Are you low in magnesium?

 

The answer is likely “Yes” that you are deficient in Magnesium

Magnesium is the eighth most abundant mineral on earth, and the third most abundant in sea water. More importantly, it is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and it is necessary in over 300 functions within the body.

Magnesium isn’t just abundant in the body, but vitally important too.

Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function, or it will perish. Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system, well functioning detoxification pathways and much more depend upon cellular magnesium sufficiency. Soft tissue containing the highest concentrations of magnesium in the body include the brain and the heart—two organs that produce a large amount of electrical activity, and which can be especially vulnerable to magnesium insufficiency.

Proper magnesium ratios are important for the body to correctly use calcium in the cells. Even a small deficiency can lead to a dangerous calcium imbalance and lead to problems like calcification and cell death. This manifests itself with symptoms like heart trouble, migraine headaches, muscle cramps and premenstrual cramping.

Where Has All The Magnesium Gone?

Unfortunately, most modern farming processes tax the soil, depleting it of its natural magnesium. On top of that, many hybrids are selectively bred to survive low levels of magnesium and most conventional fertilizers use nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, and do nothing to replenish magnesium levels.

Water was once a good source of magnesium, but now:

Fluoride in drinking water binds with magnesium, creating a nearly insoluble mineral compound that ends up deposited in the bones, where its brittleness increases the risk of fractures. Water, in fact, could be an excellent source of magnesium—if it comes from deep wells that have magnesium at their source, or from mineral-rich glacial runoff. Urban sources of drinking water are usually from surface water, such as rivers and streams, which are low in magnesium. Even many bottled mineral waters are quite low in magnesium, or have a very high concentration of calcium, or both.

These additional dietary factors can also deplete magnesium:

  • Consumption of caffeine
  • Consumption of sugar (It takes 28 molecules of magnesium to metabolize a single glucose molecule!)
  • Consumption of processed food
  • Consumption of alcohol
  • Consumption of produce from depleted soil
  • Consumption of foods high in phytic acid

Additionally, drugs like birth control pills, hypertension medicine, diuretics, insulin, and certain antibiotics (among others) deplete magnesium levels. Sweating often from exercise or other causes can also deplete magnesium.

What Does Magnesium DO?

Magnesium is necessary for hundreds of functions within the body, but is especially important for:

  • Gives rigidity AND flexibility to your bones (more important than Calcium in many cases)
  • Increases bioavailability of calcium
  • Regulates and normalizes blood pressure
  • Prevents and reverses kidney stone formation
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Helps prevent congestive heart failure
  • Eases muscle cramps and spasms
  • Lowers serum cholesterol levels and triglycerides
  • Decreases insulin resistance
  • Can prevent atherosclerosis and stroke
  • End cluster and migraine headaches
  • Enhances circulation
  • Relieves fibromyalgia and chronic pain
  • Treats asthma and emphysema
  • Helps make proteins
  • Encourages proper elimination
  • Prevents osteoporosis
  • Proper Vitamin D absorption
  • protection from radiation
  • To aid weight loss
  • Lessen or remove ADD or ADHD in children
  • in proper digestion of carbohydrates
  • emerging evidence is showing a preventative role in many cancers

Even though magnesium deficiency is rarely addressed in medical settings, the National Institutes of Health websit states that:

Some observational surveys have associated higher blood levels of magnesium with lower risk of coronary heart disease [50-51]. In addition, some dietary surveys have suggested that a higher magnesium intake may reduce the risk of having a stroke [52]. There is also evidence that low body stores of magnesium increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which may increase the risk of complications after a heart attack [4]. These studies suggest that consuming recommended amounts of magnesium may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system.

Are You Deficient?

As I said above, the answer is likely ‘yes’ in today’s world, as over 80% of tested adults are. Unfortunately, blood tests are relatively ineffective in gauging magnesium levels as less than 1% of magnesium is in the blood.

Low magnesium levels are often diagnosed by symptoms alone, and the following symptoms can point to low magnesium levels:

  • Inability to sleep or insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Mental disturbances
  • Anxiety, depression or restlessness
  • Muscle soreness or spasms
  • Infertility or PMS
  • High levels of stress
  • Headaches
  • Heart “flutters” or palpitations
  • Fatigue or unusual tiredness
  • Coldness in extremities
  • Fuzzy brain or difficulty concentrating
  • Allergies and sensitivities
  • Lack of appetite
  • Back pain
  • Body odor
  • Bad short term memory
  • Poor coordination
  • Insulin resistance
  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Constipation
  • Frequent cavities or poor dental health
  • Gut disorders
  • Kidney stones
  • Thyroid problems

If you have more than one of the above symptoms and especially if you have more than five, it is highly likely that you could benefit from magnesium supplementation.

Unfortunately, magnesium is often not well absorbed by the digestive track, and is even more difficult to absorb if you are deficient or are low in vitamin D, have poor gut bacteria or suffer from a number of other conditions.

On top of that, most foods are depleted of their natural magnesium levels and the water supply is lacking also. For this reason, I often recommend magnesium supplementation to clients who struggle with the above symptoms.

There are several ways to supplement, and a mixture of more than one type of magnesium supplementation seems to be most effective. It is important to start slow and work up, as high doses will not be completely absorbed at first and most will be wasted.

Leafy green vegetables, sea vegetables, kelp, and especially nettle are good dietary sources of magnesium, though if you have a deficiency, it will be difficult to raise your levels enough through diet alone.

The best ways to supplement with magnesium are:

  • In powder form such as magnesium citrate so that you can vary your dose and work up slowly.
  • In ionic liquid form so that it can be added to food and drinks and dose can be worked up slowly.
  • In Magnesium oil applied to skin. This is often the most effective option for those with damaged digestive tract or severe deficiency.

I’d actually advise at least two of the above forms, including transdermal supplementation especially if you show multiple symptoms. The easiest way to gauge your dose is to start at half of the recommended dose and work up (even above it) until you experience loose stools and then back off slightly. From this dose, you should be able to gradually increase your dose until your symptoms disappear.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, or if you are on a no grain diet or consume any processed or conventionally produced food, I’d definitely encourage at least trying magnesium supplementation to see if it can improve your symptoms.  If you’d like to learn more about the importance of magnesium and its various actions in the body, I’d suggest the book The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean.

 

By Abby Soares

Registered Nurse | Nutritionist | Health Coach
Nourish Holistic Health & Nutrition Ltd
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Kumara Brownie

sweet_potato_brownie_final_grande
(photo curtsey of https://lunchboxinc.co.nz)
Kumara brownie’s are a massive favourite in our house, they are delicious but also really filling and healthy! Make a double batch as they keep really well in the freezer and are perfect for lunch boxes or afternoon snacks when friends pop over.
Ingredients
  • 1 medium sweet potato – 2-3 cups when grated
  • 2 organic eggs
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract/paste
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder, sifted (or cocoa if find cacao to rich)
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2½ tablespoon coconut flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 185 °C (365 °F), make sure the oven is hot before you put in the brownies in.
  2. Combine grated sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, honey and coconut oil oil in a large mixing bowl and stir together until well incorporated. Then add cacao powder, baking powder and baking soda and stir. Finally add coconut flour. Avoid adding too much coconut flour as it will absorb too much moisture which will result in drier brownies.
  3. Once combined, pour the mixture into a baking tray lined with greased baking paper. I used a 9″/23cm square tin.
  4. Cook for 25-30 minutes. Remove the tin and cool for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing the brownie cake form the tin. Cut them into squares and dust with a little cacao powder or melt some dark chocolate in a bowl over boiling water and drizzle it over the top. Serve with raspberries or strawberries and maybe some fresh cream or coconut yoghurt to be extra decadent.

Enjoy

from

Abby

x x x

2014-08-03 14.47.04-1

 

Coconut Cream Ice Blocks

coconut-berry-ice-blocks

When you are a kid there is seriously nothing better than lying on the trampoline eating a beautiful cold iceblock on a hot day!!!  My boys absolutely LOVE this afternoon ritual!

Dairy, colours and refined sugars are a nightmare for children’s health, behaviour and immunity,  which is why I love this recipe so much.  It is not only insanely easy and fast, but it is also amazingly good for you!

Its easily adapted by adding in anything that tickles your fancy… berries, lemon, crushed nuts, cocoa or cacoa nibs for example.

Ingredients

  • 400ml tin of coconut cream (organic if possible)
  • 1 ripe banana peeled
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste

Method

Put all ingredients into blender and blend till smooth. Pour into moulds, add berries of your choice, pop in popsicle stick and freeze for 6 hrs.

Enjoy

from

Abby

x x x

2014-08-03 14.47.04-1

Paleo Christmas Mince Pies

christmas-mince-pies

These christmas mince pies are so divine, I love them in mini size bites too.   So nice to find a paleo version of the original.

Be mindful that they are still full of loads of natural sugars, so have in moderation!!!

Ingredients:

Sweet pastry

100 g (1 cup) almond meal

100 g (3/4 cup) coconut flour

60 g (1/2 cup) arrowroot

210 ml coconut oil, chilled

6 tablespoons honey or coconut sugar

2 eggs

 

Mince filling

100 g raisins

100 g sultanas

50 g dried cranberries

50 g (1/3 cup) currants

50 g golden sultanas

1 granny smith apple, core removed, finely chopped

100 g pineapple, chopped

3 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground ginger

zest and juice of 2 oranges

 

Method:

To make the sweet pastry, mix the almond meal, coconut flour and arrowroot in a bowl. Cut the coconut oil into small pieces and work it into the almond meal mixture using your fingertips to form fine crumbs. Add the honey and eggs and mix until it forms a sticky dough. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes, or until it is firm enough to roll out. (The dough can be stored refrigerated for up to 1 week and in the freezer for up to 3 months.)

To make the mince filling, place all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat and stir to combine. Gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. (Do not boil or it will burn and become bitter.) Turn off the heat, transfer the mixture to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times until coarsely chopped. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease 10 x 7.5 cm flan tins.

Place the dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll out until 5 mm thick. Transfer the pastry and baking paper to the refrigerator, and chill for 5 minutes to slightly firm. Remove the top layer of baking paper and, using a 9 cm round cutter, cut out 10 rounds. Reroll the offcuts and cut out ten 7 cm star shapes.

Line the prepared flan tins with the pastry rounds and trim to ensure you have smooth clean edges. Because this dough does not contain gluten it will feel quite different to regular dough and may crack a little more easily. If cracks do form when lining the tins, simply bind the dough together with your fingers to seal. Add 2 tablespoons of mince to each pastry case and spread with the back of a spoon until level. Place a pastry star on top of each pie and transfer the pies to a baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool before removing from the tins and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Pete Evans recipe

2014-08-03 14.47.04-1

Enjoy

Abby

x x x

Paleo Chocolate Cake

chocolate-cakeThis gorgeous chocolate cake is totally my lifesaver when it comes to birthdays and special events.  It is so amazingly moist and moorish, it pleases even those straight edge folk who don’t want a bar of healthy cooking!

My kids absolutely love it too as do all my nieces and nephews who are as little as 2 years old so it gets the thumbs up all round.

This cake is full of healthy ingredients so can be happily eaten several times a week or made into cup cakes for school lunch boxes or to satisfy an evening chocolate craving!

I usually double the ingredients to make a nice big cake.

PALEO CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of finely grated raw pumpkin
  • 2 organic eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup of honey (or 1/2 a cup of maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil or ghee is dairy tolerant
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp aluminium free baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup raw organic cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C  line a cake tin with baking paper
  2. Whisk grated pumpkin, eggs, syrup, oil and vanilla with a fork in a bowl. Sift dry ingredients over the bowl and mix well.
  3. Pour into the baking tin and smooth top.
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool in tin and turn out onto a rack until cold.
  5. Ice with frosting (see icing recipe below)
  6. Garnish with dehydrated buckwheat (see pic), grated almonds or edible flowers
  7. Refrigerate till icing is set
  8. Keeps well in fridge for up to a week and also freezes well.

Icing

  • 1 cup of soaked cashews
  • 1/2 cup of organic cocoa or cacao powder
  • 100 g cacao butter melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or 3 tablespoons of honey
  • Juice of 1 small lemon or lime
  • Blend together till creamy
  • Spread over cooled cake

This recipe is adapted from www.84thand3rd.com and oil tribe http://www.oiltribe.co.nz/paleo-chocolate-cake/

Enjoy

from

Abby

x x x

Abby Soares
Registered Nurse | Nutritionist | Health Coach
Nourish Holistic Health & Nutrition Ltd

2014-08-03 14.47.04-1

 

 

 

Gut healing stocks

When your gut is leaky and damaged one of the best cures is beautiful homemade meat stock.  These stocks are cooked with meat and bones to draw out gelatine, glutamine, collagen and minerals.  These components heal and seal the lining of the gut to restore gut health.
Try these two gorgeous soups and eat them daily to promote gut healing.
Have with either coconut kefir or sauerkraut to increase the good bacteria in your body and reculture the good bacteria in your gut.
garlic-immunity

POACHED CHICKEN STOCK

  • 1 Whole Organic Chicken
  • 6 stalks of celery chopped
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • Cover chicken with water
  • 2 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon cracked pepper
  • A few sprigs of thyme, rosemary, or other herbs (remove after cooking)
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt

Place Chicken in large pot, add all ingredients.  Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer for about and hour and 20 mins.

Remove chicken, allow to cool and shred the meat.  Place meat back with the soup.  Save the bones to make broth.

Try to eat soup once a day or in a cup with meals to aide digestion.

In time you will be able to crush a raw garlic bulb into the cup of stock to boost detoxification, kill bad bacteria, improve immunity and energy levels.

BEEF STOCK

  • 1-2 T bone steaks with fat on (or lamb shanks, chuck steak or stewing steak, fat in is important as fat heals the gut and nourishes the brain.)
  • 4 carrots peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/2 a celery chopped
  • 2 onions peeled and quartered
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper

Place in slow cooker in the morning on high, allow to cook all day and turn off and have for dinner or allow to cool and store in the fridge for another meal.

Cook for a maximum of 6 hours (3 hours of that time will be heating up and around 3 hours will be cooking time)

Save half of this stock to have in a cup with other meals and eat the remainder as a delicious gut healing beef soup.

Enjoy

Abby

X X X

2014-08-03 14.47.04-1

Grain Free Apple Muffins

apple muffins
I love these apple muffins, they are delicious and my kids adore them.  They freeze well, so double or triple the batch, they are great for lunch boxes or snacks on the go straight out of the freezer.
This is a great replacement for a sandwich in the lunch box or to settle sweet cravings in the afternoon with a cup of herbal tea.

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup homemade stewed apples
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • 2-3 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 T honey (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Grease a muffin pan with coconut oil.
  3. Put all ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix with immersion blender or whisk until well mixed.
  4. Let sit 5 minutes.
  5. Use ⅓ cup measure to spoon into muffin tins.
  6. Bake 12-15 minutes until starting to brown and not soft when lightly touched on the top.
  7. Let cool 2 minutes, drizzle with honey (if desired) and serve.

Enjoy

from

Abby

x x  x

2014-08-03 14.47.04-1