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The Actual Reason Why We Spend Excessive Time in Toilet Despite High Fibre Intake.

The Actual Reason Why We Spend Excessive Time in Toilet Despite High Fibre Intake.

We don’t always like admitting our toilet problems but when it comes to constipation, chances are you’ve experienced this condition more than once. This is because it’s a hugely common problem affecting adults and children of all ages.

But what causes constipation? We’re often led to believe it’s solely down to lack of fibre in the diet and while this a major cause, there are other factors that can cause this – sometimes painful – condition.

Surprisingly, constipation is a common symptom of magnesium deficiency. A Japanese study [1] looked at 3,835 female students, 26.2% of whom suffered from constipation. They found that together with low-fibre, lack of magnesium was a high factor in their bouts of constipation.

Why Is Magnesium So Important?

Magnesium may not be on the forefront of our minds when it comes to our health, but amazingly this mineral is involved in over 300 different reactions in the body. It’s therefore essential that we get enough of the recommended daily intake of magnesium to promote optimum health.

Besides constipation, a lack of magnesium can cause insomnia, anxiety and depression, irritability, fatigue, muscle pain, insulin resistance, gut disorders plus many more.

In other words, it helps the heart, muscles, and immune system function properly. It’s so central to the workings of the body that not getting enough can cause underlying symptoms that we often put down to other factors and over half of us aren’t getting enough magnesium on daily basis.

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Insufficient Awareness on Magnesium Intake

Despite it being so important to many functional processes in the body, many people actually have a magnesium deficiency without realising.

Magnesium isn’t easily absorbed by the digestive track and can be even more difficult to absorb if you already have a deficiency in vitamin D or even a number of other conditions. We are very conscious of fats and sugars in our diet but often don’t consider whether we eat the sort of foods that can be high in magnesium.

And while magnesium supplements can give us a boost, knowing what foods contain the highest amounts of magnesium is the best way to deal with conditions including constipation.

10 Foods High in Magnesium

It’s recommended that adult men get 400mg of magnesium a day (420mg for men aged over 30) while women ideally get around 310mg (increased to 320mg once over 30).

By eating the right foods, you should get the right amount of magnesium through your diet so which foods are the best to consume?

Almonds

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    105mg per 1/4 cup: Almonds are not only rich in vitamin E, high in protein and omega-3 fats but they pack a punch when it comes to magnesium. It’s ideal not to eat too many but add them as a small snack or to a meal will boost your magnesium intake.

    Bananas

      33mg in one medium banana: Bananas are more well-known for their high potassium levels but if you eat a good amount of them you’ll be happy to know they contain some magnesium. You can find some healthy banana recipes here [2] to get more into your diet.

      Oatmeal

        57.6 mg per 1 cup cooked: Oatmeal is twice as good for constipation as it’s high in fibre as well as magnesium. Make it with skimmed milk that contains vitamin D (which helps to absorb magnesium) and you’ve got a good boost every morning for breakfast.

        Sunflower Seeds

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          128mg per 1/4 cup: Although these need to be eaten in moderation, just a quarter of a cup will get you 25-30% of your daily magnesium intake. They’re also full of calcium and can help fight bad cholesterol.

          Dark Leafy Greens

            157mg per 1 cup (steamed): Dark leafy greens especially spinach is extremely high in magnesium. The best thing is spinach is so versatile you can add it to your breakfast, lunch and dinner to get most of your daily intake. Try these recipes [3] to spice up your spinach.

            Cashew Nuts

              89mg per 1/4 cup: Cashews are high in fat so you need to watch how much you eat in a day but getting a handful as a snack will provide you with a good dose of magnesium. Not only that but a serving provides a good amount of iron, folate and vitamin K.

              Broccoli

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                51 mg per ½ cup cooked: You can’t really eat too much broccoli and while it contains fibre, it also has more vitamin C than an orange. It’s best to steam it to preserve as many of the vitamins and minerals as possible that get destroyed during the boiling process.

                Sweetcorn

                  33 mg per 1 ear of corn: Adding corn to your daily meals will also boost your magnesium intake. It’s also a whole grain so high in fibre for good bowel movements as well as a good source of vitamin C and B. Resist the salt and butter though instead opting for olive oil or a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

                  Peas

                    48 mg per 1 cup: Peas often get overlooked but they are a great source of magnesium. Find some interesting ways to use your peas here.

                    Sesame Seeds

                      101mg in 1 ounce: The best thing about sesame seeds is that you can add them to almost anything whether sprinkled on a salad, on top of salmon or mixed into sauces. It’s high in zinc and vitamin B6 but will get your magnesium levels soaring.

                      Reference

                      More by this author

                      Jenny Marchal

                      A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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                      Last Updated on December 2, 2019

                      10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

                      10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

                      Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

                      In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

                      These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

                      1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

                      Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

                      But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

                      Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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                      2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

                      You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

                      The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

                      3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

                      If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

                      Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

                      If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

                      4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

                      Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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                      To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

                      In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

                      5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

                      We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

                      If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

                      Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

                      “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

                      6. Give for the Joy of Giving

                      When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

                      One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

                      So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

                      7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

                      Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

                      Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                      8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

                      When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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                      So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

                      9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

                      Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

                      It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

                      It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

                      10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

                      There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

                      But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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                      Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

                      More About Living a Fulfilling Life

                      Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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