Sodium, calcium, potassium… We have heard of these micronutrients, but what about magnesium? Why do we need it and how does it affect our body?
Studies have shown that an appropriate intake of magnesium can help lower the risk of diabetes by facilitating proper insulin secretion. It also affects the health of our heart – magnesium enables a smoother transmission of electrical signals in our body. Calcium may be good for us, but an excessive intake without balancing it with magnesium may lead to cardiovascular diseases and even developing kidney stones. In addition, this micronutrient helps to ease premenstrual syndrome such as bloating, insomnia, weight gain and breast tenderness.
We suggest four types of foods high in magnesium (as well as other health benefits) that you may like to include in your daily diet for a healthier living. It’s time to do away with mixed vegetable rice at the coffee shop and pack your own lunch!
21mg of magnesium in every 100g
Besides being a good source of fibre for better digestion, this miniature tree also helps reduce cholesterol, allergic reaction and inflammation (thanks to its omega 3 fatty acids), and is a powerful source of antioxidants. What’s more, broccoli contains more protein per calorie than steak, and if done in the right way, can be extremely satisfying.
Let’s cook: Chinese Style Sesame Broccoli
39mg of magnesium in every 100g
Not only are they delicious, shrimps are also an excellent source of antioxidants. Research shows that consuming shrimps may lower the risk of colon cancer, thanks to the amount of astaxanthin (the primary colour pigment in most shrimps) found in their body. Shrimps are rich in protein and low in calories, which means consuming this shellfish will not contribute too much to our daily calories count, while still deliver all the nutrients you need.
Let’s cook: Garlic Shrimp on Luffa Cup
43mg of magnesium in every 100g
If you can’t live without rice, opt for brown rice instead. The process of polishing brown rice into white rice strips off a great amount of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Brown rice on the other hand, goes through a less intense process, retaining its nutritional value and benefits, such as protection against damages from free radicals (which attack your healthy cells). It also helps in weight loss, minimises cancer-causing substances in the colon, and lowers cholesterol, while fuelling your body with the energy you need!
Let’s cook: Smoky Stuffed Peppers
79mg of magnesium in every 100g
There must be a reason why Popeye used to wolf down cans of spinach. In the comics, it was illustrated that the superfood gave him strength, but in real life, it’s more than that. Spinach is filled with antioxidant that helps lower blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity, which in turn lowers the risk of diabetes. Other benefits include asthma prevention, lowering blood pressure, and promotes healthier skin and hair with vitamins A, C, E and K.
Let’s cook: Almond & Lemon Crusted Fish with Spinach