A MINUTE ON MAGNESIUM - WHY ITS GOOD FOR YOU AND HOW TO GET IT IN YOUR DIET
"Eat your greens!" has been drilled into our minds ever since we suspiciously eyed the peas and broccoli on our plates and wondered just why our parents were so obsessed with these tasteless (at best) things they put in front of us. And why were they the currency to buy dessert?
As you grow up, you either end up hating or loving greens, and once we have the freedom to cram our credit cards into plastic purchasing slots for all the mud cake and ice cream we want, with no supervision, what is there to push us really to choose greens? You can stay slim and fit on colourful fruits and vegetables. So what is there to really be said about greens?
Apparently, a lot.
Green leafy vegetables are rich in magnesium. This is because magnesium is essential in chlorophyll's capture of sunlight during photosynthesis. So all photosynthesising parts of the plant (the green parts) are especially rich in magnesium.
When it comes to us humans, magnesium is an enzyme cofactor. Two important enzymes which it is essential for are responsible for:
1. ATP production
2. DNA repair
You may already see where I am going with this. When we do not consume enough magnesium in our diet, the limited amount we provide our body with will be all used to produce ATP, energy for our cells to stay alive. And therefore, the DNA repair enzymes will not function properly and this can lead to cancer initiation.
Therefore, it is essential that we consume enough magnesium every day, about 400mg.
Some magnesium rich foods to get an idea and get you started are:
Just for reference, your daily recommended amount of magnesium is about 400mg for men and 320mg for women.
Spinach and kale
With 79mg of magnesium in 100 grams, and very easy to eat in smoothies, on your salad, in your soups or even on its own, spinach and kale are super-versatile and should be a staple in all our kitchens!
Nuts and seeds
Mixed nuts, with oil and salt added, roasted, have around 229mg per 100g! Some type of nuts such as pumpkin seeds can provide you with 534mg in 100g, over your daily recommended value! So be sure to add these to your snacking regimen, on top of your salad, or even mixed into your cake and cookie batter!
With 30g of magnesium in 100g of Wild Salmon, and whole other host of benefits for your body: anti-inflammatory properties and lowered cancer risk, there are so many reasons to add these to your diet. Mackerel, has 97mg of magnesium per 100g and pollock 85mg, so make sure to mix up your fish selection!
Beans and lentils
With 120mg of magnesium in 100g of black beans, and a whole lot of delicious and flavourful recipes containing beans, they can provide a great break from eating meat and are also much more affordable.
They have 29mg of magnesium in 100g, which roughly means 58mg in your average avocado. Great on toast, in your salad, pureed in your guacamole they are great at making you feel fuller and a great source of fat.
They have 27mg of magnesium per 100g and so about 32mg in your average banana. A very portable snack, great eaten frozen and blended as ice-cream, as the body of your smoothie or even fried in no oil as a sweet treat, the fact that these fruits are one of the cheapest and most accessible makes them an absolute favourite for all.