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The reasons Magnesium is so important

Magnesium rich foods

Magnesium is a mineral that is in more than 300 enzyme systems that adjust diverse biochemical reactions in our bodies which include normal muscle and nerve function, protein synthesis, cell signaling, building strong bones, keeping a healthy immune system and maintaining heart rhythm.

With processed foods and not whole foods people are realizing that their bodies are deficient in magnesium and are turning to foods and supplements to correct the issue. And with all the pesticides that are used in conventional farming, our soil is being depleted of magnesium. Farming is not what it used to be, so people are looking for alternatives to help get the nutrients they need through supplements and organic whole foods.

Calcium is a BIG contributor to being magnesium deficient. We were brought up concerned about getting enough calcium, but they should have educated us more on the mix of the two. Without getting too scientific on you, let me explain. If your body has too much calcium and not enough magnesium, then the calcium builds up in the cells. Which is called calcification. If you can’t get rid of the calcification, you’re headed to more health problems.

We know that low levels of magnesium have been linked to hereditary heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, clogged arteries, high blood pressure, stroke, agitation, anxiety disorders, irritability, low blood pressure, confusion, muscle spasm and weakness, hyperventilation, insomnia, restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep disorders, poor nail growth, seizures, nausea and vomiting.

In a study from the University of Oregon, they state that deficiency in healthy individuals who are consuming a healthy diet is rare because of the magnesium-rich in plants and animal foods. They also state, that our kidneys are able to limit urinary excretion of magnesium when intake is low. Studies on the elderly show low intakes of dietary magnesium because with age it is harder for our bodies to absorb and interestingly enough our urinary magnesium excretion tends to increase with age. In clinical studies, they state that magnesium is hard for our bodies to absorb and suggest taking calcium with it and what the recommended daily allowance (RDA).

Dietary Supplements

Magnesium supplements come in different forms like magnesium citrate, magnesium gluconate, and magnesium lactate because it absorbs more completely and is more bioavailable than magnesium oxide and magnesium sulfate.

People who suffer from hyperthyroidism (high levels), kidney disease, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and ulcerative colitis, diabetes and taking diuretics can have difficulties absorbing magnesium because of medicine they take.  The University of Oregon says that when taking a medication there can be a loss of absorption when taking drugs such as Digoxin (heart medication), nitrofurantoin (antibiotic) and other malaria drugs and interferes with drug effectiveness. People taking the drug Bisphosphonates for osteoporosis should be taken separately, 2 hours apart. The University of Oregon has drug interaction information regarding antibiotics oral anticoagulants, chlorpromazine (a tranquilizer) and more.

Foods that are rich in magnesium:

  • Tofu
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Wheat bran
  • Brazil nuts
  • Soybean flour
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Pumpkin and squash seeds
  • Pine nuts
  • Black walnuts

 

Foods that also have dietary sources of magnesium:

  • Peanuts
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Oat flour
  • Beet greens
  • Spinach
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Shredded wheat
  • Bran cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Bananas
  • Baked potatoes (with skin)
  • Chocolate
  • Cocoa powder

Herbs, spices and seaweed also have magnesium:

  • Dill weed
  • Celery seed
  • Sage
  • Dried mustard
  • Cumin seed
  • Tarragon
  • Marjoram
  • Basil
  • Agar seaweed
  • Coriander
  • Fennel seed
  • Poppy seed

Things that aid in the loss of magnesium:

  • Drinking too much sugar, caffeine, soda and alcohol
  • Eating too much sodium (salt)
  • Excessive sweating
  • Prolonged stress
  • Heavy menstrual periods

Symptoms of deficiency of magnesium may include:

  • Insomnia
  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disorders
  • Seizures
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle spasm and weakness
  • Hyperventilation
  • Poor nail growth

Always talk to your doctor when taking magnesium supplements with other medications or over the counter drugs as they can interact and cause nausea, vomiting, severely lowered blood pressure, confusion, diarrhea, slowed heart rate, respiratory paralysis, and deficiencies of other minerals, coma, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac arrest and death.

 

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