The people who count such things tell us that most Canadians rarely meet their daily magnesium requirement. Which isn’t much of a surprise, I mean; really… how many servings of raw spinach did you eat today? Yesterday? Probably not enough. Considering the number of Canadians with diabetes and/or high blood pressure you’d think we’d be paying more attention.
The Canadian Diabetes Association tells us that 9 million of us have diabetes (26% of us and that number is growing) – and the vast majority have the “earned” type of diabetes that we acquire through lifestyle choices. Studies show that magnesium deficiency is associated with increased insulin resistance. Increased insulin resistance is a major factor in diabetes and obesity. Taking magnesium in doses of 350-600 mg per day often improves the metabolism of all those carbohydrates we’re convinced we can’t live without. Harvard University found that people who took 220 mg of magnesium daily were 33% more likely to develop diabetes than those taking 340mg per day. More magnesium = less diabetes. Simple math, and, easy to do.
Then there’s high blood pressure; the list of studies showing how important magnesium is to heart heath and how it can lower both high pressure and death rates associated with heart disease is pretty solid. One meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that for every 100 mg increase in magnesium intake, the risk of stroke dropped by 9%.
Magnesium deficiency can show up in our lives as hypertension, ventricular fibrillation, restless leg syndrome, migraine headaches, emotional problems, fatigue, irregular heart rates, muscle contractions and cramps, and numbness and tingling. (I regularly talk to people who are convinced they have neuropathy who, if I can convince them to try magnesium, are happy to report their “neuropathy” almost immediately disappears.)
Eat your spinach! Toss a half cup of Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds on top. Add avocado. And have 90%+ dark chocolate for desert. Every day. Or take a magnesium supplement. There are a lot of types of magnesium available in supplement form (capsules or powders); my personal hands-down favourite is magnesium bisglycinate (easy to find in MagSense or MagSmart). Mixed in warm water and drunk just before I head to bed at night it relaxes my muscles and allows me to drift off and sleep just like that proverbial baby we all envy so often.
- Mona Sims CNPA