Often Forgotten and So Important: Magnesium #WellbeingWednesday
While calcium is an incredibly important mineral, we often forget about its important sidekick, magnesium. Magnesium is best known for regulating the absorption of calcium, essential for healthy bones and teeth. But what is less known is that it’s needed for calming the nervous system, relaxing muscles, and promoting a restful sleep. It’s also important for maintaining energy levels by utilizing oxygen for healthy red blood cell production. Carbonated drinks, sugar and stress are a few ways we deplete our magnesium stores. So, for today’s Wellbeing Wednesday tip, I am sharing with you simple ways to promote your intake of magnesium.
Dark green vegetables are packed full of phytonutrients. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, one of which is magnesium. It really does not matter what kind you eat; kale, chard, broccoli, spinach, arugula, basil or how you eat them; raw, steamed, sautéed, blended, the point is you just, eat them! Aim for 1 cup minimum per day.
Nuts and Seeds such as almonds, sesame seeds, brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds are all rich in magnesium. By eating a small handful per day you not only get your mineral intake, but also a healthy dose of good fats and protein.
Oatmeal is an excellent source of magnesium. It also calms the nervous system, is high in fiber, lowers cholesterol, and balances blood sugar levels. It’s like a superfood! I will encourage you to cook your own the old fashioned way, on the stove and avoid those flavoured quick cook packs that are full of sugar. If you want your oatmeal sweet, add a swirl of Canadian maple syrup. Delicious!
Avocados: This delicious fruit is rich in magnesium, as well as potassium, folic acid, beta-carotene and vitamin B5. Add half an avocado to a smoothie, to a salad or onto toast. The healthy fats also promote heart health and are anti-inflammatory.
Dark Chocolate: This is one of our best natural sources of antioxidants and magnesium. Make sure you purchase pure cacao. I blend the powder into smoothies, sprinkle onto oatmeal, yogurt and fresh fruit. Another option is to get dark chocolate that is 70% or higher and eat a few squares per day. You can never go wrong with chocolate. Phew.
Supplement: If you suffer from low energy, chronic pain, debilitating headaches, or insomnia, you may be deficient in magnesium. I usually recommend a powdered form that is taken in a little water before bed. It is quite palpable and easy to take. I would however recommend you consult with a health care provider before you begin self-prescribing.
Rachel Schwartzman is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, Doula and Acupuncturist. She practices in Toronto and can be reached at 416-371-3422. To learn more about Dr. Rachel take a peek at rachelschwartzman.com