With weight loss on many a woman's brain, limiting calories and certain types of food can mean not getting your fill of essential vitamins and minerals. While maintaining a healthy weight is important for optimum health, make sure your diet includes these important nutrients as well.
Magnesium is an essential mineral our body needs and is found in our bones, body tissues, and organs. A well-balanced diet will usually provide you with adequate magnesium levels, but if you are prone to headaches, forgetfulness, sore or cramping muscles, stress, or chronic fatigue, a deficiency in magnesium might be what's slowing you down. For ways to get a daily dose of magnesium, read on.
After suffering through a sleepless night, I had a strong desire to bolster myself with copious amounts of coffee. But I knew that there were healthier ways to treat myself right after missing sleep. It turns out you can fight fatigue with some sensible eating. You just need to know what to eat to help you avoid yawning at inappropriate times. Here are five foods to help you fight fatigue.
When I asked my doctor about ways to prevent migraines, she recommended I take a magnesium (oxide) supplement. I headed to my closest drugstore and picked up a bottle of Nature's Bounty Magnesium supplement (500 mg), and I've been taking one pill every morning for the last few weeks.
Even though it's been less than a month, since taking the mineral supplement I've been headache and migraine free! This even includes the times that I've had red wine, which is one of my triggers. In the last few months I've also been incorporating foods that prevent migraines into my diet, like topping my yogurt and fruit with ground flaxseed. But I didn't notice a drastic change until I started taking magnesium. Have you tried any supplements to rid you of your ailments? Any other tips for saying goodbye to migraines?
Having trouble remembering where you left your cell phone or the name of your friend's new beau? Then you may want to ask yourself if you're getting enough magnesium. This essential mineral found in dark leafy greens, like Swiss chard, as well as quinoa, almonds, cashews, beans, and dairy products, has been shown in studies to improve both learning abilities and short- and long-term memory. This mineral strengthens and "stimulates changes in synapses, the junctions between neurons that are important in transmitting nerve signals." This means a diet containing sufficient amounts of magnesium could help you remember to bring your lunch to work (instead of forgetting it at home in the fridge). A woman needs about 300 milligrams of magnesium a day, so check your diet to make sure you're getting your fill.
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If healthy living is part of your plans for how to tackle 2008, then you need to ask yourself if your diet is missing magnesium. This mineral is mighty but is often over looked, even though it participates in hundreds of bodily functions that foster good health. It contributes to bone strength; in fact 50 percent of your total body magnesium is found in the bones. It also helps promotes a robust immune system and normalizes muscle, nerve, and heart function. Pretty convincing list, don't ya think?
Women ages 19 to 30 should get 310 milligrams daily of the mineral, and women over 31 need 10 milligrams more, with their daily recommended intake (RDI) being 320 milligrams. The good news is that whole grains are high in magnesium, especially quinoa. An ounce of dry roasted almonds contains 80 milligrams of magnesium while dry roasted cashews contain 75 milligrams. If you are looking for a food source a little lower in fat, then be sure to add beans to your diet. A cup of cooked black beans contains 75 milligrams of magnesium as well. Dairy products are also a good choice, just remember to choose low fat ones.
I crave greens, no matter the season. When it is cold outside, I often choose a cooked green over salads. I just want to eat warm food. One of my favorites greens to cook is Swiss chard, and it comes in colors too. The leaves are green, but the stems and veins can be white, yellow or red. The red is my favorite since the color combination is quite dramatic.
Not only is it tasty, and similar to spinach and beet greens, but chard is also loaded with nutrients. It is a great source of vitamin K and vitamin A. One cup of cooked chard contains half of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C and 3.5 grams of fiber. It also provides 30 percent of your RDI for magnesium and 25 percent of the valuable mineral potassium.
Are you convinced yet? This is a super food. Don't know what to do to the chard? Just rip the leaves from the stems. Chop up the stems and sauté the leaves and stems with olive oil and garlic. Or you could try out this recipe: Whole Wheat Pasta with Chicken, Chard and Peppers. It is truly delish!
Are you a fan of Swiss chard? Tell me your favorite way to prepare it in the comments section below.
Gaudet, the executive director of the Integrative Medicine program at Duke University Medical School, suggests a mix of supplements: calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B6. She has found this supplement cocktail can greatly reduce the moodiness and bloating that often accompany visits from Aunt Ruby. These supplements might even help reduce excessive menstrual bleeding.
Fit's Tip: When taking supplements, make sure you stay in levels of tolerable limits. Taking an excessive amount of vitamin B6 can have negative health consequences. The RDI for vitamins B6 is 1.3 mg/day and the upper tolerance level is 30 mg/day.
Ever been awakened by an excruciating cramp in your calf? Your foot? Both at the same time? If you have experienced one of these nocturnal muscle cramps poetically known as a Charlie Horse you will know exactly what I am talking about.
While no one has yet to pin point a single cause for these cramps there are many theories as to why they happen, what actions (or inactions) contribute to them, and there are many steps you can take to prevent them.
A Charlie Horse could be caused by overexertion of the muscles, structural disorders like flat feet, prolonged standing on concrete, prolonged sitting, inappropriate leg positions while sedentary (another reason why crossing your legs is really a no-no), or dehydration. Some alternative health practioners believe magnesium and/or calcium levels are too low and that leads to the cramping.
No matter why you get them, you want to know what you can do to avoid them. I suggest staying well hydrated (if you're interested in seeing how much water you should be drinking daily check out the Fit calculator) and stretch your calves regularly throughout the day, before you got to bed and especially if you were wearing high heels for an extended period of time. Light exercise before bed can also help, as can keeping your blankets loose at the foot of your bed since the tight sheets can force the muscles of the foot and calve to engage and then cramp.
Interested in knowing what to do when you get a Charlie Horse? Then read more
Is it me or are you confused about how much of each vitamin and mineral you are supposed to get each day?
Some of my friends take daily vitamins, and some eat fortified foods like calcium-enriched orange juice. It that necessary, or do we get enough in the foods we eat?
The first step in answering that question is to know how much we need to get each day. Here's a chart to make it a little more simple for you. These numbers are the RDI (reference daily intake) for women.
Want to see? Then read more