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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 January 3, 2020

                      The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

                      The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

                      Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

                      The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

                      1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

                      Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

                       I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

                      To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

                      And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

                       2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

                      Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

                      3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

                      Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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                      4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

                      The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

                      5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

                      Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

                      6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

                      Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

                      7. Positive people smile a lot!

                      When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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                      8. People who are positive are great communicators.

                      They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

                      9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

                      One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

                      10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

                      Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

                      How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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                      I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

                      Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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