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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Magnesium – the power mineral


Very few of us think about magnesium.  A headline in a recent health newsletter was titled, “Extra Magnesium May Boost Your Physical Performance”.   Yet, even those interested in being physically fit often don't think much about meeting their Magnesium nutritional needs.

Magnesium – a mineral we all need.  Men (31 and over) need 420 mg a day and women (31 and over) need 320 mg a day.
Do you get enough magnesium?  Probably not as 70-80% of Americans fail to take in enough magnesium each day.
What does Magnesium do?
  • Energy – to make energy our bodies need magnesium
  • Protein – magnesium is involved in protein making reactions in our cells. It is also important for muscle contraction.
  • Bone health – magnesium helps our body use calcium
  • Immune system – magnesium helps support a health immune system
How can you be sure you are getting enough of this important mineral?
                Food sources of magnesium
  •  Nuts – especially almonds and cashews are high in magnesium.  A handful of nuts a day, especially mixed nuts is a healthy habit
  • Whole grains – forget the white bread as most of the magnesium is removed in refining.  Focus on whole grain breads and cereals like oatmeal and Cheerios.  Since all General Mills cereals are whole grain – look for the “G”.  Also, look for fiber as fiber rich foods are magnesium rich foods.
  • Legumes – beans and peas are good sources
  • Other foods – peanut butter, sunflower seeds, halibut, dark green vegetables, chocolate and cocoa
So “power up” this week and add some foods with magnesium to your day.

Sources:  Understanding Nutrition by Whitney, Rolfes.  Extra Magnesium May Boost Your Physical Performance, Magnesium,   Image Source:  

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