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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

                      Freelance Writer

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                      Last Updated on December 2, 2018

                      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                      Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

                      The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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                      The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

                      Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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                      Review Your Past Flow

                      Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

                      Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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                      Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

                      Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

                      Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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                      Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

                      Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

                      We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

                      Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                        Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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