Dangers of Low Magnesium Levels

Magnesium is one of the six essential minerals that comprise 99% of the body’s mineral content. Magnesium helps build bones, supports nerve function, and is essential to converting food to energy.

Magnesium has been shown to to help with conditions such as headaches, chronic pain, asthma, anxiety, muscle tension and sleep disorders. Unfortunately, most Americans are seriously lacking magnesium. Magnesium deficiency, especially prevalent in older populations, is linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis.

According the Medical News Today, “The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium depends on age and gender. The National Institutes of Health recommend that children 1-3 years of age get 80 milligrams of magnesium a day, rising to 130 milligrams for children aged 4-8, and 240 milligrams for children aged 9-13. After the age of 14, RDAs diverge for men and women, with men typically requiring more magnesium than women due to a larger average body mass. At the age of 14-18, the RDA for males is 410 milligrams, and 360 milligrams for females. Adult females are advised to get 310-320 milligrams per day. An RDA of 350-400 milligrams is advised during pregnancy, and 310-360 milligrams when breastfeeding. The RDA of magnesium for adult males is 400-420 milligrams.”

So what are some ways you can improve your magnesium intake?

Magnesium Rich Foods

Whenever possible, it’s always best to obtain your vitamins and minerals naturally from a food source. Some foods you can incorporate into your diet that are high in magnesium include: sunflower seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, spinach, cashews, black beans, oatmeal, broccoli, peanut butter, shrimp, brown rice, kidney beans and bananas.

Magnesium Supplements

According to DrAxe.com, “It’s believed that magnesium in citrate, chelate and chloride forms are absorbed better than magnesium supplements in oxide and magnesium sulfate form. Here’s a bit about the different types of magnesium supplements that you’ll likely come across:

  • Magnesium Chelate – highly absorbable by the body and the kind found in foods naturally. This type is bound to multiple amino acids (proteins) and used to restore magnesium levels.
  • Magnesium Citrate – magnesium combined with citric acid. This may have a laxative effect in some cases when taken in high doses, but is otherwise safe to use for improving digestion and preventing constipation.
  • Magnesium Chloride Oil – an oil form of magnesium that can be applied to skin. It’s also given to people who have digestive disorders that prevent normal absorption of magnesium from their food. Athletes sometimes use magnesium oil to increase energy and endurance, to dull muscle pain, and to heal wounds or skin irritation.
  • Magnesium Glycinate – highly absorbable, this is recommended for anyone with a known magnesium deficiency and less likely to cause laxative effects than some other magnesium supplements.
  • Magnesium Threonate – has a high level of absorbability since it can penetrate the mitochondrial membrane. This type is not as readily available, but as more research is conducted, it may become more widely used.”

So if you feel you have been suffering from any of the above conditions or you could benefit from increasing your magnesium intake, consider supplementing or incorporating more magnesium rich foods into your diet.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Are You Deficient In Iodine? You May Be At Risk…

Iodine deficiency is a silent epidemic. Iodine is typically found in iodized table salt and in sea vegetables. In the American culture, we have decreased our use of table salt and eat almost no sea vegetables. As a result, there is an alarmingly high amount of Americans who unknowingly suffer from iodine deficiency.

Iodine is essential and especially crucial for brain development in children. It also plays a central role in healthy function of your thyroid gland. Inadequate iodine intake can lead to weight gain, depression, decreased energy, various cancers and heart disease! As you can see it is crucial to ensure that your body is getting sufficient iodine intake.

Adding sea vegetables into your diet is a great way to boost your iodine intake without having to increase your sodium intake. In our house, I sprinkle dulse or kelp granules on many of our meals to ensure we are getting adequate iodine intake. Sushi rolls are also a great way to increase your sea vegetable intake. I also use kombu when cooking beans or grains, which adds iodine and makes them easier to digest. If you choose to use salt as a source of iodine, be sure to use iodized salt.

The following are a few great food based items that you can incorporate into your diet to naturally boost your iodine intake:

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

Health Benefits of Camu Camu

Camu camu is an amazing superfood that can easily be added to smoothies to give them a major nutritional boost. It is a low-growing shrub found throughout the Amazon rain forests of Peru and Brazil that produces a lemon sized, light orange to purplish red fruit with yellow pulp. The camu camu fruit contains more natural vitamin C than any other food source on the planet, as well as beta-carotene, potassium, calcium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, protein, serine, thiamin, leucine, and valine. Camu camu has astringent, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, emollient and nutritional properties.

So what are the health benefits of camu camu and why should you be trying to sneak this amazing fruit into your diet?

  • High levels of naturally occurring vitamin C (more than any other food)
  • Rich in anti-oxidants
  • Boosts immunity
  • Balances your moods
  • Powerful anti-viral
  • Supports healthy liver function
  • Supports optimal eye and brain function

While the fruit of the camu camu is not readily available in the US, you can easily access the powder to amp up the nutrition in your smoothies. Always try to get organic whenever possible. A few good choices you can easily find online include:

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.

 

Treat Depression Naturally

It is very important to make a distinction between situational depression, which is a normal reaction to events around us, and clinical depression, which is triggered from within and is not related to external situations. Situational depression is quite common and normally follows stressful situations or losses. Rather than suppress these feelings, it is best to work through these periods with help from psychotherapists or counselors. Clinical depression is a medical diagnosis and often requires other forms of depression treatment.

Treatment 

  • Exercise. Exercise is proven to be one of the best natural ways to reduce depression. Numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of a daily workout for improving emotional health and boosting self confidence. Ideally, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week to help keep the blues at bay.
  • Daily Meditation. Focusing within yourself and making time to care for yourself daily is very important. You can buy books and do a self-guided meditation, or choose a guided meditation. You can find some great guided meditations for free on YouTube. Taking time to center yourself and clear your head daily can help significantly in reducing depression and/or anxiety.
  • Check your meds. This is a a great tip from Dr. Andrew Weil…Make sure you are not taking any over-the-counter or prescription medications that contribute to depression. Avoid all antihistamines, tranquilizers, sleeping pills and narcotics if you have any tendency toward depression. You should also be cautious about the use of recreational drugs, notably alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, downers, marijuana and ecstasy. These substances may provide a temporary sense of relief, but are likely to intensify depression to dangerous levels if used regularly.
  • Eliminate Caffeine. Regular coffee and caffeine consumption can interfere with your moods. For a natural alternative to coffee, consider Dandy Blend or Teecino.
  • Acupuncture. This treatment can be effective in reducing anxiety or depression without medication.

Nutrition and Supplements  (as recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, MD)

  • B vitamins. The B vitamins, especially folic acid and vitamin B6, can be helpful in mild depression, and you should know that B vitamins can increase the efficacy of prescription anti-depressants.
  • St. John’s wort. St. John’s wort is an herbal remedy that has long been used in Europe as a treatment for mood disorders. Standardized extracts have shown an effectiveness equaling Prozac in the treatment of mild to moderate forms of the disease. It should not be taken with anti-retroviral medications, birth control pills, or antidepressant medications, especially SSRIs like Prozac or Celexa. Try 300mg of an extract standardized to 0.3 percent hypericin, three times a day. It’s full effect will be felt in about eight weeks.
  • SAMe (S-adenosy-L-methionine). Has the advantage of working more quickly than St John’s wort. Use only the butanedisulfonate form in enteric-coated tablets, or in capsules. Try 400-1,600 mg a day on an empty stomach.
  • Fish oil. Recent preliminary studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may be helpful in maintaining a healthy mind. I think that reasonable doses of fish-oil supplements (1,000 – 2,000 mg per day) might be useful in addressing mild depression. Fish oil is an excellent source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an essential fatty acid found in nerve and brain tissue.
  • In addition, follow a well-balanced diet and include an antioxidant multi-vitamin/mineral supplement to ensure you are meeting your nutritional needs for all the essential nutrients.

DISCLAIMER:  The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only.  The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional.  You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.