Posts Categorized under: Nutrition
Magnesium- A Miracle Mineral: Are you Deficient?
Magnesium—a mighty little mineral that is one of my personal favorites. Sadly, 80% of Americans are thought to be deficient in this amazing mineral because our soil (and food supply) are depleted. So many common symptoms that people struggle with can be helped by regularly supplementing with this inexpensive little wonder.
It is one of my top recommendations for patients because boosting levels can address so many common complaints. However, not all magnesium supplements are equal so I’ll address which forms to buy below.
Are you deficient? Read below to see!
9 Warning Signs of Magnesium Deficiency:
1)Headaches…If you suffer from tension headaches or frequent migraines, magnesium supplementation can be highly beneficial. Magnesium helps to relax the muscles and enhances cellular function.
2)Muscle cramps… Many people have muscle cramps, especially lying in bed at night. This is a major flag that the body needs more magnesium (and potassium). Increasing potassium rich foods and boosting magnesium supplementation can help stop muscle cramps for good.
3)Osteoporosis, osteopenia, or injured easily… Magnesium is critical for building strong bones. You often hear about calcium for strong bones but magnesium is *just* as important. Without proper levels of magnesium, your body cannot build a foundation for strong bones.
4)Diabetes or imbalanced blood sugar… Magnesium is a critical mineral to improve glucose absorption into cells and balance your blood sugar levels. How do you know if your blood sugar levels are off? Some key symptoms are fatigue after meals, a 3pm afternoon energy crash that leaves you craving a pick me up, getting weak or shaky if meals are delayed, and poor sleep (to name a few).
5)High blood pressure…Magnesium is one of the best natural remedies to balance blood pressure that is on the rise.
6)Insomnia… Magnesium is so beneficial for those that have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep throughout the night, or consistently waking up too early. To help with insomnia, magnesium is best taken with dinner or an hour before bedtime.
7)Anxiety and depression…Magnesium really helps to calm the body, relax the muscles, and improves overall mood. I hear patients rave about how calm they feel after taking their magnesium, especially magnesium glycinate.
8)Muscle pain or Fibromyalgia. ..Magnesium can help to relax the muscles. I notice a big benefit from taking it when my neck and shoulders feel tight and tense.
9)Constipation and irregular bowel movements… Make magnesium citrate or glycinate your friend. Magnesium has great benefits in improving gut motility.
What Are Food Source of Magnesium:
Sadly, most of the magnesium rich foods are pretty depleted since our soils have been industrialized and depleted. But, here are some options for you:
- Fruits and vegetables—especially dark, leafy greens
- Nuts and seeds—especially pumpkin seeds.
What Types of Magnesium Supplements:
A lot of the magnesium supplements on the market are made from a form of magnesium that is really poorly absorbed (ie…a waste of your money). So, look for these forms:
- Magnesium citrate—great for laxative benefits
- Magnesium glycinate—my personal favorite. It is readily available and easily absorbed.
- Magnesium chloride or lactate— well absorbed by the body.
- Magnesium taurate—provides a calming effect on the body and mind (much like glycinate).
If you have questions about which magnesium might be right for you, feel free to email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org . We can help you and you’ll receive 20% off on our favorite brand of pharmaceutical grade products.
In good health!
Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance….. If there is one area of health care that I want to leave my stamp on, this very well might be it. Or, perhaps thyroid disease….but we’ll save that for another blog post.
As a Registered Dietitian that spent years working in a hospital, I was appalledat how newly diagnosed diabetics were handled in the hospital. They would receive this new and scary diagnosis, a slurry of doctors, nurses, social workers, discharge coordinators,etc…were coming into their room and bombarding them with information. They were handed new prescriptions, possibly taught how to prick themselves daily or inject insulin, they were given a few pieces of paper with do’s and do nots and then right before they were to walk out of the hospital, in walked the dreaded Dietitian (that would be me….I hated my job). We were often the last people called in as they were packing up their bags and gathering their belongings. We had a few pieces of paper that had antiquated information and guidelines on it and had to hurry to give them the basics and send them on their way. I was lucky to have 10 minutes with them. Most of them were so overwhelmed by everything and anxious to leave the hospital that it was a one-sided discussion. (more…)
Chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods on the planet…..a modern day (although the Aztecs and Mayans have used them for centuries) superfood, if you will. Here are some reasons why you should add chia seeds into your diet.
1) They are high in fiber, protein, anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s fatty acids, and many micronutrients like magnesium.
2) They are very high in antioxidants and very low in calories. 3) They are low in carbohydrates and very high in fiber.
4)They are high in high quality protein.
All of that translates into a food that is nutrient dense, can help in weight loss and blood sugar reduction, can improve sports performance and heart health, and has many nutrients known to be great for strong bones and cancer prevention.
Chia seeds are easy to use–you can throw them into smoothies, bake with them, add them to soups and stews, or my personal favorite, a chia seed “pudding.”
Here is my favorite go-to chia seed pudding recipe. I will commonly make a batch to keep in the fridge and serve it with fresh berries on top for a hearty, fast breakfast or healthy mid-day snack. Enjoy!
Chia Seed Pudding:
1/2 cup black chia seeds
1 can of full-fat coconut milk
A sprinkle of cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix the ingredients together and let them sit in the fridge for 2 hours. Serve with fresh berries on top and enjoy!
Homemade bone broth is very easy to make, delicious to consume (if made properly!), and is a rich source of minerals, like calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium in forms that your body can easily absorb. It’s also rich in amino acids, arginine, glycine and proline; these amino acids have many important roles and are not readily found in the muscle meats that we commonly consume. Some of the roles of these amino acids include:
Arginine: plays an important role in cell division, the healing of wounds, removing ammonia from the body, enhancing immune function, and hormonal regulation.
Glycine: supports the body’s detoxification process and helps with digestion and the release of gastric acids to help breakdown foods and absorb nutrients.
Proline:(especially) when paired with Vitamin C, it promotes healthy skin and increases collagen production (aka….anti-aging benefits!) and richly aids digestive health.
Bone broth also contains rich sources of chondroitin and glucosamine; these compounds are commonly sold as supplements to reduce inflammation and joint pain. (more…)
Detoxification programs seem to be all the rage. Everywhere you look, you’ll see advertisements for a juice cleanse, a Master Cleanse, a colon cleanse, a liver and gallbladder flush, and so forth. A few years ago I decided to tackle the Master Cleanse. I was inspired to flush out toxins by drinking the water/ lemon juice/ cayenne pepper/ maple syrup concoction. I had heard stories of people claiming renewed energy, better sleep, brighter skin, weight loss, improved digestion, and I wanted that for myself. After two miserable days, I found myself sneaking bites of Girl Scout cookies in the kitchen and dreaming about food. As my husband would say, I got an “A” for effort but a “C” for execution. I’m impressed by those people that have that willpower to subsist on spicy lemon water for days on end…….. but I’m certainly not one of them. I do much better with food-based cleanses. And, when I’m working with clients on a proper detox program, I don’t expect them to starve either. (more…)
We’ve all seen the labels and commercials…”now available in reduced fat!” Or, you can have several of these cookies because they’re “low fat!” How about the advice given to you by your doctors and even nutritionists all these years……”choose low fat dairy products, watch your total fat intake, and avoid saturated fat or you’ll get heart disease.” Nowadays you hear people preaching the opposite and telling you that in fact, fat isn’t the enemy anymore.
Are you completely confused about whether you should cut the fat from your diet or try to add more in? As my father would say “is my butter back in good graces with the nutrition community or is it considered bad again?” It seems the messages are mixed and can leave you stumped in the grocery aisles. If you feel this way, you’re not alone. (more…)