Hello everyone, welcome to a new month where we will focus on magnesium and your diet! Are you all staying safe and warm during these cold days? I hope that you found our information over the past month on vitamin D informative and useful. We are now entering a new month, which brings us to our first week where we concentrate on nutrition. The topic this month will be a mineral, magnesium!
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral found in the body that has multiple functions. It’s responsible for helping support many enzymes throughout the body. However, magnesium can not be produced in the body so it is our responsibility to supplement through vitamins or food (1). This mineral is also deficient in about 50 % of Americans which can cause a slew of health problems (2).
Why is it important to include magnesium in your diet?
The average adult body contains roughly 25 grams of magnesium. With 1% of that being excreted in your urine daily (3). Low magnesium can also be due to low absorption in the gut. Certain prescriptions, calcium supplements, soft water and a diet with low magnesium can all aid in the depletion of magnesium in your body. Those especially susceptible to low magnesium are those with GI issues, Type 2 diabetes, alcohol dependent, getting older, and those using diuretics (4). Also, magnesium is used in many different ways in the body. A specifically important role is helping vitamin D metabolize (5). Without sufficient levels of magnesium, vitamin D can’t perform all of the important roles that we talked about last month.
How does it affect your happiness? (And benefits)
Low levels of magnesium can cause irritability, fatigue, stress and mental confusion (6). Since magnesium plays a key role in serotonin levels and regulating emotions, in the right amounts it can aid in balancing moods. Controlling all of these things helps on the road to happiness. Other major benefits of getting enough magnesium are converting food into energy, relaxing muscles, helping to regulate neurotransmitters that send messages to the brain and nervous system (anxiety). It also aids in boosting exercise performance, fights depression, lowers blood pressure, helps with chronic inflammation, prevents migraines, reduces insulin resistance and helps with PMS symptoms (7). So this is an incredibly important mineral.
High Magnesium foods? (Should you add a supplement?)
The average daily recommended intake of magnesium is between 320 and 420 milligrams. Some multivitamins either offer a low magnesium count or none at all. So that poses the question of should you add a supplement of magnesium if you think that you are low. Some research suggests that it is not ideal to supplement with magnesium but rather add more magnesium rich foods to your diet. Magnesium rich foods are absorbed better and are less likely to cause reactions with medications or cause any ill effects if too much is taken. This is because excess magnesium from foods can be handled by healthy kidneys whereas too much magnesium from supplements could cause diarrhea and other complications (8).
Top ten foods with the highest magnesium (9)
1 Bar of Dark Chocolate 176 mg
100 grams of White Beans, black beans 190mg
1 oz of Pumpkin Seeds 168mg
1 medium Plantain 109mg
100 grams of Spinach or Swiss Chard 87mg
30 grams of Cacao Nibs 84 mg
1 oz of Almonds or Cashews 75mg
100 grams of Dried Figs 68mg
100 grams of Edamame 62mg
1 medium Avocado 58mg
Recipes to get you started:
Join Our Community: Find out more about our Challenge and participate by joining our private Facebook group, SPHappinessreset.
THIS WEEKS CHALLENGE: Include between 350 and 400 milligrams of magnesium in your diet each day. Share pictures of your high in magnesium meals to our Facebook group. You can also send them to #happinessresetchallenge.