Can you name the nutrient that 80% of Americans are deficient in, that is found on an ER crash cart, and used in hospitals for pre-eclampsia and seizures?
This nutrient is found in over 300 enzymes, including the ones that synthesize ATP… the battery power we live on. While most drugs have 1 function, a recent study showed that 3,751 binding sites on proteins have been found for this. This nutrient isn’t sexy, but it’s vital… it’s magnesium.
The study I referenced in the title looked at the magnesium levels of 7,664 “healthy” people and tracked them for 10.5 years. With all other risk factors figured in, the people with lower levels of urinary magnesium were 70% more likely to die from heart disease.
Cholesterol seems to get all the attention, but a study that looked at 136,000 heart attack victims found that about 75% had normal LDL levels, and about 50% had optimal levels. Cholesterol is a factor, but clearly not the only factor.
There’s a mountain of research around magnesium, and greenmedinfo.com’s database lists over 100 known benefits. Magnesium levels are hard to monitor, since standard blood tests are not very accurate, but here are some signs that you may be magnesium deficient (this is a short list):
High blood pressure
Muscle cramps or twitches
I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get the point. Magnesium is vital! We can assume that it’s always been vital, so what’s the problem? The problem is our diets suck, and we are exposing ourselves to things that deplete us.
Our nearly universal magnesium deficiency is 3 pronged; we don’t eat enough foods with magnesium, our unhealthy guts absorb less of the magnesium we do consume, and our lifestyles flush much of the magnesium we do have.
The topic of unhealthy guts is an issue of its own. The consumption of chemicals, food additives, too little fiber, and too much sugar… along with the overuse of antibiotics have resulted in some pretty unhealthy digestive systems. Magnesium is somewhat hard to absorb and requires the help of other nutrients, like vitamin D. It’s not just how much magnesium you get, it’s how much you maintain.
The phosphoric acid in pop decreases our magnesium, along with salt, coffee, and alcohol. Studies have also shown that chronic stress results in large amounts of magnesium to be lost via the urine. Pop, coffee, and stress… oh boy!
There’s good news! This can be fixed.
We just have to make a conscience effort to eat more of the foods high in magnesium, treat our guts a little better, and cut back on things we mentioned.
Chlorophyll (the green stuff in plants), needs magnesium to make energy from the sun. So when you see green, you see magnesium. Get down to the farmer’s market and buy GREEN.
Foods high in magnesium
Spinach, chard, kale, parsley, kelp, brown rice, almonds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, pecans, cashews, beans, avocado, walnuts, brazil nuts, halibut, mackerel, salmon, pollock, quinoa, millet, yogurt, bananas, figs, and dark chocolate.
The RDA for the MINIMUM, not optimum, but minimum amount of magnesium, is around 300 mg per day for women and around 400 mg for men. It’s obvious that most of us are not getting that. It really is best to get most of the magnesium we need from food, since a variety whole foods provide the balance of calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, and vitamin D our bodies need. If you still don’t feel like you’re getting enough from all the great food you’re now eating, then supplements are a good option. Magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, ionic magnesium, or magnesium as part of a good whole food multi-vitamin, are all great.
Do you think you’re eating enough of these foods or that you may be deficient?
Ok, I’ll meet you down at the farmer’s market… and don’t hog all the good looking kale! And yes, we can still do coffee, but just 1 cup.