Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten
australiaphen375.com

Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral with many vital roles throughout the body. Because it's widely available in many foods serious deficiencies are rare, unless there are particular underlying circumstances. It's found in every body cell where it helps to maintain their proper structure and without it the function of many of the natural enzymes simply would not happen. Magnesium is also required for the body's use of both calcium and potassium, making it an important factor in the development of strong bones and the maintenance of a healthy heart. Even diets which supply only marginally less than the RDA may be one cause of heart disease, and research has shown that Americans dying from heart attacks have lower magnesium content in their heart muscle tissue than those dying from other causes. It's not yet absolutely certain whether it's the low magnesium that causes heart disease or the heart disease which causes a reduction of mineral levels in the heart muscle.

When cooking vegetables around 60% of their magnesium ends up in the cooking water but if you use it to make sauces, gravies and soups you actually get it back. Grilling, baking and frying don't remove the magnesium but much is lost during the processing of some convenience foods. Wholemeal bread contains four times more than white bread as the magnesium is lost during the milling process but other wholegrain cereals, nuts and seeds are well supplied.

Only about a third of the magnesium in food is absorbed during digestion and you lose about the same amount in urine. During adolescence and childhood less magnesium is lost as the mineral is essential for growth and bone building. Eating chicken, meat, fish and eggs which are rich in protein improves the amount of magnesium absorbed during digestion and a regular consumption of calcium-rich foods like dairy products is also essential.

It's important that children and teenagers get enough magnesium-rich foods in their diet as building strong bones at this stage of their development is protection against osteoporosis in later life. It's also good for teeth as it is part of the process that manufactures protective enamel and essential for the transmission of nerve impulses which is why deficiency can affect the heart rhythm.

The RDA is 300 mg a day but American nutritionists advise 450 mg and this extra amount is important during pregnancy and breastfeeding when the requirement increases. There is definitely a need for extra magnesium for anyone on a very low calorie diet, those who consume excessive amounts of alcohol, following burns or other severe injuries, any form of surgery or chronic debilitating disease. People with digestive problems like prolonged bouts of diarrhoea, Coeliac disease or diabetes should also increase their food-based intake of magnesium. Magnesium on its own should not be taken as a supplement without professional advice although combined with potassium and B vitamins, a product called Magnesium-OK can be extremely helpful in the relief of PMS.


BEST SOURCES

Almonds
260 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 43% from average 50 g portion
Magnesium score: 4/10

Shrimps
110 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 37% from average 100 g portion
Magnesium score: 4/10

Soya mince
There are lots of good reasons to eat soya products and this is just one. They're also rich in natural plant hormones which help prevent osteoporosis and other menopausal problems.
270 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 135% from average 150 g portion
Magnesium score: 10/10

Rye crispbread
100 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 17% from average 50 g portion
Magnesium score: 2/10

Cashews
270 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 45% from average 50 g portion
Magnesium score: 5/10

Okra (Ladies Fingers), cooked
You eat them in the Indian restaurant so why not take some home for the family. They're delicious, low in calories, fat free and also provide potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin C, lots of folic acid and other B vitamins
57 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 24% from average 125 g portion
Magnesium score: 2/10

Muesli
100 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 33% from average 100 g portion
Magnesium score: 3/10

Shredded Wheat
One of the best commercial cereals with no added salt, sugar or fat, so they're great for your heart and digestion Ian Botham is telling the truth.
130 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 43% from average 100 g portion
Magnesium score: 4/10

 

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