Why is Magnesium so Important?

Magnesium is important in your daily diet because your body requires it for so many different functions. We can quickly become deficient in this important mineral if we are not consuming enough high magnesium foods. Magnesium plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions within the body, including the metabolism of food. Magnesium is also required in fat synthesis, protein synthesis, and the transmission of nerve impulses. Magnesium is necessary for muscle relaxation and energy production.  In the adult body, bones contain approximately 60% of all magnesium, and most of the remainder is contained in muscles and soft tissues.

At least half of the US population is not getting enough magnesium in their daily diet and inadequate magnesium intake is associated with increased diabetes risk.  The typical American diet is low in vegetables and whole grains, resulting in reduced magnesium intake.  The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 310-320 mg/day for adult women and 400-420 mg/day for adult men.  Recent research (The Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), NHS2 and Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study), reveals that higher magnesium intake is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, particularly in diets with poor carbohydrate quality.

A deficiency of magnesium may be involved in many conditions, including:

Asthma

Cardiovascular disease

Type 2 Diabetes

Fatigue

Fibromyalgia

High blood pressure

Hypoglycemia

Insulin Resistance

Migraines

Osteoporosis

Premenstrual syndrome

Stroke

Magnesium can help you with:

Relieving constipation

Calming nerves and anxiety

Relaxing muscles

Easing insomnia

Improving insulin sensitivity

Bone health

Increasing energy

Relieving migraine headaches

Where will you find Magnesium? Green leafy vegetables, unrefined whole grains, and nuts and seeds are richest in magnesium.  Meats, yogurt and milk also contain a moderate amount. Refined foods, like carbohydrates, are poor sources of magnesium.  There are various websites including The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s, which list the nutrient content of many foods and provide comprehensive lists of foods containing magnesium arranged by nutrient content and by food name.

Should you supplement with Magnesium?  Magnesium supplements are available, but it is best to obtain any vitamin or mineral through food, because nutrients work better when synergistically combined with other nutrients. Check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

 

When Should You Buy Organic?

Each year the Environmental Working Group publishes their updated “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce”.  EWG is a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies that protect global and individual health.  Their Shopper’s Guide is based on results of more than 35,200 samples of produce tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration. Their guide helps consumers to reduce their exposure to toxic pesticides. They rank the pesticide contamination of 48 popular fruits and vegetables.  The produce is tested for pesticide residues after it has been thoroughly washed and prepared to be eaten.  Their “Dirty Dozen” list notes those fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues.  It is important to buy organic when purchasing from this list of produce.  Their “Clean Fifteen” list notes the least contaminated fruits and vegetables.  These are safer choices of conventionally grown produce.  Use this guide to provide easy-to-use advice when shopping for your favorite fruits and vegetables.