Calcium gets more headlines, but magnesium is more important. Bones contain 60%, muscle cells 26% and the rest is in fluids and soft tissue cells. It has a important role in protein formation, cellular replication, energy production for brain, liver, kidney and heart. Magnesium is the activator of the sodium-potassium pump (sodium out of cells and potassium in) which plays a big role in blood pressure stabilization. Did you know that magnesium is refered to as "nature's calcium channel blocker"? It is able to block calcium from entering heart muscle cells and vascular smooth muscles. Too much calcium in these areas can cause fatty plaque to harden, which is called atherosclerosis. This increases your chances of heart disease and a heart attack. The proper amount of daily magnesium can help lower blood pressure, better working heart and reduce vascular resistance. Supplementation might be the answer for you if you are not getting enough magnesium from your food.
People consume less magnesium then daily required (male 350mg and female 280mg) from food choices. The common fruit is low in magnesium:
Apple (medium) 9mg
Banana (medium) 31mg
Orange (large) 18mg
Strawberries (1 cup) 18mg
Raspberries (1 cup) 27mg
Blueberries (1 cup) 9mg
Meat is low in magnesium:
Chicken (3.5oz) 23mg
Beef ((3.5oz) 21mg
Pork (3.5oz) 28mg
Ways to get higher magnesium through food are snacks with raw almonds (1oz=80mg) or Brazil nuts (1oz=107mg) with coconut meat (1oz=25mg) and dried apricots (1oz=17mg).
Add wheat bran (1oz=174mg) or wheat germ (1oz=104mg) to your morning oatmeal. Substitute brown rice (1/2 cup=43mg) if you are a white rice eater.
Sprinkle Brewer's yeast (1oz=66mg) on top of vegetables for a cheesy taste.
Add shrimp (3.5oz=51mg) to that BBQ steak.
Certain health conditions use magnesium supplementation as an effective treatment:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Congestive Heart Failure
High Blood Pressure
Diabetes and Hypoglycemia
Low HDL (good cholesterol) Levels
With lower levels of magnesium in the body, there is a higher susceptibility to cancer, insomnia, PMS, heart disease, high blood pressure and kidney stones. The signs of magnesium deficiency are fatigue, mental confusion, poor nerve conduction, muscle cramps, insomnia, weakness and poor muscle contractions. Counting nutrients is better than counting calories, if you are looking to be healthy and keeping your body in balance.
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