Hey! – Rob here 👋🏼
Your Daily Health Fix today is about …
Why we need it:
There are over 300 known enzymatic processes in the human body that require magnesium, so it’s reasonable to say that this soft metal is essential for proper function. To name a few, it has a crucial role in protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood sugar control, blood pressure regulation, and the production of energy. It also contributes to the structural development and health of our bones, and it plays a major part in maintaining a normal heart rhythm.
It is estimated that as many of 80% of Americans, and up to 50% of all Western societies are deficient in magnesium.
Chocolate lovers usually delight when they learn that cocoa solids are a good source of magnesium. It’s true that in 100g of (very) dark chocolate there can be as much as 250mg of magnesium. But that would mean eating nearly 2 whole bars per day in order to meet suggested recommended requirements. – No one with their head screwed on would think that that level of consumption could possibly be considered healthy or sustainable. And that’s before we look at whether the magnesium in the cacao bean (or from any other beans and legumes) is in a form that is digestible by the human body.
That leads to questionable fact #2 – It’s suggested that adults needs to intake between 360-450mg magnesium per day. But when we look at real foods containing magnesium, its almost impossible to ingest the volume of food required in order to achieve the recommended daily value.
Most real food contains magnesium, so, on the assumption you’re eating enough each day to meet your caloric needs, it might be better to focus on eliminating the elements that are likely to block the efficient absorption and uptake of magnesium by our bodies rather than trying to consume unrealistic amounts of certain products in order to meet the suggested minimum values.
So what blocks magnesium? – Phytates and Oxilates present in many foods usually touted as healthy can actually block the absorption of key micro nutrients, including magnesium, potassium and iron. Ironically, many of the foods that we are told are highest in magnesium are also highest in Phytic Acid. The biggest culprits are refined grains (wheat flour, oats), legumes (beans, lentils), many leafy greens (spinach, broccoli), and nuts and seeds.
Avoiding excess consumption (or often any consumption) of these products and focusing on a protein rich diet from red meat, fish and dairy will check your micro and macro nutrient boxes without hindering your access to essential elements including magnesium.
. . . That’s it for this dose,
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References . . .
Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis
Mineral essential elements for nutrition in different chocolate products
Fractional magnesium absorption is significantly lower in human subjects from a meal served with an oxalate-rich vegetable, spinach, as compared with a meal served with kale, a vegetable with a low oxalate content
Magnesium and Vitamin D Deficiency as a Potential Cause of Immune Dysfunction, Cytokine Storm and Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation in covid-19 patients
Magnesium Metabolism and its Disorders
118 Meats Highest in Magnesium
Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease
Intestinal Absorption and Factors Influencing Bioavailability of Magnesium-An Update