food

And a Dash of Magnesium

Mineral Deficiency

Minerals in our diet. Not something we give much thought too, is it? But should we? What does it matter if we are deficient in a little, say, magnesium?

It turns out to be pretty important for our bodies! Without enough magnesium, one could suffer:

  • foot pain
  • muscle cramps
  • migraines
  • high blood pressure
  • anxiety disorders
  • asthma
  • chronic fatigue
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • in severe cases: cardiovascular disease in the form of cardiac arrhythmia, or angina.
  • low magnesium has been implicated in diabetes.
  • Magnesium can help control premenstrual syndrome or  (PMS), especially where it concern breast tenderness, headache and irritability.
  • Magnesium can also be useful in relaxing muscles and preventing muscular cramps, during exercise.

It is generally recommended that women with severe PMS symptoms take 300 to 500 milligrams a day for the two weeks before and during menstruation. The RDA for magnesium is about 300 milligrams, but at least twice as much is needed to see preventive and therapeutic benefits. Supplements are definitely needed to prevent osteoporosis. Women over 50 that are not taking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) probably need about 750 milligrams of magnesium every day, an amount that is hard to get through the diet alone,” according to

Vitaminstuff.com

Oral supplements are readily available, but it is best to include as many magnesium-rich foods, into the diet, as you can, especially if you fall in to the post menopausal age group.

  • Dairy products, like non-fat yoghurt
  • Fish particularly tuna and halibut
  • Dark leafy greens, such as kale, mustard greens, collards, chard (silverbeet), dandelion greens, sorrel, watercress.

Foods very high in magnesium include:

  • Brazil Nuts,
  • Pumpkin and Squash seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Molasses
  • Brown rice
  • Cantaloupe
  • Figs
  • Garlic
  • Grapefruit
  • Peaches
  • Tofu and soybeans
  • Wheat, and whole grains
  • Dark chocolate (Eating magnesium can be tasty too!!)
  • Several herbs, such as chamomile, cayenne, fenugreek, lemongrass, licorice, paprika, parsley, peppermint, and sage also contain magnesium.

Worth noting also is, “The consumption of alcohol, diuretics, anticonvulsants, antibiotics, digitalis, and lithium can interfere with magnesium absorption. People taking these medications should speak with their doctor about supplementing. Other factors that can decrease magnesium absorption are elevated levels of fluoride, zinc, and vitamin D; diarrhea; high-fat and high-protein diets; consumption of large amounts of cod liver oil; and frequent consumption of foods high in oxalic acid, such as cocoa, rhubarb, spinach, and tea,” 

Vitaminstuff.com

One menu giving you some ideas about boosting Magnesium in your diet might look something like this:

Entree:

Broccoli and Spinach Soup with Whole wheat bread

Mains:

Stir fry Veges such as broccoli, spring onions, carrot

Served with Fish or Scallops and almonds/cashews and lemongrass atop a bed of brown rice

Sides:

Tabouli and Asian side salads garnished with slices of avocado

Dessert:

Dried figs and Bananas drizzled with dark chocolate

You can find a recipe for delicious Broccoli and Spinach soup over at my main blog.