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A Green Monster’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition: Magnesium


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Magnesium is a critical mineral needed for a variety of normal health functions. Headaches, insomnia, irregularity, moodiness, fatigue, general sadness or a lack of motivation, and even cramps or joint pain are said to be caused by a lack of magnesium. The critical mineral is found abundantly in plants and it’s also the first that’s depleted by stress, fatigue, or too much calcium in the body. Calcium and magnesium both compete for absorption, and if one is out of balance, the other is as well. This may be one reason why excess dairy in a person’s diet leads them to experience more muscle fatigue, inflammation, nervousness or anxiety, and can even lead to constipation or worse, osteoporosis. Dairy milk may actually deplete calcium from the bones, along with other critical minerals such as magnesium, making it an unsafe source to depend on for our nutrient needs.

Luckily, magnesium is found in so many delicious plant foods, while animal foods have little to no magnesium at all.  If you fill up your plate with more magnesium-rich foods that also happen to be high in plant-based calcium, you can be sure you’re giving your body what it needs through your diet. Still, some people may find that if they work out a lot or suffer other forms of stress, an additional supplement of magnesium may provide benefits.

Here are some ways to get plant-based foods rich in magnesium into your meals, along with some helpful resources, recipes and foods and/or supplements you can purchase to ensure you’re getting enough!

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