Food conference takeaway: boost your magnesium
I attended a food conference over the weekend. Speaker after speaker reminded us of the almost overwhelming scale of psychological and physiological problems associated with ‘mindless eating’ of highly processed food, compared to the benefits of ‘mindful eating’ of real food; however, there was one ‘Real Food’ takeaway from the event that I think is a particularly important wake-up call.
Magnesium is one of seven essential macro-minerals (the others being calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulphur). These are minerals that need to be consumed in relatively large amounts, at least 100 milligrams (mg) per day. An adequate intake can help prevent problems with bones, the cardiovascular system, diabetes and other functions. Globally, we are finding ourselves increasingly deficient of magnesium.
This is important because magnesium plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions within the body, including the metabolism of food, synthesis of fatty acids and proteins, and the transmission of nerve impulses. As most common fruits, meat, and fish, are low in magnesium, to help ensure we don’t fall into this trap, I’ve compiled a list of great food sources.
Magnesium food sources
Sunflower seeds, quinoa, almonds, spinach, sesame seeds, black beans, oats, prawns (shrimps), banana and whole wheat bread. Why whole wheat? Magnesium is lost as wheat is refined, so it is best to choose cereals and bread products made with whole grains. And to help keep the rest of your whole food shopping list real…
Quick real food tips and checklist for busy people
Frozen veggies and fruits (berries, mango and peaches freeze well) NOT pre-prepared, store-bought frozen ready meals.
Stock your pantry cupboard
Have dried and canned goods readily to hand. Quinoa, wild rice, wholemeal couscous, brown rice, dried mushrooms (great as a stock substitute), canned tomatoes, beans, coconut milk plus jars and bottled accompaniments – think olives, pickled cabbage, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots.
Stay snack ready
For quick and handy snacks keep various nuts and seeds on hand: cashews, almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. An added bonus – these can also be added to salads or stir-fries for added fibre, protein and healthy fat.
Olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, various vinegars, sesame oil (for drizzling), soy sauce, various spices and dried herbs for cooking – don’t be caught without them. And make sure to keep a regular supply of lemons, limes, onions, garlic, chilli, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes and fresh ginger – all of these will last awhile and can be used in different recipes.
And don’t forget to regularly replenish fruit, yogurts and various cheeses.
Follow this simple guide and always have ingredients for Just Routine’s quick and easy recipe repertoire.
Move beyond calories and make eating real food Just Routine.
NOTE: Overdosing from magnesium from foods is very unlikely as the excess with be eliminated in the urine. If you are considering magnesium supplementation always speak to your doctor first.
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