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Well and Good: Magnificent Magnesium

Is magnesium the “missing link” to better health?

According to many alternative practitioners, it is a pivotal nutrient, important to general health and for all kinds of specific benefits.  This mineral is a natural way to help prevent diabetes, heart disease, insomnia, migraines, heart disease, blood clots, osteoporosis, depression, hypertension, muscle cramps, PMS – and the list goes on!

Unfortunately magnesium is often overlooked, and is rarely thought of as a first defense for certain conditions, since it is not a patented drug.  According to Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, author of The Magnesium Miracle, that up to 80% of men and 70% of women are all deficient in this mineral.

Why? Well, overcooking and processing depletes magnesium from those foods high in the mineral.  If you consume a high protein diet, alcohol, coffee and sugar, you will probably have lower levels of magnesium in their body as well.

However, magnesium is naturally found in several foods you probably already like, including seaweed, deep green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and dark chocolate. Like these:

  • Pumpkin seeds come out the highest in the nut category for magnesium, with 532 milligrams in just over 3 ounces of seeds. That’s more than the recommended daily allowance of about 400 milligrams for the average adult.
  • Almonds deliver 270 milligrams for the same size serving.
  • By far the best source? Seaweed Kelp, at 760 milligrams in a 3 ½ oz serving.

Since we are all so different, our need for magnesium, or any other nutrient, will vary from person to person.  How much to take really depends on your health symptoms and your reaction to the magnesium.

However, most people need more than 400 milligrams to balance out the calcium that is taken in every day.  If you are under a greater than normal amount of stress due to physical work, athletic activity or emotional reasons, your magnesium need increases as well.

Magnesium comes in various forms tablets and capsules to powders, body oil and bath salts.  Or try this magnesium-rich dessert.  See, taking your vitamins does not have to taste bad!

Magnesium-Rich Smoothie
4 small bananas, cut into rounds
4 oz full fat coconut milk
2 Tbs cocoa powder
Strawberries or blueberries to top

Pulse or blend all ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth and creamy.  Enjoy.