower seeds 128 mg. per ¼ cup
Cashews 89 mg. per ¼ cup
Spinach 157 mg. per cup
Chard 154 mg. per cup
Yogurt or kefir 50 mg. per cup
Black beans 60 mg. per ½ cup
Avocado 1 medium 58 mg.
Dark Chocolate 1 square 95 mg.
Do you think you may be deficient in this critical mineral?
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