Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Foods Rich in Magnesium


1. Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is a great source of magnesium, offering about 226 mg of magnesium per 100 grams or one small chocolate bar. Dark chocolate also provides iron, antioxidants, manganese, copper, and prebiotic fiber, nutrients good for the gut and heart. Of course, eat dark chocolate only in moderation as it has a lot of sugar. Be sure to choose varieties with at least 70% cocoa -- otherwise, it's just candy.

2. Avocados

A medium-sized avocado delivers approximately 58 mg or 15% of the daily amount of magnesium. This creamy fruit is also a rich source of vitamin K, B vitamins, and potassium, along with tons of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber. Eating avocados can improve cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and increase feelings of fullness, which can help with weight loss.

3. Nuts

Cashews, Brazil nuts, and almonds are rich in magnesium. Cashews alone have 82 mg in a one-ounce serving or 20% of the recommended daily intake. These nuts are also high in selenium, fiber, and monounsaturated fats, which regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Nuts make a great healthy snack that can improve heart health thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. However, be careful not to eat too many nuts, as they are quite high in fat.

4. Legumes

Legumes such as lentils, black beans, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans are also high in magnesium. One cup of black beans has a whopping 120 mg of magnesium or 30% of the RDI. They are an excellent source of potassium and iron, as well as an essential protein source for plant-based diets. Legumes are also rich in fiber. All these benefits combined make them a great option for improving blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, and reducing the risk of heart disease.

5. Tofu

Tofu is high in protein and magnesium. Also known as bean curd, tofu comes from soybean milk that is pressed into small white curds. A 3.5-ounce serving has 13% of the recommended daily intake or 53 mg of magnesium. Tofu is also packed with calcium, iron, selenium, and manganese. Soy products like tofu may be contraindicated in certain hormone-related illnesses. Also, soy contains a few anti-nutrients that can decrease the absorption of minerals such as calcium, iron, and zinc.

6. Seeds

Take your pick: pumpkin, flax, and chia seeds are all healthy. Pumpkin seeds contain an incredible 150 mg of magnesium in a one-ounce serving (about 40-50% RDI). One tablespoon of flax or chia seeds contain approximately 40 mg of magnesium or 15% RDI and, like other foods on this list, they also have plenty of iron, antioxidants, fiber, and monounsaturated fats. Seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, too.

7. Whole Grains

Wheat, oats, and barley are whole grains. Buckwheat and quinoa are pseudocereals, which are also whole grains. These complex carbohydrates, some of which are gluten-free, are high in protein and antioxidants, and a one-ounce serving of buckwheat contains 65 mg of magnesium, while one cup of oatmeal contains 226mg (which is about 70% RDI) of magnesium. Whole grains can also lower the chance of heart disease.

8. Fatty Fish

Fish that are high in magnesium include salmon, mackerel, and halibut. Half a salmon fillet (about 180 grams) has 13% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium. That fillet also contains 39 grams of protein, not to mention B vitamins, selenium, and potassium. Omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease the risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases, are also in salmon.

9. Bananas

This yellow fruit is rich in numerous vitamins and nutrients. Bananas are known for their high potassium content, but they also boast around 37 mg of magnesium each. Add manganese, fiber, vitamin B6, and vitamin C, and it's no wonder this fruit is so popular. Ripe bananas contain more carbohydrates and sugar, whereas unripe ones are considered a resistant starch. This means that the starch remains intact until it gets to the large intestine where it's broken down by the bacteria in the gut. This makes it a great prebiotic to help improve gut health.

10. Leafy Greens

It's not secret leafy greens have countless health benefits. They are a rich source of iron, manganese, vitamin A, C, and K, and some also contain generous servings of magnesium. For instance, there is almost 40% of the RDI of magnesium in one cup of cooked spinach. Kale is another excellent choice, along with collards, turnips, and mustard greens. Plant compounds found in leafy greens are beneficial to the body's cells and help protect against cancer and other diseases.

11. Tamarind

One ounce of raw tamarind provides 26 mg of magnesium or 6% of the daily value. It also contains copious amounts of iron and potassium, which are essential for proper energy metabolism and fluid balance. Tamarind is a popular ingredient in Asian, Indian, and Mexican cuisine. One of the most popular ways to enjoy this fruit is as a tangy but sweet tamarind chutney.

12. Okra

Cooked okra contains 57 mg or 14% DV of magnesium per cup. Popular in Southern cuisine, especially in gumbos, this pod vegetable packs loads of antioxidants, calcium, thiamin, folic acid, zinc, and dietary fiber. These nutrients help fight diabetes, heart disease, digestive conditions, and some cancers. Okra's protein efficiency ratio exceeds that of soybeans, and its mucilage — the film it develops when cooked — can promote easier elimination of cholesterol and toxins from the liver and waste from the gastrointestinal tract.

13. Oysters

Just a three-ounce serving of cooked oysters carries 37 mg of magnesium or 9% DV. The shellfish boasts an illustrious nutritional profile that includes cardioprotective omega-3 fatty acids and highly bioavailable protein. Three ounces also provides over 188% DV of zinc, 114% DV of copper, and small quantities of vitamin D. These nutrients are crucial for protein and DNA synthesis, maintaining healthy bones and tissues, cognitive health, and combating inflammation-driving diseases.

14. Baked Potatoes with the Skin

A medium baked potato with the skin provides up to 48 mg or 12% DV of magnesium. Despite often being written off as empty starches, potatoes are veritable nutritional powerhouses high in fiber, easily digestible carbohydrates, and various vitamins and minerals. However, the carbohydrates in potatoes are rapidly absorbed and may cause a sharp rise in blood sugar in people with diabetes. Potatoes are also a rich source of vitamins B and C, iron, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and manganese. Most of the nutrients lie just under the skin, so it is best to eat the skin as well as the flesh of this tuber.

15. Raisins

A tiny 1.5-ounce serving of raisins provides about 14 mg or 3.5% DV of magnesium. The little dried grapes concentrate a host of bioavailable nutrients including vitamin B6, potassium, iron, and fiber. While satisfying a sweet tooth, raisins carry antioxidants and antimicrobial polyphenols that can suppress the growth of oral bacteria that cause dental caries and gum disease. These tiny morsels may also lower blood pressure with daily consumption, due to their potassium content. Don't forget each raisin has the sugar of a whole grape, though, so stick to moderate consumption.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

What A Pain In The Neck! How Reflexology Can Help.

You’re probably thinking what are ear seeds? Have you ever even heard of them before? Well, they’re a pretty powerful holistic tool that can be used for a variety of health-related purposes. 

They’re adhesive seeds derived from the natural vaccaria plant that rest on certain points on your ear. Those points are specific to addressing symptoms for both physical + emotional wellness.

The use of ear seeds is also considered auriculotherapy (interchangeable with "auricular therapy"). This is based on the way the treatment works. Auriculotherapy is best defined as ear reflexology, which is a concept that the outer part of the ear is a map or micro system of the body. 

This method of holistic healing has major ancient roots. t's part of traditional Chinese medicine (commonly called TCM).  

What are the Benefits of an Ear Seed Treatment?

So, why do people love ear seeding? For one, it has so many amazing benefits. This list shows a range of issues + symptoms that ear seeds have been shown to improve:

Chronic pain

                Lower back pain 

Sleep difficulties 





Migraines or other headaches 


Weight loss 

While many have utilized ear seeds for such a variety of health conditions and issues, they’re not a cure for any of these. Seeds may only help temporarily relieve some of the symptoms. 


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Magnesium; Health Benefits


One of the most prevalent minerals in the human body, magnesium is involved in energy creation, signal relay, heart function, pain, sleep, mood, muscle contraction, protein formation, RNA and DNA synthesis, bone health, and more. Magnesium can be found inside of every cell in the human body, but it is most prevalent in the skeletal system, with over 60% of the body’s magnesium concentration found in our bones.

Magnesium Deficiency

Studies estimate that over 75% of Americans do not get the recommended daily value of magnesium. The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium is 400-420mg per day for adult men, and 310-320 mg for adult women. However, these numbers do not take into account factors such as increased magnesium use as a result of stress or exercise or differences in our bodies’ abilities to absorb magnesium. 

Bone experts like Dr. Susan Brown, Ph.D, for example, recommend that individuals consume about 600mg of magnesium each day. This is because, in addition to nutritional intake, the amount of magnesium your body actually needs to function at an optimal level depends on a variety of factors. These include things such as how much you exercise, how much stress you experience, your genetic ability (or lack thereof) to absorb magnesium, having a condition like inherited renal magnesium wasting, and numerous other reasons. Alcohol consumption, smoking, medications, and several chronic diseases can also negatively affect the absorption and excretion of magnesium.

Stress has been linked to excreting excessive amounts of magnesium. Several studies have shown that acute stress and anxiety are associated with increased plasma Mg levels and increased urinary Mg excretion.Studies also suggest that individuals may need 10-20% more magnesium during exercise than when they are resting.

Although magnesium is also found in other animals, plants, the sea, and in soil, it is difficult to consume enough magnesium in our diet. One reason is due to the degradation of agricultural practices throughout the past century. These practices have led to soil depletion and resulted in lower levels of magnesium available to be absorbed by the plants and vegetables we eat. Processed foods have even less magnesium than their original counterparts, making it increasingly difficult to get enough.

Magnesium may Help Alleviate Anxiety

Magnesium plays a crucial role in the stress response and magnesium deficiency is associated with increased anxiety and stress symptomatology. In addition, studies have shown that acute stress and anxiety are associated with increased plasma levels of magnesium and increased urinary excretion of magnesium, suggesting that stressful experiences use up more of the body’s magnesium than states of calm.

A 2017 research review that looked at 18 studies examining the effects of magnesium on anxiety showed that magnesium can act as an anxiolytic or have anti-anxiety effects in doses of 75 to 300mg.

Magnesium may Help Reduce Symptoms of Depression

A randomized clinical trial examining magnesium as a treatment for mild to moderate depression at the University of Vermont identified a link between depression and magnesium intake. They found that over a 6 week period of time symptoms of depression and anxiety improved significantly with supplemental magnesium intake, and the majority of study participants indicated that they would use magnesium in the future.

Magnesium and Bone Health

Magnesium is perhaps one of the most important, yet underappreciated bone-building nutrients in the human body and studies suggest that higher levels of magnesium result in lower bone fracture rates. One US study observing individuals 60 years and older over 8 years showed that only 27% of participants met the recommended daily magnesium values at baseline. After 8 years the women in the study who had the highest magnesium intake also had 62% less occurrence of fracture. The men with the highest magnesium intake had 53% fewer fractures than their low magnesium counterparts. The women who experienced fewer fractures consumed 380 mg/day of magnesium from diet and supplements which is just a little above the recommended daily allowance of 310 to 320 mg for women.

In another study of 2,248 men from Finland between the ages of 42 to 61 researchers found that at follow-up after 25 years the men with the lowest blood levels of magnesium had over a 200% increased risk of bone fractures compared to those men with higher magnesium. Interestingly, the men in the highest 4th segment of blood magnesium had no fractures at all.

Magnesium for Energy

Cellular energy production processes are made up of many magnesium ion dependent enzymatic reactions. Essentially, magnesium helps convert food into energy. Without adequate levels of magnesium, nutrients taken in through food and supplements would not be metabolized. One study examining dietary magnesium restriction in postmenopausal women between the ages of 41 and 75 showed that when magnesium was restricted, the women experienced increased energy needs and adverse effects on cardiovascular function during exercise.

ATP or adenosine triphosphate is the energy source in cells and it must be bound to a magnesium ion in order to be biologically active. ATP captures energy from the breakdown of food molecules and releases it to fuel other cellular processes. Adequate levels of magnesium are integral to this process and dysregulation of mitochondrial magnesium ions has been shown to disrupt ATP production.

Magnesium and Migraines

Low magnesium levels have been linked to headaches and migraines, and according to the American Migraine Foundation, magnesium is frequently used to help prevent migraines at doses of 400-500mg per day. One study examining magnesium’s effects found that supplementing magnesium reduced the frequency of migraine attacks by 41.6 percent.  Other research has shown that daily magnesium supplementation can help prevent menstrual-related migraines.

Magnesium to Improve Sleep Quality

Magnesium deficiency is associated with insomnia, restless sleep, and frequent nighttime waking, and research suggests that magnesium supplementation can improve sleep quality and help alleviate insomnia. By activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the rest and digestion response, magnesium can aid the process of nighttime relaxation.  Studies have shown that magnesium increases GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps promote relaxation and sleep by quieting down nerve activity. Magnesium also regulates the hormone melatonin, which is produced in response to darkness and helps with circadian rhythm timing and sleep.

Magnesium and Heart Disease

A review of studies on magnesium and cardiovascular disease concluded that high magnesium intake is associated with a lower risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and major cardiovascular risk factors including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and hypertension. Higher levels of circulating magnesium are also associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, especially coronary heart disease and ischemic heart disease, suggesting magnesium’s role possibly helping reduce cardiac problems. 

May Lower Blood Pressure

One study found that 368mg of daily magnesium supplementation for three months reduced people’s systolic blood pressure by an average of 2 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), and reduced their diastolic blood pressure by 1.8 mm Hg on average. According to researchers who performed a meta-analysis of 34 studies totaling more than 2,000 patients, their findings supported a causal anti-hypertensive effect of magnesium supplementation in adults. If you have low blood pressure, talk to your healthcare provider about your daily magnesium intake as unsafe low blood pressure can be a side effect of too much magnesium.

May Improve Blood Sugar Control

Research shows that magnesium helps to regulate blood sugar.  Low levels of magnesium have been associated with insulin resistance and magnesium deficiency has been observed with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, though it appears to be more prevalent with type 2. It is unclear whether magnesium deficiency is a cause or a consequence. However, studies suggest that magnesium supplementation can help improve diabetes control by increasing magnesium blood levels. According to the National Institute of Health, when people with poorly controlled diabetes supplemented their dietary magnesium intake with 1,000 mg of magnesium per day, they showed improvements in glycemic control after 30 days.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Set Fitness Goals You Can Actually Achieve

It’s time for a new way of thinking. 

No matter how big or small your goal-whether it’s losing 5 or 50 pounds, walking a mile or running your first marathon-making change requires planning and SMART goal setting. 

Follow these guidelines to setting SMART goals and you will be surprised at what you can do:

1. Specific. Your goal should be clear and easy to understand. 

A common goal, “get healthy,” is too general. There are so many ways to get healthy. How do you want to do                     it? Is it losing weight? Start exercising? Stop smoking? Break it down and it will be easier to manage.

Let’s pick weight loss and make a SMART goal out of it together. For example, “I will lose weight.”

2. Measurable. A goal to “lose weight” is not enough. How will you track your progress and how you will know                    when you have reached your goal? Making your goal measurable means adding a number.

3. Attainable. Before you can add a number, you have to know how high or low you want to go. It’s good to                         ‘shoot for the stars’, but don’t be too extreme. Likewise, a goal that is too easy is also not very motivating. Only                 you know your limits. 

Let’s take our goal above. What percentage is attainable for you? Research suggests that a 5-10% weight loss is                 attainable for most overweight people. 

A measurable, attainable goal could be, “I will lose 7% of my body weight.” 

4. Relevant. Set goals that are important to where you are in your life right now. Don’t set a goal that someone                     else is pressuring you to attain-that isn’t very motivating.

Examine our goal so far. Does it seem relevant to you? If so, let’s keep going. If you are not concerned about                     weight loss or this is not a good time in your life to focus on that, choose something that IS motivating to you. 

5. Time-bound. Include an end-point. Knowing that you have a deadline motivates you to get started. 

Since healthy weight loss is about 1-2 pounds per week, set your deadline accordingly. For our example we can                 use 3 months. “I will lose 7% of my body weight in 3 months.”

Now we have a SMART goal! With a goal like this, it’s a good idea to set a few more action-oriented SMART goals so that you have a game plan. Here are a few examples:

I will walk 5 days every week for 30 minutes each. 

I will drink water instead of soda every day this week. 

I will bring my lunch to work instead of eating out 4 days this week. 

Becoming a better version of you starts by being SMART!