Emily Heil CPT, BS Health Promotion and Wellness
I used to just dismiss vitamins and minerals. I was one of those people who thought you just needed to exercise, eat right, and have your mind right. Now those may be all good things, but we don’t think a lot about the other things that we need as well such as our micro-nutrients.
When people think about food, we usually think of the breakdown of carbs, fats, and proteins. And although those are a big part of what food is, food is more than just that. It contains so many more vital things that your body needs.
Now believe me when I say I used to just glance at a food and say, “oh yeah, that has 25% of my daily value of (insert vitamin or mineral here), so that’s good!” But I never really used to make sure I was getting enough of it. More recently I have learned that when you give your body the micro-nutrients that it needs, it can not only help you increase positive things happening physiologically, but it can also help you to OPTIMIZE your life.
Let’s take magnesium for example. 80% of people around the world are deficient in magnesium. Did you know that? I was experiencing some neurological issues, so I wanted to see what I could eat or supplement with that would help me. – And it just so happened to turn out I was one of the 80% deficient in Magnesium (go figure). I thought I was doing everything right! So I started taking a magnesium supplement. Do you know what happened? I became focused. I lost my brain fog and a whole host of other things happened to me. But Magnesium isn’t just for brain health.
It helps as an antioxidant and combats against oxidative stress ( this is any type of stress you put on your body) anything from working out, to things that you eat that your body doesn’t like, to stressors that are in your everyday life. And when you get rid of that oxidative stress your body can work more like a well-oiled machine and less like a rusty 1920’s car that hasn’t been taken care of.
Magnesium helps to boost immunity and defend against cancer. Now if you don’t think that you want to boost your immunity that sounds crazy to me, but to each their own. Doing that right now is such a vital thing for your body (along with taking your vitamin D, but you know that).
This special micro-nutrient helps you also to improve thyroid function and increase fertility (yes, in both men and women). Your thyroid helps your body with a whole laundry list of things from your metabolism to your heart beat, your temperature, and just basic things that are important. On the fertility topic, this is especially important if you are of child-baring years and want to eventually have a baby. Create the healthiest body you can for your child, promote a strong and healthy microbiome by introducing all of the right nutrients.
These are only a few things that magnesium helps with… and yeah, you can take it in a supplement form, which is great if that is what you want to do. But the BEST way to get nutrients is through food. It can be hard because of all of the pesticides that we use on our food nowadays, we don’t find it in the soil much, therefore the plants don’t “soak it up” per se. But If you are looking for the best way to get magnesium in foods, here are a list of foods that you can find it in.
Magnesium rich foods:
Spinach, edamame, potato with the skin, salmon, halibut, and okra just to name a few.
I understand if you look at this list and you are saying to yourself “what in the world is okra?” I dare you to try it. Find something new and try it! You might just like it. And if you don’t well then there are plenty of other sources of magnesium in other foods. Find different recipes and different ways to spice up your foods. Dry rubs and spices are my favorite!
So here is your call to action. Start paying attention to what goes in your body. I don’t mean just counting calories. Check your multivitamin and what sources these vitamins and minerals are coming from. We have an incredible multivitamin through Orthomolecular right in our office that you can ask us about any time. Get your nutrients in and watch yourself have more energy, feel happier, and enjoy life more. It is amazing how much different you can feel when your body is not being starved of the nutrients that it so badly needs. Check in with yourself and pay attention to what your body is saying. If you love your body right, it will love you back.