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M agnesium is an electrolyte mineral, helping to keep the cardiovascular and the nervous system functioning optimally. It’s also dubbed the “anti-stress” mineral, as it is a natural tranquilizer and helps to relax both muscles and the gastrointestinal tract. For this reason, it’s great for constipation as it supports natural peristalsis, the contractual motion that helps move the bowels. It’s involved in more than 300 enzymatic processes in the body and contributes to several functions; including energy production, inflammatory control, and blood sugar regulation.

It also works with calcium in the body and is used for muscular health, and is particularly important to cardiac health (the heart being a vital muscle in the body). There’s a tendency to get more calcium than magnesium in our diets, and therefore, many of us are deficient in magnesium.

Additionally, magnesium is easily excreted by the body, and meals high in protein or fat can also reduce its absorption, as can alcohol. Deficiency can contribute to muscle cramps, chronic fatigue, disrupted sleep (restless legs), and PMS. 300-500mg at bedtime can help with these symptoms, as well as with anxiety and insomnia.

There is no known toxicity to supplementing with magnesium, so you can feel safe taking this gem of a mineral between meals. As always, theres no substitute for real whole food.

Most natural sources come from the plant kingdom; including dark leafy vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, particularly pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds, soybeans, quinoa and black beans.

Did you know?

* Magnesium + vitamin B6 together has been used as an alternative to Ritalin.

* Because alcohol greatly depletes magnesium in the body, the unpleasant symptoms associated with a hangover may, in fact, be due in part to low magnesium – supplement and have a big serving of quinoa and black bean salad for dinner before a bender!  see recipe at http://ow.ly/YINFo

Dog on toilet Mg

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