Thursday, August 31, 2006

Magnificent Magnesium.

One of the things I have tried to wrap my mind around is the link between whole grains and lower level of insulin resistance. Time after time, when studies compare whole grains like steal cut oats and legumes, to reduced carb diets, the whole grain and legume diet generally fares as well or better in reducing signs and symptoms of insulin resistance. We often hear that all carbs are converted in to sugar, and this is more or less true. With the advent of the glycemic index, we now know that some sources of carbohydrate convert faster than others. These same sources of slow carbs also tend to be very high in magnesium. "So what", you say. Well, magnesium is involved in many aspects of carbohydrates metabolism. How convenient. Now here is where it gets interesting to me. Magnesium uptake and usage is influenced by calcium and B vitamins. So lets put together a meal that would be high in Mg, with adequate calcium and Vitamin B; Steak, spinach and white bean salad, a real - whole grain sour dough roll, and a glass of milk. A meal even a mother could love. Hmmmmmmm, it's the four basic food groups that we all grew up with. (at least if your my age or older) Perhaps there's a reason there were a lot less fat kids back then.

Rich sources of magnesium include tofu, legumes, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, wheat bran, Brazil nuts, soybean flour, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin and squash seeds, pine nuts, and black walnuts. Other good dietary sources of this mineral include peanuts, whole wheat flour, oat flour, beet greens, spinach, pistachio nuts, shredded wheat, bran cereals, oatmeal, bananas, and baked potatoes (with skin), chocolate, and cocoa powder. Many herbs, spices, and seaweeds supply magnesium, such as agar seaweed, coriander, dill weed, celery seed, sage, dried mustard, basil, cocoa powder, fennel seed, savory, cumin seed, tarragon, marjoram, poppy seed.
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