July 25, 2013

The Miracle Mineral You Shouldn’t Ignore.

Photo: fdecomite on Flickr.

Which mineral has women flocking to their local natural health food store?

If you’ve been suffering from sleep problems, leg cramps or headaches, the magnificent mineral magnesium can alleviate many, if not all, of these issues.

I cannot say enough about this vital mineral, as it works in just about every cell in the body. Touted for its calming effects on the nervous system, magnesium has a way of helping those who cannot get to sleep or have twitchy legs in the middle of the night. Coupled with the other powerhouse minerals, calcium and potassium, magnesium promotes healthy nerve impulses, muscle contraction and normal heart rhythm. As a matter of fact, magnesium has been known to maintain a healthy heart function.

The list of amazing functions of magnesium can run long:

Are you having some bowel problems? Take some magnesium.

That headache won’t seem to go away? Add some magnesium powder to your juice or water.

Want to shore up the bones with all that calcium you are taking? Add magnesium to your daily fare.

Need to aid in the liver detoxification process? Magnesium is the answer.

Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body, and about 50% of it is located in the bones. Because of this, taking it alongside calcium and vitamin D will dramatically enhance the strength of your bone structure.

Women can especially benefit from taking magnesium—it has been proven to alleviate PMS, menopausal symptoms and even premature labor.

Magnesium also boosts the bio-availability of vitamin B6 and cholesterol, improves muscle function (athletes take notice), prevents osteoporosis, insomnia, constipation (use it with a liver detox program), migraines, kidney stones, gallstones and heart attacks (in conjunction with the amino acid COQ10).

Good dietary sources of magnesium include: nuts (especially almonds), wheat germ, fish, seaweed, coriander leaf, raw cacao, dried pumpkin seeds and chlorophyll.

It is commonly thought that dairy products contain high doses of magnesium, however most of the vital mineral is stripped in the processing of the dairy product itself. Only when they add magnesium back into the dairy source do you actually get any benefit. The other food sources mentioned here are more natural and as close to earth as possible. The potency of magnesium is elevated when eaten through authentic dietary sources.

Poor nutrition, too many processed foods and lack of exercise will require a magnesium supplement. Healthy magnesium levels in the body have also been known to reduce the risk of developing cancer.

In a nutshell, these are the top five reasons to include this mineral in your everyday nutrition:

1. Magnesium can reverse osteoporosis—taken with calcium, magnesium strengthens bone density and can avert the onset of osteoporosis.

2. Magnesium can prevent cardiovascular disease—sufficient intake may reduce the chance of having a stroke.

3. Magnesium naturally regulates blood pressure—a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which are good sources of potassium and magnesium, are consistently proven to lower blood pressure. Adding magnesium supplementation raises the benefit quotient even more.

4. Magnesium can treat diabetes—this mineral aids in the process of metabolizing carbohydrates and influences the release and activity of insulin, which controls blood glucose levels. With a magnesium deficiency, you are more at risk of type-2 diabetes.

5. Treating insomnia, migraines and depression—I have to mention this again, as magnesium is very powerful in all three of these chronic illnesses. Even those suffering from panic attacks or severe stress occurrences can benefit from a magnesium supplement of 150 mg. or more. Whatever the body can handle, almost up to 400 mg. per day, will help to treat all the symptoms of each one of these illnesses. With magnesium, any recurrence of these symptoms will be minimized.

So, there you have it: all of the amazing ways that magnesium needs to be part of our dietary plan.

In terms of dosage, you will know that you are taking in too much when your bowels aren’t happy with what’s going on. (Diarrhea is a common symptom of too much magnesium.) Lower the amounts just a tad and see what happens.

Although the dosage depends on what’s going on with your health, you may not need more than 300 mg. so it’s best not to ease into higher dosages. Read the labels on your supplement bottle.

Better yet, eat your greens, those raw almonds, some sashimi and seaweed salad and end the evening with some bona fide dark chocolate. Yum!



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Ed: Catherine Monkman

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