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Magnesium is So Underrated! Here’s A List of Foods For You To Boost Your Magnesium Intake!

Magnesium is So Underrated! Here’s A List of Foods For You To Boost Your Magnesium Intake!

Getting the right amount of nutrients into our body is important for healthy functioning. One of the most essential of these nutrients is magnesium because it goes towards many different functions within the body.

Therefore without enough magnesium, we can quickly start to feel ill both physically and mentally. Around 80 percent of us have a magnesium deficiency without even realising it – and the problem is that the majority of magnesium is stored in the bones not in the blood, so a deficiency can’t be detected on a normal blood test.

The Importance of Magnesium in Our Diet

Magnesium isn’t something we think about in terms of our health but scientific research [1] has found that there are almost 3751 magnesium ‘binding sites’ within the body meaning our bodies rely on optimal magnesium levels more than previously thought.

Because of this, magnesium is essential for many functions within the body including: blood sugar control, nerve function, the regulation of blood pressure, metabolism, protein synthesis and neurotransmitter release which helps keep strong signals between neurons and other cells in the body. Therefore maintaining an optimal level of magnesium, especially through our diet, is extremely important if we want to stay healthy.

The Best Foods for Magnesium Intake

Magnesium deficiencies can be caused by a number of factors and lifestyle choices. These include consumption of antibiotics, excess alcohol, excess sugar in the diet, consuming less than the recommended amount of daily fruit and vegetable servings and any digestion problems where nutrients from foods aren’t absorbed properly.

But if you feel none of these apply to you, then your diet could just be lacking in enough magnesium. There are many foods you can include that will help up your magnesium levels and make a noticeable difference to your health.

1. Avocados

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    Avocados are easy to incorporate into your diet and packed full of magnesium. Although high in fat, they contain monounsaturated fats which help lower bad cholesterol.

    1 average avocado: 58 mg of magnesium

    2. Bananas

      As well as potassium, bananas are another great source of magnesium. Getting a banana in to your daily breakfast, snack or post-exercise fuel will add to your magnesium levels.

      1 medium banana (118g): 32mg magnesium

      3. Mackerel

        Mackerel is an oily fish containing essential omega-3 fatty acids along with protein and B vitamins. It’s also pretty high in magnesium so buying well-sourced, fresh fillets will help your health in a number of ways.

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        1 (85g) fillet: 82mg magnesium

        4. Dark Leafy Greens

          Dark leafy greens such as swiss chard and kale give a good daily dose of magnesium. However, spinach is especially good because it contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals including vitamin K, folate, vitamin E, C, B6, iron, protein and calcium.

          180g cooked spinach: 157mg magnesium

          5. Nuts and Seeds

            Snacking on nuts and seeds is probably the best way to get your full magnesium intake but be aware that more than a handful a day is not recommended due to their high fat content. Pumpkin seeds are one of the best sources of magnesium but nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts, cashews and pine nuts all contain high levels of magnesium.

            Pumpkin seeds (28g): 150mg magnesium

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            6. Whole Grains

              Whole grains are best known for their fibre content but they also contain essential minerals including iron, selenium and, of course, magnesium. Brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, millet and buckwheat are all good sources of whole grains and contain a good amount of magnesium.

              195g cooked brown rice: 86mg magnesium

              7. Dark Chocolate

                This will make any chocolate lover happy – dark chocolate is a pretty good source of magnesium but remember to eat it in moderation!

                1 square of dark chocolate (29g): 95mg magnesium

                8. Yoghurt

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                  Plain non-fat yoghurt (i.e. not the flavoured yoghurts that are high in sugar) can be an addition to your daily diet in order to get a bit more magnesium. Adding slices of banana and grated dark chocolate can make a great breakfast or dessert.

                  245g yoghurt: 47mg magnesium

                  9. Dried Fruit

                    Dried fruit, especially figs, can contain good amounts of magnesium. Like nuts or seeds you can snack on these during the day. Dried prunes, apricots, dates and raisins are also good.

                    75g of dried figs: 51mg magnesium

                    10. Beans and Lentils

                      Beans and lentils are a good all-round source of vitamins and minerals. On average they contain high amounts of dietary fibre, iron, protein, vitamin B1, zinc and potassium. Soy beans (or edamame beans) are particularly high in magnesium and a great addition to your daily veg intake or a snack.

                      172g (cooked) soy beans: 148mg magnesium

                      Featured photo credit: kkolosov via pixabay.com

                      Reference

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                      Jenny Marchal

                      Freelance Writer

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                      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                      Video Summary

                      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                      One Exercise, multiple benefits

                      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                    How to hold a plank position

                                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                      • Prolapse
                                      • After prolapse surgery
                                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                      • Previous childbirth
                                      • Overweight

                                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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