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Magnesium for Overall Good Health

By Larraine Roulston:

When it comes to supplements, iron, calcium, and vitamins C and D are the nutrients that readily come to mind for most of us. However, keeping magnesium, an essential mineral for overall well-being, on your list of dietary needs is just as critical. The intake of magnesium is an essential mineral for your overall
well-being. It helps regulate heartbeat rhythms, blood pressure, blood sugar and neurotransmitter functions. In fact, magnesium is involved in over 300 important bodily activities.

Population studies regarding the average magnesium intake revealed that only 25% of U.S. adults take in the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of magnesium; 55% are below and 20% are significantly below RDA levels. In order to keep your body in good health, eat less refined sugar and fewer processed foods. Most cakes, sodas and other delights are made with refined sugar and white flour, and both of these ingredients have had their magnesium removed.

The early symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include fatigue, nausea, weakness and vomiting. As the condition worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle cramps, facial tics, chronic pain, anxiety, seizures and even personality changes often are other warning signs.

A healthy diet that includes dark green vegetables, which are loaded with chlorophyll, a molecule containing magnesium, is key to boosting magnesium levels that complement other vitamins. Spinach, for example, will control inflammation and blood sugar levels. For one thing, magnesium is necessary in order to transport calcium effectively across cell membranes. Calcium requires several nutrients, such as silica, vitamins D and K, and magnesium to help it to permeate bone matter. The vitamins that you may take desperately need minerals to be effective. Unfortunately, our modern agricultural methods of monoculture farming with chemical fertilizers and pesticides have depleted our soils of their mineral content.

To help increase your level of magnesium in a salad, include any variety of almonds, cashews, pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds, as well as avocado with any combination of spinach, kale, beet tops or Swiss chard. Sunflower seeds alone are filled with antioxidants and vitamins, and carry 80% of your RDA. Salmon, squash, okra, black beans, soybeans, lentils and cultured yogurts are also most beneficial. For desserts, include dates, bananas, dark chocolate and molasses.

There are many magnesium recipes available online. The following is one for a hot summer day. By testing this Waldorf salad recipe, including yogurt for magnesium, it could become a family favorite.


  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, fat-free
  • 1 tablespoon pure honey
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 large organic apples, cored and sliced into small cubes
  • 1 Asian pear, cored, peeled, and sliced into small cubes
  • 1 cup red grapes, sliced in half vertically
  • 1 stalk celery thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces


In a small bowl, combine yogurt, honey, and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Combine the remaining ingredients in a salad bowl, add yogurt dressing, and toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate. This salad is best if eaten the same day that it is prepared.

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Larraine writes illustrated children’s adventure books on composting and pollinating.  To order, visit www.castlecompost.com

About Larraine Roulston

A mother of 4 with 6 wonderful grandchildren, Larraine has been active in the environmental movement since the early l970s. When the first blue boxes for recycling were launched in her region, she began writing a local weekly newspaper column to promote the 3Rs. Since that time, she has been a freelance writer for several publications, including BioCycle magazine. As a composting advocate, Larraine authors children's adventure stories that combine composting facts with literature. Currently she is working on the 6th book of her Pee Wee at Castle Compost series, which can be viewed at www.castlecompost.com. As well, Larraine and her husband Pete have built a straw bale home and live in Ontario.

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