Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Magnesium Profile!

Magnesium (Mg) is considered to be the "anti-stress" mineral. It relaxes, can eliminate tension and pain, aids in the absorption of calcium and can promote a good night's sleep.

While it is not considered to be a trace mineral, deficiencies are still possible, as magnesium adsorption is decreased when a diet is high in fat, meat, alcohol, caffeine and sugar. As is the case with most minerals, there are a few tell-tale signs of a deficiency, such as irritability, insomnia, muscle twitching, high blood pressure, and so on.

Why is magnesium on my mind? Well, it can also help cure certain types of monthly pains--so this has become personal for me as well (who can guess what I am pretending to be secretive about?).

Magnesium is abundant in many foods such as the dark green veggies, nuts, seeds, cacao, whole grains, and legumes. It is considered to be the "anti-stress" mineral because it is a natural relaxant that relaxes both skeletal and smooth muscles in blood vessels and in our gastrointestinal tract. It's also used as a natural remedy for those with high blood pressure since it dilates blood vessels.

It is often used as a natural sleep-aid, especially for those with racing/anxious thoughts that come right when the lights are off. It doesn't have the standard 'drowsy-for-days' morning hangover like many sleeping pills do, but I have found I get some pretty intense dreams from it that sometimes wake me up anyways--maybe a result of sleeping too deeply. But 80% of the times I have taken it for sleep purposes have ended with a deep sleep and a well rested Lena who doesn't remember if it was Japanese hornets or earwigs attacking her in her sleep again.

And ladies, when many of you crave chocolate during your special demon time of the month, it can actually be your body trying to make you consume magnesium, which is found in high amounts in cacao. It can really reduce the intensity and pain associated with cramps--just aim for dark or raw chocolate, as getting a milk-chocolate sugar-filled candy bar is counter-effective--not only because a lot of the magnesium content is lost during processing, but also because as mentioned above, sugar decreases magnesium absorption.

So for the anxious, the nervous, those who have trouble relaxing before sleeping, as well as those with high blood pressure--always consider incorporating some magnesium-rich foods before taking pills with 80 side-effects, when all your body really needs is to correct a possible deficiency.

While it's magnesium-rich spinach time in Armenia again, I also crave chocolate, and chocolate > spinach every damn time.
This could be you.

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