Food For Thought: The importance of magnesium is greater than we thought

Every week I share articles with you that tout the health benefits of all kinds of foods. When I came across an article recently about how the majority of Americans are deficient in a mineral that is more important to our diets than previously believed, I thought it was time I started to share information about specific minerals and why we need them. Today I’m focusing on magnesium.
Scientists have discovered that magnesium is far more important to good health than previously believed. Perhaps you’ve already come across this bit of news and are wondering how to get more magnesium into your diet.
Researchers have discovered magnesium in over 300 different enzymes in the body and have detected 3,751 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins. Apparently, the role magnesium has to play in disease prevention and the promotion of good health may have been terribly underestimated until now.
Magnesium has always been known to prevent stroke and heart attacks, but now we’re seeing that the benefits of magnesium are much more far-reaching.
Magnesium aids in the formation of bones and teeth helps create energy molecules in the body and regulates blood pressure. It has actually been identified as having therapeutic benefits for more than 100 different ailments, from helping with PMS and symptoms of fibromyalgia to slowing the effects of aging and curing migraines.
Unfortunately, 80% of us in the United States are magnesium deficient.
How can you tell if you need more magnesium?
Early signs of magnesium deficiency include:
• Nausea and vomiting
• Headache
• Weakness and fatigue
• Loss of appetite
If you’ve been deficient in magnesium for a long time, you may experience more serious symptoms including:
• Seizures
• Tingling and numbness
• Muscle cramps
• Personality changes
• Abnormal heart rhythms
So, what foods will help boost magnesium levels?
There is no such thing as a 100% magnesium supplement because magnesium has to be bound to another mineral or substance. You’ll notice that magnesium is found in combination with other things when you look for it in the vitamin aisle, like magnesium sulfate, magnesium carbonate, magnesium glycinate, and so on and so forth.
The good news, though, is that there is a delicious list of foods that are exceptionally high in magnesium. That list includes:
• Flax
• Almond butter
• Basil
• Pumpkin seeds
Sea vegetables
• Coriander
• Cocoa (unsweetened)
I am a firm believer that we need only eat a varied diet rich in fruits and vegetables in order to give us all of the minerals and vitamins we need for optimal health. A whole food diet also helps to ensure we don’t end up with nutritional imbalances.
In the case of magnesium, you want to ensure you have a good balance between it, Vitamin K2, Vitamin D, and calcium. If not, you could end up with all kinds of issues like Vitamin D toxicity and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
So, the bottom line is to be aware of the importance of magnesium and to try to add foods to your diet that will boost your own personal magnesium levels. And don’t be too quick to run out and buy a bottle of vitamins without doing your research first. A varied diet of whole foods will win out over bottled tablets every day of the week as far as I’m concerned!
How will you add some magnesium to your dinner tonight? Tell us here!

PS–You can receive delicious menus (complete with shopping lists!) delivered right to your email inbox by subscribing to Dinner Answers today!

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