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Why is Magnesium So Important

Why magnesium? This magnificent mineral helps to regulate more than 300 enzymes in the body. A deficiency in this mineral can affect virtually every system in your body. It helps to regulate your heart rhythms and control blood pressure; keeps your blood sugar stable; prevents hardening of the arteries; plays an important role in bone-building; relaxes cramping muscles and calms nerve impulses. Magnesium also plays a key role in your ability to relax and sleep. If you haven't supplemented with magnesium before, you'll notice when you do take it that you'll experience a deep and relaxing sleep.

Beware: Caffeine, sugar and alcohol can increase magnesium loss. Diuretic drugs and overloading on calcium supplements can flush it from the body. And gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, Crohn's disease and intestinal surgeries can impair magnesium's absorption.

Excellent sources of magnesium: dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, legumes, avocado, almonds, cashews and walnuts, wild shrimp, wild salmon and halibut. Whole grains are also a rich source.

My favorite source is raw cacao beans or cacao nibs (these are the crushed beans). They have a crunchy texture just like nuts and a rich, chocolate flavor. Cacao beans are incredibly high in magnesium. They are also one of the richest antioxidant foods on the planet. I like to throw cacao nibs into a trail mix with nuts and apricots, cranberries, etc.

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