Magnesium serves hundreds of functions within the body and is an important part of bone mineralization, heart health, a healthy nervous system, cellular energy, blood clotting, blood pressure, tooth enamel, immune function hormone regulation and the relaxation and activation of muscle tissue. Three quarters of all Americans eat a diet that is deficient in magnesium, according to a report published by the World Health Organization.
In the past, our food would provide us with the magnesium we needed for optimal health but all that changed. Over the last century, since the introduction of industrialized agriculture and the the drastic change to a fast food diet with processed foods that have been “enriched” and “fortified” we have seen and felt the consequences of magnesium deficiency. The introduction of cheap food has paved the way for our Standard American Diet and the silent epidemic of magnesium deficiency. Like my grandfather used to say “nothing cheap is good and nothing good is cheap”.
Most Americans don’t even consume the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of magnesium as the average magnesium intake in the U.S. has declined to less than half of what is was 100 years ago. Many prescription medications may leach minerals from the body. So, as you can see, there might be a bit of a problem here. In the year 1900: 500 mg per day. Today: 175-225 mg per day according to the New Perspectives in Magnesium Research London: Springer-Verlag; 2007:239-260.
If you suffer from gluten sensitivity, Crohns, colitis, IBS or you have had intestinal surgery you really run the risk of being magnesium deficient. Magnesium can be lost through diarrhea and fat malabsorption. Others at risk are diabetics, alcoholics and the elderly. Magnesium is absorbed through the small intestines. People with Celiac Disease may not be able to absorb adequate amounts of magnesium through their diet due to intestinal cellular damage. Those at risk for magnesium deficiency need to be aware that the refined grains and starches used in so many gluten free recipes and products are low in magnesium because the mineral-rich bran and germ have been removed.
Foods high in magnesium include whole grains like gluten free oats, buckwheat, bananas, potatoes, bean & nuts, and leafy green vegetables.
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may be at risk for low magnesium intake.
Do you drink carbonated beverages on a regular basis? Do you regularly eat pastries, cakes, desserts, candies or other sweet foods? Do you experience a lot of stress in your life, or have you recently had a major medical procedure such as surgery? Do you drink coffee, tea, or other caffeinated drinks daily? Do you take a diuretic, heart medication, asthma medication, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy? Do you drink more than seven alcoholic beverages per week? Do you take calcium supplements without magnesium or calcium supplements with magnesium in less than a 1:1 ratio?
Answering yes to any of the above can lead to magnesium loss which can cause restless legs, muscle cramps, trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep,depression, calcium deficiency, potassium deficiency, irregular or rapid heartbeat, coronary spasms, fibromyalgia, seizures, chronic fatigue syndrome, ADHD, Parkinson’s Disease, migraine or cluster headaches, osteoporosis, premenstrual syndrome, chest pain (angina), cardiac arrhythmias, coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis, hypertension, Type II diabetes or asthma.
Magnesium chloride is by far the best choice for supplementation as it has been found to have the highest bioavailability of magnesium, due to its superior solubility in water. Applying magnesium chloride transdermally is the most effective as the natural pH of the skin is a mildly acidic 4.5 to 6, which creates the best environment for total ionization of magnesium chloride. This also allows for optimal uptake into underlying tissues.
The accepted method of testing for human magnesium deficiency by the American Medical Association is the serum magnesium test, which assesses the amount of magnesium found in the blood. However, studies have shown that, within the bounds of normal blood levels set for magnesium by the AMA, true magnesium deficiencies still occur.
You will find magnesium chloride along with other magnesium products at Act Natural Health & Wellness. Looking for a healthy lifestyle change? Schedule a Nutrition Consultation today, you will be glad you did!
Since potatoes will be coming into harvest soon and they are a good source of magnesium you might want to try the following recipe. It’s simple and delicious!
2 lbs. potatoes, red and yukon golds are particularly tasty in this recipe
Olive oil (first, cold pressed)
Black pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Scrub potatoes clean. Leave very small potatoes whole. Cut all other potatoes into bite-size pieces.
Put potatoes in a baking pan large enough to hold them in single layer (more or less). Drizzle potatoes with olive oil and, using your hands, toss to coat potatoes thoroughly and evenly. Sprinkle with salt and toss to combine.
Bake potatoes until browned and tender, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with black pepper, if you like, and serve hot or warm.