Tweaklet #47 – Magnesium

It’s not essential to understand the role of vitamins and minerals but there is one macro mineral that is very useful to be aware of – and that’s magnesium.

Magnesium is an integral part of over 600 reactions in our body, including the metabolism of food, the transmission of nerve impulses, the synthesis of fatty acids and proteins. It helps balance our blood sugar and maintains the electrical impulses in our heart. Magnesium is critical for the mechanical functioning within tissues such as nerves and muscles and blood vessels.

We need to consume about 100 milligrams of magnesium per day. Unfortunately Magnesium levels are at much lower levels in our soil these days…..and Chemicals like chlorine and fluoride deplete it as do the regular intake of caffeine and sugar.

So what’s the food solution to keeping our magnesium levels up? Spinach, bananas, almonds, cacao  or really good dark chocolate, and seeds like Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, chia, hemp and flax are all excellent sources of magnesium and easy to include in our diet.

Just at an every day level magnesium is really helpful. It plays a major part in balancing out anxiety and depression, it helps with the symptoms of PMS, helps calm those restless legs, eases muscle cramps and migraines. Magnesium also helps with memory retention and can assist with leveling out breathing problems and arrhythmia.

You can of course look at a magnesium supplement, if you think you are deficient or want to boost your levels, but I find that just making some of these food tweaks really make a difference to me. Well food is always a good place to start don’t you think?

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Tweaklet #31 Salt – Good or Bad?

Salt is another one of those intensely debated health topics. Over the past 30 years, science has systematically disproved our biggest fear, that salt elevates our blood pressure. In fact, when you’re lacking in minerals, like sodium, THAT can lead to higher blood pressure! And low-salt diets can actually increase the risk of heart attacks.

But before we go too far down the science track, let’s just talk about the food aspects of salt. Your body does need salt but the right kind. Ordinary table salt is not a good choice as it has been broken down with heat and has lost all its minerals.

All salt is originally from the sea and it’s the unrefined sea salt we want that still has all its minerals intact. It’s so much tastier too. And UNREFINED is the key thing to look for.

Why do we need salt? Well, apart from being rich in those trace minerals it also prevents dehydration and balances our electrolytes. In turn, it supports our brain, muscles and nervous system and it’s important for digestive health, particularly helping to absorb nutrients.

Some unrefined salts to look for are Himalayan Salt (the pink one), Celtic Salt, Flaky sea salt, Fleur de Sel or  Flor de Sal, Hawaiian Sea Salt, to name a few of the purest.

Like anything with our diets, moderation is key. We now know that salt is needed by our bodies and we don’t need to avoid it. That being said, if you’re a bit of a salt addict, as I have been, it’s still nice to dial back the salt a bit and taste the real flavour of the food.

Thanks for joining me on my quest for a better understanding of salt and other food tweaks that can make a difference to our health.

Visit the Tweaklets YouTube Channel

Download my free E-Book here.