What You Really Need to Know About Magnesium

What You Really Need to Know About Magnesium

Magnesium is one of those nutrients we don’t hear about too much, despite the fact that it’s one of the most abundant minerals in our bodies.

Moreover, it’s the fourth most abundant mineral that we have!

So what role does magnesium play?

Do we really need to be consuming magnesium or taking supplements?

Let’s find out…

  • Magnesium helps lower our stress levels. In fact, magnesium is often referred to as the “relaxation mineral.”  Serotonin, which is a natural mood stabilizer found mostly in our digestive system, requires magnesium for its production. Therefore, it is recommended that we take magnesium to help manage our stress, anxiety, and mood disorders. In turn, a magnesium deficiency can affect our stress level and emotional state.
  • Magnesium is used in hospitals and given to patients intravenously who are having heart palpitations – the magnesium helps slow down their heart rate.
  • Magnesium is necessary for numerous chemical reactions in our body, including making DNA.
  • Magnesium helps maintain our brain function by relaying signals between our body and our brain. It prevents overstimulation of nerve cells, which could result in brain damage.
  • Magnesium helps regulate muscle contractions – it opposite tocalcium to help our muscles relax. Magnesium is commonly recommended for treating muscle cramps.
  • Magnesium has also been linked to helping reduce the risk of many diseases, including arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes. Several studies have shown that migraine headaches are associated with low levels of magnesium.

Despite magnesium being so abundant in our body, many people don’t get enough of it.

Some studies say that up to 68% of adults don’t get enough magnesium in accordance with the recommended daily intake (RDI).

So how much magnesium should we be consuming on a daily basis to keep our body functioning as it should?

Adult men should consume 420 mg/day, while adult women should consume 320 mg/day.

There could be consequences from consuming too much magnesium or not enough magnesium:

  • Too much magnesium can cause various symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and irregular heartbeat. Therefore, you might not want to take a supplement that contains magnesium if you are already getting enough magnesium through your food and other sources.
  • A magnesium deficiency (called hypomagnesemia) could lead to various health conditions, including muscle twitches and cramps, osteoporosis, fatigue, high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, and diabetes.

Now that we know the importance of magnesium, where do we find magnesium?

Good news! There are plenty of magnesium-rich natural food sources.

  • Pumpkin seeds (check out the recipe below for making Creamy Pumpkin Seed Butter)
  • Raw almonds and cashews (raw nuts are better than roasted nuts – roasted nuts lose magnesium during the roasting process)
  • Dark chocolate
  • Black beans, peas, and soybeans
  • Green leafy vegetables (spinach)
  • Whole grains (oat bran)
  • Herbs (coriander, chives, dill, sage)

Magnesium can also be absorbed through the skin, so consider using a magnesium oil or lotion that contains magnesium.

But, clearly the easiest (and yummiest) way of getting in your daily magnesium – is to include plenty of food sources high in this multi-tasking mineral, such as creamy pumpkin seed butters!

RECIPE:

Creamy Pumpkin Seed Butter

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1-2 tsp. oil (grapeseed or olive)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden.
  4. Cool for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Put the pumpkin seeds in a food processor.
  6. Run the food processor for approximately 4-5 minutes, until the pumpkin seeds begin to have the texture of butter. If necessary, stop the food processor and scrape the sides.
  7. Continue running the food processor for another 2-5 minutes until the pumpkin seeds have the texture of butter. Add some of the oil, as needed, until the desired consistency is obtained.

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About Leanne Weaver

About Leanne Weaver

Holistic Nutritionist & Founder of Radiant Botanics

Leanne is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Iridologist, Reiki Level 2 practitioner and wellness speaker and writer.  She has spent 20 years in the corporate world as an engineer and project manager while pursuing her true passion—holistic wellness. What started as an interest in green smoothies and wellness turned into a dedicated, life-changing journey.

She is a First Class Honours graduate of the Toronto Institute of Holistic Nutrition and founder of Radiant Botanics,  a line of chakra-based spiritual skincare that combines natural ingredients with intentional affirmations.

She desires to help people feel radically, radiantly healthier and happier. 

Leanne resides in Mississauga, Ontario with her dog Bailey. They enjoy hiking on the weekends, kayaking, stand up paddling, and remaining present.

Reduce Inflammation With These Key Foods

Reduce Inflammation With These Key Foods

 

Inflammation. It’s not just for health headlines.

It’s a fact.

Scientists are measuring levels of inflammation in our bodies and finding that it can be pretty bad for our health; this is especially true when it’s chronic (i.e. lasts a long time).

Inflammation has been linked to obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, just to name a few.

But, instead of writing all about what it is, how it’s measured, and where it comes from; why don’t I focus on some foods packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants that are proven to help reduce it

Here are my top anti-inflammatory food recommendations

Anti-inflammatory Food #1: Berries, Grapes, and Cherries

Why save the best for last? Perhaps the most amazingly delicious anti-inflammatory foods are a sweet favourite of yours?Berries, grapes, and cherries are packed with fiber, and antioxidant vitamins (e.g. vitamin C) and minerals (e.g. manganese).

Oh, and did I forget to mention their phytochemicals (phyto=plant)? Yes, many antioxidants such as “anthocyanins” and “resveratrol”  are found in these small and delicious fruits.

In fact, berries, grapes, and cherries may be the best dietary sources of these amazingly healthy compounds.

Anti-inflammatory Food #2: Broccoli and Peppers

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains the antioxidant “sulforaphane.” This anti-inflammatory compound is associated with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

Bell peppers, on the other hand, are one of the best sources of the antioxidants vitamin C and quercetin.

Just make sure to choose red peppers over the other colours.  Peppers that are any other colour are not fully ripe and won’t have the same anti-inflammatory effect.

I pack these two super-healthy vegetables together in this week’s recipe (see below).

Anti-inflammatory Food #3: Healthy Fats (avocado, olive oil, fatty fish)

Fat can be terribly inflammatory (hello: “trans” fats), neutral (hello: saturated fats), or anti-inflammatory (hello: “omega-3s), this is why choosing the right fats is so important for your health.

The best anti-inflammatory fats are the unsaturated ones, including omega-3s. These are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

Opt for fresh avocados, extra virgin olive oil, small fish (e.g. sardines and mackerel), and wild fish (e.g. salmon). Oh and don’t forget the omega-3 seeds like chia, hemp, and flax.

Anti-inflammatory Food #4: Green Tea

Green tea contains the anti-inflammatory compound called “epigallocatechin-3-gallate”, otherwise known as EGCG.

EGCG is linked to reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, and Alzheimer’s.

Drinking steeped green tea is great, but have you tried matcha green tea? It’s thought to contain even higher levels of antioxidants than regular green tea.

Anti-inflammatory Food #5 – Turmeric

Would a list of anti-inflammatory foods be complete without the amazing spice turmeric?

Turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin 

This compound has been shown to reduce the pain of arthritis, as well as have anti-cancer and anti-diabetes properties.

I’ve added it to the broccoli and pepper recipe below for a 1-2-3 punch, to kick that inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory Food #6: Dark Chocolate

Ok, ok. This *may* be slightly more decadent than my #1 pick of berries, grapes, and cherries.

Dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa is packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants (namely “flavonols”). These reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping your arteries healthy. They’ve even been shown to prevent “neuro-inflammation” (inflammation of the brain and nerves). Reducing neuro-inflammation may help with long-term memory, and reduce the risk of dementia and stroke.

Make sure you avoid the sugary “candy bars.” You already know those aren’t going to be anti-inflammatory!

Conclusion

There are just so many amazingly delicious and nutritious anti-inflammatory foods you can choose. They range from colourful berries, vegetables, and spices, to healthy fats, and even cocoa.

You have so many reasons to add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet to get your daily dose of “anti-inflammation.”

Recipe (Broccoli, Pepper, Turmeric): Anti-inflammatory QuinoaServes 2

  • ¾ cup dry quinoa (pre-rinsed)

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil1 medium onion, diced1 bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 dash salt½ tbsp turmeric1 dash black pepper

  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped

    In a saucepan place 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the quinoa and simmer until the water is absorbed (about 10-15 minutes).

 

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About Leanne Weaver

About Leanne Weaver

Holistic Nutritionist & Founder of Radiant Botanics

Leanne is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Iridologist, Reiki Level 2 practitioner and wellness speaker and writer.  She has spent 20 years in the corporate world as an engineer and project manager while pursuing her true passion—holistic wellness. What started as an interest in green smoothies and wellness turned into a dedicated, life-changing journey.

She is a First Class Honours graduate of the Toronto Institute of Holistic Nutrition and founder of Radiant Botanics,  a line of chakra-based spiritual skincare that combines natural ingredients with intentional affirmations.

She desires to help people feel radically, radiantly healthier and happier. 

Leanne resides in Mississauga, Ontario with her dog Bailey. They enjoy hiking on the weekends, kayaking, stand up paddling, and remaining present.

Essential Oils 101 – The Basics

Essential Oils 101 – The Basics

The power of essential oils (EO’s) is real – have YOU made them part of your everyday life yet?

We’re going to lay out all of the basics so you can get on this one bandwagon that’s here for the long haul. And when you learn about the history of EO’s, you’ll know that they’re not even new. In fact, EO’s have been around for centuries!

Some essential oils come from seeds while many others are extracted from the leaves of the plant. Because EO’s are so highly concentrated, it takes a tremendous amount of plant to produce just one ounce of oil.

Due to this level of concentration, essential oils are incredibly powerful, so a little bit goes a long way!

Some “essential” terms you should know:

AROMATIC

Essential oils are basically the natural aromatic compounds extracted from seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Diffusion is one of the most popular ways to enjoy the aromatic benefits of essential oils.

CARRIER OIL

This refers to a lipid- or fat-based liquid used to dilute EO’s. Olive, coconut, almond, jojoba and argan oils are the most common ones.

DISTILLATION

The process of extracting essential oil from plant material.

Steam distillation is the most common distillation method that uses low-heat pressurized steam to circulate through plant parts and extract oils.

Cold press distillation uses a mechanical press to squeeze essential oils from plant parts, and is the most commonly used method for obtaining citrus oils – a classic ingredient in DIY household cleaning products. This is to preserve their aromatic bounty!

Historic Essential Oils

Despite being suddenly catapulted into popularity, essential oils are not a new thing.

The ancient Egyptians were among the first to use aromatic essential oils for daily life, and pure EO’s were prized and saved for priests and royals. Other ancient societies, such as those in China, Greece and Rome used EO’s for aromatherapy, illness, and personal hygiene.

Essential oils to support  starter kit:

Are you a newbie to EO’s?

Here are 4 of the most popular ones to try first, and a few suggested uses. They make great staples in your medicine cabinet too!

TEA TREE OIL (Melaleuca): Soothing, cleansing & healing

Benefits

  • Soothes skin irritations
  • Antibacterial and antifungal

How to use

  • Combine 1–2 drops with your preferred facial cleanser (or moisturizer) for added cleansing properties
  • Mix 1-2 drops with pure aloe vera gel and apply to skin after shaving
  • Use diluted with water and/or vinegar as a surface cleaner – see recipe!
  • Add a few drops to shampoo and massage into the scalp – use in your conditioner too
  • Add a drop to toothpaste or swish with water for a quick and easy mouth rinse – but do not swallow or ingest

LAVENDER: Soothing & calming

Benefits

  • Reduces feelings of stress and anxiety
  • Helps lower cortisol
  • Helps promote a restf sleep

How to use

  • Add a few drops to your pillow or bottoms of your feet for a restful night’s sleep – or use in a diffuser near your bed
  • Apply topically to help heal pimples, skin inflammation and irritation – be sure to test a drop on your skin to test for sensitivity; dilution may be required
  • Soak away stress! Add a few drops to a warm bath
  • Diffuse in your bedroom before bed for a restful sleep
  • Apply topically diluted with a carrier oil for sunburn relief

LEMON: Cleansing, revitalizing & uplifting

Benefits

  • Naturally detoxifies the body and balances pH levels
  • Helps with healthy digestion

How to use

  • Use in a diffuser to purify the air, creating an uplifting & refreshing aroma
  • Add to a spray bottle full of water to clean tables, countertops, and other surfaces – recipe!
  • Use to remove gum, glue, or any other sticky residues from surfaces

PEPPERMINT:Cooling & energizing

Benefits

  • Reduces gas and bloating
  • Helps to boost mood and awaken senses naturally

How to use

  • Apply a few drops directly to the skin of the back of your neck to cool off
  • Diffuse for a refreshing aroma
  • Feeling tense? Rub on head and neck for a soothing, calming sensation
  • Add to shampoo or conditioner for a stimulating & invigorating scalp massage
  • Use as a natural bug repellent

Other popular ones for beginners are essentials oils of frankincense, clove, eucalyptus, clary sage, sweet orange, grapefruit, and rosemary.

Applications, skin sensitivity & ingestion

Essential oils can be used topically, which means you can apply them directly on the skin, mix them with carrier oils or mix with other personal care products.

DILUTE — A category of essential oils that should be mixed with a carrier oil. The carrier oil will help transport the EO’s onto the skin.

NEAT — A category of essential oils that can be applied topically without dilution because of a chemistry that is considered mild.

INGESTION—While there may be indication for internal ingestion of certain EO’s for therapeutic purposes, it’s important to note that not all brands of essential oils are suitable for ingestion!  Be sure to consult with a professional and do your own research before ingesting essential oils.

Essential oils are incredibly powerful and serve many purposes for the home, and in daily health routines. With some basic knowledge, and having a few high-quality oils on hand, you can DIY dozens of homemade products, and enjoy many therapeutic benefits.

RECIPE

Ditch the toxic cleaners that can disrupt your hormones and try this simple and effective cleaner instead!

Natural All-Purpose Household Cleaner

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup plain white vinegar
  • 2 Tb baking soda
  • 10-15 drops tea tree, lavender, lemon, eucalyptus &/or rosemary essential oil (or any combo of these) for their disinfectant properties
  • Water

Preparation:

In a clean 12-ounce spray bottle (glass is best), mix the vinegar, essential oils and a splash of water before adding baking soda *important*.

Then fill to top of bottle with water, and gently shake to mix ingredients. Then spray area, wipe with a clean cloth, and allow it to dry. Dirty areas are now clean and disinfected!

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About Leanne Weaver

About Leanne Weaver

Holistic Nutritionist & Founder of Radiant Botanics

Leanne is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Iridologist, Reiki Level 2 practitioner and wellness speaker and writer.  She has spent 20 years in the corporate world as an engineer and project manager while pursuing her true passion—holistic wellness. What started as an interest in green smoothies and wellness turned into a dedicated, life-changing journey.

She is a First Class Honours graduate of the Toronto Institute of Holistic Nutrition and founder of Radiant Botanics,  a line of chakra-based spiritual skincare that combines natural ingredients with intentional affirmations.

She desires to help people feel radically, radiantly healthier and happier. 

Leanne resides in Mississauga, Ontario with her dog Bailey. They enjoy hiking on the weekends, kayaking, stand up paddling, and remaining present.

When these 5 days are over, you'll wonder how you ever lived another way!

When these 5 days are over, you'll wonder how you ever lived another way!

 

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