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When you can't stop eating Chocolate!

When you can't stop eating Chocolate! | Mr Vitamins
Our bodies are truly wonderful organisms and they are not often wrong about what they need. Sometimes a craving you can't seem to control is really a cry for help - for you to supply a nutrient that you lack but that is heavily present in a particular food. So next time you have an uncontrollable urge to reach for the Chocolate, the question to ask is:

Are you getting enough Magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral, which is involved in hundreds of biochemical processes in your body that give you energy and help your heart function correctly. It is also vital for nerve impulses to be sent and received properly.   Magnesium prevents nerve cells from becoming overactive and encourages normal function of muscle contraction and relaxation.  Chocolate is a good source of Magnesium. Magnesium is one of those essential minerals that you may be short of. Often you may not be aware that you are.   Magnesium deficiency is common but not something that is generally looked for by your doctor. However, from a Naturopathic point of view it is more likely to be identified, as your Naturopath will look closely at your diet and lifestyle, as well as your symptoms. If you have any of these symptoms you may be short of Magnesium:
  • Difficulty concentrating, confused thinking
  • Difficulty going to or staying asleep
  • Muscle cramps and spasms especially at night in bed
  • Sore muscles and fatigue after exercise
  • Nervous tension, stress, anxiety
  • Migraines or tension headaches
  • Twitching of facial muscles especially around eyes
  • Hand tremors
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Kidney Stones
  • Heart Disease
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Why would I be Magnesium deficient?

There are a number of reasons including:
  • Taking Vitamin D and Calcium Supplements that do not contain Magnesium. The proportions should be 2:1 in favour of Calcium for best absorption and utilisation of both.
  • Drinking soft water – hard water contains more Magnesium
  • Taking diuretics or the Birth Control Pill
  • Drinking Alcohol and Coffee
  • Eating refined or processed carbohydrates including sugar
  • Stress

Your body has a Magnesium store

Your bones and teeth contain about 65% of your body’s Magnesium. Your bones in particular provide a source, which can be ‘mined’ if you are short of Magnesium and your body needs it elsewhere. The other 35% is contained in your brain and then your blood and lymph as well as in the cells of your heart.

So how do I get more Magnesium?

The best sources of Magnesium from food are:
  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Nuts – Almonds are good (try to get the pesticide free ones)
  • Wholegrains
  • Seafood
  • Molasses
  • Dolomite
  • Chocolate (!)
If you are already deficient in Magnesium you will need to take a supplement to being your levels up to normal. Magnesium is readily available in different forms including powder, tablets or capsules. Just be sure not to take Magnesium sulphate (Epsom Salts), which is a laxative!! Come in and ‘Ask a Naturopath’ about the form and dose that’s right for you. Hangover Tip: Taking Magnesium with some Thiamine (B1) and drinking extra water can help prevent hangover symptoms.

Article by Nutritionist Karen Ball

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