25 Nov The Unsung Health Hero – Magnesium
Many of us may not even know it, but magnesium does a lot more for us than we may think, and getting enough every day is vital for our overall health and wellbeing.
What exactly is magnesium?
Right up there with calcium, magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body. Despite the body’s inability to produce the mineral, you can usually find the equivalent of four to six teaspoons of magnesium in it at any given time. If you’re getting enough, that is. It’s recommended that you consume anywhere between 310mg and 420mg of magnesium every day, depending on your age and weight.
Why do we need magnesium?
Magnesium is required for over 300 biochemical reactions that occur inside your body every single day. Magnesium is necessary for aiding everything from nerve and muscle function, to a healthy immune system, through to strong bones and a steady heartbeat.It allows us to regulate our blood glucose levels, and assists in the production of energy and protein. With enough magnesium in our diets, we could be reducing our risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
Though we all need magnesium in our diets, those who eat a large amount of protein, calcium or vitamin D – diets high in meat, dairy, eggs and fish – may want to look at upping their intake. These vitamins and minerals increase the need for magnesium even further.
How do you know if you’re lacking magnesium?
You most likely won’t feel any side effects if you increase your magnesium intake up to the desired amount, but your body may let you know when you’re not getting enough.
Sleepiness and muscle weakness are big indicators of a magnesium deficiency, as are nausea, a loss of appetite, and tingling or numbness. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, we recommend having a chat with your doctor about upping your magnesium intake – your sleep schedule, migraines and overall mood might just improve.
How can you work more magnesium into your diet?
While there are magnesium supplements on the market, it’s not always recommended that these are relied on, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. Be sure to check in with your doctor before incorporating magnesium supplements into your diet.
Alternatively, there’s plenty of delicious and wholesome food out there that has plenty of magnesium to go around.
Dark and leafy vegetables are a great way to get enough, so be generous with these in your salads, sandwiches and stir-fries. There’s also plenty of magnesium in things like bananas, dried apricots, avocados, almonds, cashews, legumes, seeds, soy products, whole grains and milk. Eat these foods as they are or find creative ways to whip them up into delicious magnesium-filled meals and snacks.
Here is great brekkie recipe rich in magnesium and designed to keep you going all day!
Breakfast Power Bowl:
- 2/3 to 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup to 1/3 c or less gluten free rolled oats (you can also use this as a topping versus mix in, if you prefer).
- 2 –3 tbsp chia seed
- 8 oz coconut milk or almond milk (save extra for topping before serving)
- 1 –3 tbsp maple syrup or honey (to taste)
- splash of lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp slivered or chopped nuts or seeds
- 1 tbsp cocoa nibs or dark chocolate chips
- Fruit of choice – berries, banana, kiwi fruit, etc. 1 cup or less.
- Toss fruit in a dash of lemon juice to keep fruit from browning. This is if preparing the power bowls a day ahead, for meal prep.
- Optional toppings or mix in – 1 tbsp creamy nut butter or plain yogurt to top.
- First cook your quinoa according to package instructions. Or use leftover cooked quinoa. Brown rice or millet may be substituted.
- In a large bowl, mix together 2/3 cup to 1 cup of cooked quinoa, optional oats, and chia seed. Pour the milk on top to cover the grain/seed mix. Stir in sweetener (maple syrup or honey) and pinch of cinnamon.
- Let this mix sit in the fridge for 30 minutes up to overnight. This mixture will thicken into a chia pudding like texture.
- Once the grain/seed mix has thickened to your liking or you’re ready to eat, remove from fridge and layer with toppings: nuts, chocolate, oats, fruit, etc. Pour a splash more of non-dairy milk or honey on top, if desired.
- Keeps well in fridge for up to 5 days. Makes for the perfect overnight (make ahead) breakfast bowl!
You can also spoon portions into mason jars for breakfast on the go!