Even our thoughts are dependent on Magnesium!
There are many different supplements to take and consider but some should be called ‘essential supplements’. Like essential amino acids there are many minerals that are essential to life but are increasingly becoming more and more deficient in our diets. During my fat loss programs I highly recommend greens, fish oils, pro-biotics and Vitamin D – especially in the winter. But also Magnesium. This blog details my reasons why this mineral is so essential for health and therefore fat loss.
What is Magnesium?
After Calcium, it is the second most abundant element in the body. Without it we would not live. This is true for plants and animals too. Like all other minerals, magnesium occurs in combination with other minerals and like Calcium it is a highly alkalising mineral which helps buffer any acidic exposure and helps maintain our bodies delicate PH levels which are crucial for cell health.
The highest concentrations of Magnesium reside in the heart and brain. So symptoms of Magnesium deficiency can affect these vital organs the most.
Cavemen or Paleo-lithic men would have had a ratio of Calcium to Magnesium 1:1. Today the ratio is more like 5:1 and up to as high as 15:1.
What does it do?
Magnesium is the catalyst for many metabolic reactions through the body. It is also necessary to maintain the proper levels of calcium in the blood. Too much Calcium can cause symptoms such as high blood pressure and arthritis. Appropriate levels of Magnesium helps keep the balance.
Magnesium is involved in many metabolic reactions including energy production and transportation. And includes temperature regulation. It helps transmit nerve signals, synthesise protein and aids muscle relaxation to prevent twitches, muscle spasms or cramps.
There is more to life than Magnesium but you get more life with Magnesium for sure!
Why is is so essential?
80% or more of Magnesium is lost during the processing of foods such as wheat and rice.
Modern diets are loaded with chemicals, refined sugar and salt. It is devoid of many nutrients. Even those dedicated to eating lots of fruit and vegetables can be deficient purely because our modern farming techniques and exposure to pollution and acid rain depletes the soils leaving them dead. This makes the plants themselves become deficient in Magnesium making it impossible to achieve the desired amount. With our western focus on Calcium deficiency and consumption from dairy and supplementation it can cause an even greater imbalance between Calcium and Magnesium.
Plants can manufacture vitamins when they have sufficient sunlight and water. But for plants to contain essential minerals these much be present in the soil.
What if I don’t take it?
You may find that you constantly feel unsatisfied with your food, maybe have constant cravings and a desire to eat all the time. Research is suggesting that because many of our foods our now so depleted of vital minerals that the body is constantly searching to fulfill the missing links. Wheat being a perfect example of this. It becomes so depleted of anything useful to the body it actually ends up being an anti-nutrient! Which means it takes more minerals and vitamins to digest in the body than it gives back!
Foods extremely high in Magnesium include wheat germ, brewers yeast, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sea salt. Nut and seed butters are a great source of this mineral too.
Aim to eat a diet high in a wide variety of vegetables (organic is best) – greens are best – such as Kale and spinach. Use plenty of herbs in your cooking long with garlic too. Use Xyltiol or Stevia in place of sugar and limit your grains to whole grains such as buckwheat, millet, oats, amaranth or the seed quinoa. Try to eat organic meat, fish and eggs and use a mineral rich sea salt for cooking. I also highly recommend a water filter (one that removes Fluriode and heavy metals etc such as Ecopure: http://www.ecopurefilters.com/). Also try adding sea vegetables to your diet such as Kelp, dulse or nori.
Popular supplemental forms can include Epsom bath salts which are absorbed but not as well as the new forms of Magnesium sprays such as Better You or in tablet form such as this one from Phil Richards . The general rule of thumb for taking Magnesium is 6-8mg/kg of body weight per day. This can change depending on stress, activity, illness etc
Who needs it most?
Sugar uses up Magnesium!
I believe that everyone could benefit from taking a supplement. But for some people their requirements are higher. This could be for a number of reasons but the most common reasons are:
- regular users of teas, coffee, fizzy/carbonated drinks and/or alcohol consumption
- fluoridated tap water (http://www.ecopurefilters.com/)
- stress and anxiety
- heavy exercisers
- bowel problems such as IBS and constipation
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- depression or memory problems
- high protein consumption (especially from meats containing phosphates such as sausages, luncheon meats and hot dogs)
- diets high in grains or Soy
- High blood pressure, cholesterol or other heart conditions
- food cravings, high salt or very processed diets (Aspartame, MSG)
- Raynauds or other circulation problem
- Medications such as antacids, antibiotics, diuretics, birth control and steroids
- high heavy metal exposure such as Mercury fillings
- Muscles cramps, spasms, twitching or PMT
- Other conditions such as arthritis, gum disease, Osteoporosis, frequent urination etc
People don’t get depression or anxiety because they are deficient in Prozac!
It is cheap and easy to supplement with Magnesium. Unfortunately there is no money to be made for the drug companies by selling Magnesium.
A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
To compound matters many Doctors don’t have sufficient training in human nutrition at this level and so the information is not out there. Often symptoms are treated with drugs, often causing more symptoms and worse deficiencies that then lead to more symptoms when all the patient needed was a simple mineral or vitamin supplement.
For more reading I highly recommend the book by Carolyn Dean, M.D.,N.D: http://drcarolyndean.com/magnesium_miracle/
Big love, small tummies and relaxed muscles!
Jill – The Fat Controller