Maximize Your Magnesium for the Heart of the Matter

MagnesiumBy Shannon Morehouse, MA CHHC

Magnesium is often referred to as the miracle mineral. Some statistics indicate that more than 75% of us are deficient in this incredibly valuable mineral.

Magnesium deficiency symptoms include: leg cramps, eye twitching, fatigue, constipation, insomnia, anxiety, racing heart, and chest pain. Magnesium is a natural relaxant; research shows that it can help keep insomnia at bay, relieve muscle cramps, get things moving through your digestive tract, ease anxiety, and can even lower your risk for diabetes. Another important fact about magnesium is that it provides amazing benefits for your heart. In honor of National Heart Health Month, we would like to share with you some facts about magnesium submitted by renowned doctor Carolyn Dean, MD, ND. If you find her facts interesting, she has many more facts on magnesium available in a free downloadable guide at http://www.nutritionalmagnesium.org.

  • The heart is a very large muscle. Calcium causes muscles to contract and magnesium causes them to relax. If the body is deficient in magnesium, the heart can go into spasm causing a fatal heart attack; beat erratically causing arrhythmia; or beat too slowly (bradycardia) or too quickly (tachycardia). Magnesium balances calcium.
  • Magnesium prevents blood clot formation and muscle spasms of the heart’s blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack. One major cause of angina is spasming of the heart’s coronary arteries that are lined with smooth muscles that react to a deficiency of magnesium.
  • Magnesium prevents muscle spasms of the peripheral blood vessels, which can lead to high blood pressure, another risk factor for heart disease.
  • Magnesium prevents calcium buildup and cholesterol plaque in arteries, which leads to clogged arteries.
  • Your body requires magnesium to maintain healthy elastin, which provides essential elasticity in your arteries. Loss of elasticity is a risk factor for heart disease. Loss of elasticity causes inflammation of heart blood vessels, which interferes with blood flow and leads to heart disease.
  • High blood pressure can cause stroke and heart attack. Tension in the smooth muscle of blood vessels throughout the body due to magnesium deficiency is a major cause of high blood pressure.

Are All Salts Created Equally?

By Laurel Sterling MA, RD, CDN470569367

No they are not! From what I have researched,you have to consider where they are harvested, how they are harvested, and how they are processed.

Conventional (white) table salt is extremely different from other healthier choices like Celtic sea salt and Himalaya pink salt. It is stripped of most minerals and trace elements during the extensive refining process. They also add anti-caking agents which make up about 3% of the salt. The other 97% of what is left over after the processing is sodium and chloride. THIS is the type of salt that we need to AVOID in our diets!

Most Celtic salt (or gray salt) comes from the northwest coast of France. It is gray in color because it absorbs minerals from clay that lines the salt ponds. Companies that harvest it, still use the traditional Celtic methods where they collect it by hand with wooden tools. Celtic sea salt contains somewhere between 80-90 elements found in sea water. Among the minerals and trace elements included in Celtic salt are: calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, and iodine. 

Himalaya pink salt is mined from the earth. It is harvested from the foothills of the Himalayas. They also harvest this salt by hand using traditional methods. Himalaya salt is rich in many minerals such as calcium, potassium, and iron, and it is the high iron content that gives this salt its pink color.

Both Celtic salt and Himalaya salt are alkalizing for the body due to all the minerals in them, and they greatly enhance the flavor of many dishes! So enjoy using these salts in your diet in moderation instead of conventional salts.

Supplements for Women Part I

By Laurel Sterling, MA, RDImage

Ladies, no matter where you are in your life: 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond, there are basic supplements we all need for overall general health. Generally speaking, we are the caretakers of the family. If we cannot maintain our health, then we cannot assist others when they need us. All too often, I see many female clients tending to their health last, and then paying for it later with chronic fatigue, weight gain, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, etc. I believe in starting with what I call the “Core Four.” These consist of: a multivitamin, EFA, probiotic, and calcium/magnesium/D3.

The multivitamin should have enough B vitamins (particularly B-6 and folate), iron, vitamin A, vitamin D3, and vitamin E. A quality multivitamin-mineral can help prevent the depletion of important vitamins and minerals when a less-than-desirable diet or extra stressors are taking place. For women ages 20-45, be sure the multiple has 400-800 mcg of folic acid in the event pregnancy should occur. A food-based multiple would be a fine choice. It is generally well-tolerated by those who have sensitive stomachs.

An essential fatty acid supplement is also necessary for a variety of reasons. Omega-3s from fish or fl ax oil help with mood, memory, and fetal eye and brain development, amongst other wonderful things.

Omega-6 fatty acids (such as Evening Primrose oil or Borage oil) nourish dry skin, hair, and mucous membranes, as well as, aiding in natural hormone production.

It is important to build good bones beginning in your teens; therefore, calcium/magnesium/D supplement is very useful and becomes critical should pregnancy occur. These minerals are also nature’s tranquilizers and assist with sleep. The calcium should be a citrate or glycinate source, the magnesium should

be citrate, malate, or glycinate and the 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 should be cholecalciferol. From the fall months until around May (when the sun is pretty much nonexistent in Syracuse!) additional D3, about 2,000 IUs, would also be important. Vitamin D helps with moods and the immune system!

Probiotics (beneficial bacteria) are very important as 70-90% of the immune system lies in the gut. Probiotics also help detoxify harmful estrogens. Make sure the probiotic you choose has over 1 billion CFUs with a combination of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.What’s in your vitamin case?

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