Magnesium the Wonder Mineral!

Cocao (dark chocolate) is one of the richest sources of magnesium!
Cocao (dark chocolate) is one of the richest sources of magnesium!

I commonly hear fellow athletes or my clients complain of muscle cramping, muscle fatigue and a lack of good sleep. They seldom think they could be deficient in magnesium. However, odds say it may be!  They up their magnesium and issues are solved in many cases.

Magnesium is a macro-nutrient, which means we need more of it than some of the other minerals and we need magnesium daily. Minerals are critical for our health, however magnesium is required in over three hundred (300) different body functions making it a mineral you need readily available in your body. 

Of all the minerals, it is my opinion that for Americans, magnesium seems to be one of the most important because it is required in so many body functions. You can go several days or even weeks before needing certain vitamins, however you must have some intake of most minerals at least every couple of days. If you are really active, ill or sweating a lot you will need them everyday.  Minerals are used by the body and excreted easily.  If you are using diuretics, exercising intensely or sweating profusely, a diet deficient in the electrolytes, magnesium, potassium, sodium and chloride can cause severe health problems requiring a sudden need for emergency medical treatment.

How Does a Magnesium Deficiency Affect the Body?

Do you get adequate magnesium in your diet? More than half of Americans are deficient in magnesium and some sources say nearly 80% of Americans are deficient.

Most troubling is the result of a study of 7,764 people over 10.5 years.  It found those with the lowest magnesium levels have a much greater risk of dying from ischemic heart diseaseMen and women whose urinary magnesium was among the lowest 20% of subjects had an increase in the risk of ischemic heart disease that was 60% higher than the remainder of the participants, and a risk of fatal ischemic heart disease that was 70% higher.  Additionally, magnesium helps inhibit platelet aggregation and enhance the synthesis of nitric oxide, which helps relax the blood vessels. Furthermore, increased magnesium intake has been associated with a lower risk of diabetes—a disease that significantly elevates the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Magnesium is a nutrient that is essential to more than 300 activities in our bodies. Magnesium provides your muscles the ability to relax, it moves calcium out of your blood and into bones, it is required to keep blood circulating and the heart beating and it is essential to keep your nervous system and brain healthy. It also helps reduce anxiety.

If you have muscle cramps, particularly at night, the odds are great that you may be lacking magnesium; if you have trouble sleeping you may be low in magnesium, if you are fatigued it could be a lack of magnesium. If you have high blood pressure it may be due to insufficient magnesium, if you are diabetic, low levels of magnesium may be involved, magnesium is critical for carbohydrate fat and protein metabolism to create energy. Magnesium helps keep the heart in a healthy rhythm and is necessary for cellular reproduction.

Magnesium is required for good bone health. Magnesium moves calcium out of the blood and into bones making them stronger. In fact, a large percentage of the magnesium in your body is in your bones. Magnesium is critical for heart health. It helps blood vessels relax reducing blood pressure and is also required to make certain detoxing compounds and for a strong immune system.

The role magnesium plays in the body is so diverse that it is difficult to find a body system that is not affected by magnesium deficiency. Our immune system, cardiovascular system, digestive system, nervous system, muscles, kidneys, liver, hormone-secreting glands, and brain all rely on magnesium for healthy metabolic function.

What Affects Magnesium Absorption?

Magnesium absorption is reduced by many factors including colas, coffee, salt and caffeine. Also certain medications like diuretics will deplete magnesium from our bodies. Refined and processed foods also deplete our bodies of magnesium.

Good Food Sources of Magnesium

  • Spinach
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Swiss Chard
  • Oat Bran
  • Rice Bran
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Halibut
  • Soybeans
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Almonds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Black Beans
  • Cashews
  • Cantaloupe
  • Black strap molasses
  • Mustard Greens
  • Turnip Greens
  • Collard Greens
  • Green Beans
  • Salmon
  • Flax Seeds
  • Sea Vegetables
  • Kale
  • Celery
  • Bell Peppers

 

To ensure you get adequate magnesium daily, a diet rich in a variety of foods is key.  The NutriBullet unlocks nutrients in a way other blenders or juicers cant can’t so load it up with magnesium rich foods every day.

Healthy Wishes

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

WebND

The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered as medical advice. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.

Chocolate and It’s Healthy Delecious Goodness!

 

The beginning of Chocolate!
The beginning of Chocolate!

Chocolate comes in many forms and truthfully I am a chocoholic. I eat dark chocolate and raw cocoa powder several times per day. The taste is awesome and the benefits are huge.

Raw cocoa added to your NutriBullet can supercharge your body in many ways. Be creative with it.

Warning- not all chocolates are healthy! Milk chocolate or other candies in which chocolate is added does not have the health benefits of dark or raw chocolate. They most likely have milk and lots of sugar in them. Even healthy dark and raw chocolate is high in calories so limit your amount so you do not gain weight. It only takes 1 to 2 ounces of dark chocolate or raw powder once a day to get the health benefits of chocolate.

To make sure I eat the healthiest chocolate I use only 85% dark or higher and when I make hot chocolate I use the healthiest, which is raw (uncooked or unprocessed) cocoa powder.  Chocolate is one of the highest antioxidant rated foods. Chocolate is rich in powerful antioxidants like resveratrol and epicatechin, is rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and Vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Folate, B2, B5, B6, and Vitamin K. Chocolate also contains brain and heart healthy fats and other healthy phytonutrients.

Health Benefits

  • Helps reduce blood pressure
  • Provides great energy
  • Boost metabolism
  • Improves bone health
  • Protects cells from free radical attacks
  • Reduces premature aging
  • Helps reduce stress
  • Improves vascular wall health
  • May reduce blood clots
  • Can improve both LDL and HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Improve insulin function
  • Reduces platelet stickiness
  • Improves immune response
  • Improves our mood
  • Improves our sleep
  • Can improve heart health

How Chocolate Improves Our Mood!

Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate a few times a week can help lower your blood pressure and improve blood flow and may even help prevent the formation of blood clots. It helps increase our uptake of serotonin, which improves our mood. Chocolate also has Phenylethylamine (or PEA), which is a natural chemical produced by our brains to produce endorphins (mood elevating hormones that are attributed to the feeling of love). And you guessed it right! Dark chocolate is full of it! This creates a euphoric feeling in our brains and can help with depression, irritability, grief, and much more!

Another substance found in chocolate is anandamide. A fatty substance that is naturally produced in the brain, anandamides makes us feel relaxed and improve our mood.

Immune Function

It’s also good when your sick, if you can’t get the rest you need or your dieing of the flu just try a bit of dark chocolate. The Xantheose, an ingredient in dark chocolate, has been proven to suppress a cough and help with symptoms and inflammation. This effect is attributed to the antioxidants present and likens this food to blueberries, acai berries and many more super foods.

Enjoy dark and raw chocolate; it doesn’t take much, just an ounce or two every day to get the desired health benefits and pleasurable relaxation it provides.

While writing this for you I am enjoying a delicious cup of velvety rich dark cocoa. I add a little Ceylon cinnamon, almond milk and stevia, the aroma and taste is bliss!

Enjoy your chocolate!

Healthy Wishes

Wally Bishop C.N.C.

WebND

The contents of this blog are not and should not be considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.

Reference sources

Contemporary Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine-Cocoa and Cardiovascular Health –Circulation. 2009; 119: 1433-1441 doi: 10.1161/​CIRCULATIONAHA.108.827022

[Langer, S. and Marshall, L.J., et.al., (2011) “Flavanols and Methylxanthines in Commercially Available Dark Chocolate: A Study of the Correlation with Nonfat Cocoa  Solids”. J. Agric. Food Chem., 59, 8435]

[Erdman, J.W. and Carson, L., et.al., (2008) “Effects of Cocoa Flavanols on Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease”.  Asia Pac. J. Clin. Nutr., 17, Suppl. 1: 284].

[Allen, R.R. and Carson, L., et al. (2008) “Daily Consumption of a Dark Chocolate  Containing Flavanols and Added Sterol Esters Affects Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a Normotensive Population with Elevated Cholesterol”.  J. Nutr., 138, 725].

[Katz, D.L., Doughty, K, and Ali, A. (2011) “Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease”.  Antioxid. Redox Signal., 15, 2779],

Engler MB, Engler MM, Chen CY, et al. Flavonoid-rich dark chocolate improves endothelial function and increases plasma epicatechin concentrations in healthy adults. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Jun; 23(3): 197-204.

Taubert D, Roesen R, Lehmann C, et al. Effects of low habitual cocoa intake on blood pressure and bioactive nitric oxide: a randomized controlled trial.  JAMA. 2007 Jul 4; 298(1): 49-60.

[Murata, M. and Katagiri, N., et al., (2009) “Effect of Beta-Phenylethylamine on extracellular concentrations of Dopamine in the Nucleus Accumbens and Prefrontal Cortex”. Brain Res., 1269, 40],