So often when people think about weight loss they think about going on some kind of starvation diet. The problem is that this will simply result in a lowered metabolism and ill health.
The best way to go about weight loss is to think about nutrition and understand what your body needs to function properly. As strange as it might sound, magnesium is one of the nutrients which could help you lose weight.
Recently all the magazines are raving about the new weight loss miracle, Magnesium. I decided to do a little research on the subject to give you an idea of just how effective this new weight loss treatment is, how much you should take, and how you can get it naturally without supplements.
Will magnesium help you lose weight?First off, in order to lose weight with magnesium you have to be deficient in the first place. If your body is replete with magnesium then taking extra in the form of supplements won’t help you.
How does magnesium help with weight loss?
Every organ in the body -- especially the heart, muscles, and kidneys -- needs the mineral magnesium. It also contributes to the makeup of teeth and bones. Most important, it activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate calcium levels, as well as copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients in the body.Magnesium plays a key role in more than 300 of your body’s biochemical reactions, meaning that if you’re deficient, your body isn’t able to work as well as it should.
For instance, you might have a tendency to binge on comfort foods when you’re feeling depressed. Well, magnesium will help with your depression because it’s needed to help convert the amino acid tryptophan into serotonin and also melatonin.
Serotonin is one of the hormones that make you feel happy whilst melatonin helps you get to sleep. So if you’re feeling happy and you’re getting a good night’s sleep, chances are you won’t feel the need to binge on high fat and high sugar foods.
Here’s another example, a lot of women crave chocolate around the time of their menses. Why should this be? Well, cocoa is one of the best sources of magnesium and helps relieve cramps and can generally provide you with a sense of well-being.
Magnesium is also needed to give you enough energy to exercise. This is because the mitochondria in your muscles produce a kind of energy called ATP. In order for this energy to work properly it needs to bind to magnesium.
Are you deficient in magnesium?
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency may include agitation and anxiety, restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep disorders, irritability, nausea and vomiting, abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure, confusion, muscle spasm and weakness, hyperventilation, insomnia, poor nail growth, and even seizures.Magnesium has an interesting relationship with calcium in that they work with and against each other. This means that you need to have the correct balance between these two nutrients. It’s said that the ratio of calcium to magnesium should be 2:1. However if you eat a lot of dairy products, chances are you’re getting more in the region of 10:1.
Calcium and magnesium both compete for absorption so if you’re getting too much calcium it means that magnesium won’t be absorbed properly.
Also, Western diets are becoming more and more deficient in magnesium particularly because of the amount of refined grains we eat. When grains are processed, so many of the nutrients are stripped out. In some countries flour has been fortified with certain nutrients such as folic acid; however this hasn’t been the case with magnesium.
How do you get more magnesium?Rich sources of magnesium include tofu, legumes, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, wheat bran, Brazil nuts, soybean flour, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin and squash seeds, pine nuts, and black walnuts. Other good dietary sources of this mineral include peanuts, whole wheat flour, oat flour, beet greens, spinach, pistachio nuts, shredded wheat, bran cereals, oatmeal, bananas, and baked potatoes (with skin), chocolate, and cocoa powder. Many herbs, spices, and seaweeds supply magnesium, such as agar seaweed, coriander, dill weed, celery seed, sage, dried mustard, basil, cocoa powder, fennel seed, savory, cumin seed, tarragon, marjoram, poppy seedUnfortunately most magnesium supplements on the market use magnesium oxide. The problem with this is that it’s poorly absorbed by the body and can produce a laxative effect.
Magnesium is available in many forms. Recommended types include magnesium citrate, magnesium gluconate, and magnesium lactate, all of which are more easily absorbed into the body than other forms. Time release preparations may improve absorption. Ask your health care provider.
Other familiar sources are magnesium hydroxide (often used as a laxative or antacid) and magnesium sulfate (generally used orally as a laxative or in multivitamins, or added to a bath). Some magnesium can be absorbed through the skin.
Some people even enjoy adding Epsom salts into a bath and having a good soak. This will be particularly good on days when you’re muscles are feeling tight and sore. 600g of Epsom salts in a bath for 15 minutes will significantly increase the levels of magnesium in your body.
In order to get the most out of magnesium you also need to ensure you have good levels of vitamin D to help with absorption. If you live in a cold climate chances are you’re not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight which means you’ll probably want to take a supplement of at least 1,000 iu.
How to take it:
How to Take It:
Be sure to check with your health care provider before taking magnesium supplements and before considering them for a child. Under certain circumstances, such as certain heart arrhythmias or preeclampsia, a doctor will give magnesium intravenously (IV) in the hospital.
It is a good idea to take a B vitamin complex, or a multivitamin containing B vitamins, because the level of vitamin B6 in the body determines how much magnesium will be absorbed into the cells.
Dosages are based on the dietary reference intakes (DRIs) issued from the Food and Nutrition Board of the United States Government's Office of Dietary Supplements, part of the National Institutes of Health.
Do not give magnesium supplements to a child without a doctor’s supervision.
Children 1 - 3 years of age: 40 - 80 mg daily
Children 4 - 8 years of age: 130 mg daily
Children 9 - 13 years of age: 240 mg daily
Males 14 - 18 years of age: 410 mg daily
Females 14 - 18 years of age: 360 mg daily
Pregnant females 14 - 18 years of age: 400 mg daily
Breastfeeding females 14 - 18 years of age: 360 mg daily
Males 19 - 30 years of age: 400 mg daily
Females 19 - 30 years of age: 310 mg daily
Males 31 years of age and over: 420 mg daily
Females 31 years of age and over: 320 mg daily
Pregnant females 19 - 30 years of age: 350 mg daily
Pregnant females 31 and over: 360 mg daily
Breastfeeding females 19 - 30 years of age: 310 mg daily
Breastfeeding females 31 years of age and over: 320 mg daily
A person’s need for magnesium increases during pregnancy, recovery from surgery and illnesses, and athletic training. Speak with your physician.
Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, dietary supplements should be taken only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.
Since magnesium is excreted by the kidneys, people with heart or kidney disease should not take magnesium supplements except under their doctor's supervision.
It is very rare to overdose on magnesium from food. However, people who ingest large amounts of milk of magnesia (as a laxative or antacid), Epsom salts (as a laxative or tonic), or magnesium supplements may overdose, especially if they have kidney problems. Too much magnesium can cause serious health problems, including nausea, vomiting, severely lowered blood pressure, confusion, slowed heart rate, respiratory paralysis, and deficiencies of other minerals, coma, cardiac arrhythmias, cariac arrest, and death.
More common side effects from magnesium include upset stomach and diarrhea.
Magnesium competes with calcium for absorption and can cause a calcium deficiency if calcium levels are already low. Some medications may lower magnesium levels in the body. These include chemotherapy drugs, diuretics, digoxin (Lanoxin), steroids, and certain antibiotics.
If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use magnesium without first talking to your health care provider.
Amino glycosides -- Concomitant use with magnesium may cause neuromuscular weakness and paralysis.
Antibiotics -- Taking magnesium supplements may reduce the absorption of quinolone antibiotics, tetracycline antibiotics, and nitrofurantoin (Macrodandin). Magnesium should be taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking these medications. Quinolone and tetracycline antibiotics include:
Blood Pressure Medications, Calcium Channel Blockers -- Magnesium may increase the risk of negative side effects (such as dizziness, nausea, and fluid retention) from calcium channel blockers (particularly nifedipine or Procardia) in pregnant women. Other calcium channel blockers include:
Medications for diabetes -- Magnesium hydroxide, commonly found in antacids such as Alternagel, may increase the absorption of some medications used to control blood sugar levels (particularly glipizide or Glucatrol and glyburide or Micronase). If you take these medications to control blood sugar, your doctor may need to adjust your dose.
Digoxin (Lanoxin) -- Low blood levels of magnesium can increase negative effects from digoxin, including heart palpitations and nausea. In addition, digoxin can cause more magnesium to be lost in the urine. A doctor will monitor magnesium levels in people taking digoxin to see whether they need a magnesium supplement.
Diuretics -- Diuretics known as loop (such as furosemide or Lasix) and thiazide (including hydrochlorothiazide) can lower magnesium levels. For this reason, doctors who prescribe diuretics may recommend magnesium supplements as well.
Fluoroquinones -- Concomitant use with magnesium may decrease absorption and effectiveness. Flouroquinones should be taken a minimum of 4 hours before any products containing magnesium.
Hormone Replacement Therapy -- Magnesium levels tend to decrease during menopause. Clinical studies suggest, however, that hormone replacement therapy may help prevent the loss of this mineral. Postmenopausal women, or that taking hormone replacement therapy, should talk with a health care provider about the risks and benefits of magnesium supplementation.
Labetol -- Concomitant use with magnesium can slow heart beat abnormally and reduce cardiac output.
Levomethadyl -- Concomitant use with magnesium may precipitate a heart condition called QT prolongation.
Levothyroxine -- There have been case reports of magnesium containing antacids reducing the effectiveness of levothyroxine, a medication that treats underactive thyroid.
Penicillamine -- Penicillamine, a medication used to treat Wilson's disease (a condition characterized by high levels of copper in the body) and rheumatoid arthritis, can inactivate magnesium, particularly when high doses of the drug are used over a long period of time. Supplementation with magnesium and other nutrients may reduce side effects associated with penicillamine. If you take penicillamine, a health care provider can determine whether magnesium supplements are right for you.
Tiludronate (Skelid) and Alendronate (Fosamax) -- Magnesium may interfere with absorption of medications used in osteoporosis, including alendronate (Fosamax). Magnesium or antacids containing magnesium should be taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking these medications.
Others -- Aminoglycoside antibiotics (such as gentamicin and tobramycin), thiazide diuretics (such as hydrochlorothiazide), loop diuretics (such as furosemide and bumetanide), amphotericin B, corticosteroids (prednisone or Deltasone), antacids, and insulin may lower magnesium levels. Please refer to the depletions monographs on some of these medications for more information.
Magnesium isn’t some sort of miracle weight loss product however it’s absolutely essential for a healthy body and most people today are deficient in magnesium. So if you feel you might be deficient and want to health benefits of magnesium then this is a very healthy route to take.
Magnesium Booster #1
Juicer: 4-5 beets, 2 Swiss chard leaves, 2 collard leaves, ½ peeled lemon, 1 peeled cucumber. Turn off juicer; add ½ cup blueberries and juice again.
Blender: chop 4-5 beets, 2 Swiss chard leaves, 2 colored leaves, 1 peeled cucumber, Add to blender along with ½ cup blueberries, 6 ice cubes and the juice of ½ a lemon. Blend until smooth.
Juicer: juice 1 peeled cucumber, 2 celery stalks, 1 handful of spinach or kale and 1 green apple, and ½ peeled lemon.
Blender: chop 1 peeled cucumber, 2 celery stalks, 1 handful of spinach or kale and 1 green apple. Place in blender with ½ peeled lemon and 6 ice cubes. Blend until smooth
Magnesium Booster #2
Pumpkin seeds: 151 mg per oz
Brazil nuts: 107 mg per oz
Almonds: 78 mg per oz
Cashews pine nuts: 77 mg per oz
Peanuts: 71 mg per oz
Chestnuts: 50 mg per oz
Walnuts: 45 mg per oz
Granola: 43 mg per oz
Magnesium Booster # 3
Summer Fresh Salad
Toss together 2 cups tor green leaf lettuce, 1/3 a cup sliced apples, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1 tops chopped scallions. Drizzle with your favorite dressing.
Power up your salad by mixing and matching your own supercharged salad. Simply replace the lettuce with a leaf green from column A, the walnuts with a nut or seed from column B, and the apples with a choice from column C.
A: beet greens, turnip greens, dandelion seeds, kale, Bibb lettuce, collard greens, bock Choy
B: pumpkin seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, pine nuts, pecans
C: chick peas, broccoli, carrots, black beans, corn kernels, green beans