Following on from last weeks post about Selenium, this week I'm focusing on Magnesium. You might think following a Paleo diet makes it impossible to develop deficiencies – but unfortunately that isn't the case. However, by focusing on common deficiencies, you can adapt your Paleo nutrition to ensure your micro nutrient levels are optimum.
Despite Magnesium being something that is so important in your diet, so many people struggle to get enough in their system through diet alone. In fact research has shown that in the United States alone only half of the adult population actually achieve the recommended daily allowance (though as we know, the quoted “daily allowances” are often woefully low anyway). It is this low intake of magnesium that has been linked to common diseases such as asthma, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
Just some of the many and varied symptoms that can show a lack of magnesium in the diet include – cramping, constipation, migraines, insulin resistance, fibromyalgia and hypertension.
So how do you lack magnesium in your system/ and Paleo diet?
It’s become popular to filter drinking water, which removes Magnesium, by filtering and purifying devices on your home taps or filter bottles. A general lacking of minerals in the soil is another culprit. If it isn’t in the soil, it can’t get into the produce grown there. Plants grown in mineral rich soil will have higher magnesium contents then those that are grown in soil with little or no magnesium. In general, lacking magnesium rich foods, especially plant foods, in your Paleo diet, is the main reason for deficiency.
Where can you get magnesium?
Mineral water contains high concentrations. Also, nuts, halibut, espresso, seeds and dark chocolate (a great excuse!) Leafy greens such as spinach and Swiss chard are excellent sources. Supplements those ending in “ate” such as taurate, citrate and glycinate are what is known as chelated magnesium and they seem to be the best when it comes to being absorbed into the body. Alternatively you can apply magnesium oil for transdermal absorption which absorbs best when applied on the inner arms and rib cage. Bathing in Epsom Salts is another great way to increase levels in the body.
There are at least seven different types of magnesium available (and perhaps many more) that you can buy to take orally and they include magnesium carbonate, magnesium chloride, magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, magnesium hydroxide, magnesium sulphate and magnesium lactate. With so many variations out there it is no wonder people get confused when shopping! Make sure you do your research and choose the best supplement for your needs, of you think you need to take one.
Magnesium Oxide is one of the most popular supplements which are easily found at supermarkets the reason for this is because it is so cheap to produce. The down side to that is that because it isn’t absorbed into the body well, it will do very little for you. Try for a citric acid and magnesium carbonate blend, which is very popular and can be found in many of the better quality brands – when mixed with water it creates ionic magnesium citrate which has a much higher absorption rate.
How do you think your levels are looking? Do you eat enough Magnesium rich foods, or supplement?