By Laurie Sweig
Our bodies require both macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to function. When we’re lacking in any one of the nutrients the body cannot perform optimally. All of the required nutrients are available in food. A balanced diet gives us exactly what we need. Messed up eating habits is the biggest cause of a nutrient deficiency.
Magnesium is one of the minerals that plays an important role in our health. It supports muscles and nerve function and energy productions. Muscles cramps can be an indication of a magnesium deficiency. Prolonged low levels of magnesium have been linked to hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.
If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough magnesium review your diet before you reach for the supplement that comes in a bottle. Too much magnesium from foods isn’t a concern for healthy adults but the same can’t be said for supplements. High doses from supplements or medication can cause nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Once again, Mother Nature comes through for us!
The recommended daily dose of magnesium ranges from 310 to 420 milligrams depending on your age and sex. Nuts, seeds, whole grains, leafy vegetables, milk and yogurt are all high in magnesium. Here are some specific sources:
• Dark chocolate (my favourite): 64 milligrams in a 28 gram serving.
• Avocado: 58 milligrams in a medium avocado.
• Cashews: 82 milligrams in a 28-gram serving.
• Pumpkin seeds: 150 milligrams in 28-gram serving.
• Black Beans: 120 milligrams in a 1-cup serving.
• Spinach: 157 milligrams in a 1-cup serving.
With all these great choices reaching for a pill should be the last resource and not a lasting one. If you need a supplement go for it but look at is as a temporary fix like wearing a cast when you’ve broken a bone. Changing eating habits might just help you get back on track. Why would you want to wear a cast for any longer than you have it to? Exactly my point.
Something to think about.
Laurie Sweig is a certified personal fitness trainer and spinning instructor. She owns and operates The Point for Fitness. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.