It seems like one of the biggest obstacles that people face while trying to lose weight is that we get these crazy cravings sometimes and no matter how much we try to avoid them, many times it’s impossible. Why is that? Is it that we are weak? Is it that we lack willpower? Or could it be that maybe cravings are our body’s natural way of letting us know that we are missing something in our nutrition? I did some research on it and to my surprise, I discovered why cravings happen. Take a look at this awesome image for foods that are naturally high in magnesium:
Well, it turns out that cravings might be caused by a magnesium deficiency. Did you know that magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body? According to the National Institutes of Health: “Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong.” Magnesium is SO important to our body’s health that the University of Maryland’s Medical Center reports that people with type 2 diabetes often have a magnesium deficiency. Yes, there are certain medical conditions that make magnesium absorption difficult, like certain stomach viruses as well as irritable bowel syndrome. Magnesium deficiency is also linked to too much coffee, alcohol, salt and soda consumption. You know, those things that we are told that aren’t too good for us? It looks like medical research is proving that it’s true.
The good news is that magnesium is present in a lot of great natural sources AND those sources actually taste good! Raw cacao (or raw chocolate) for example is one of them. So are nuts, beans, and dark leafy greens. Nature is abundant in ALL the nutrients that we need for proper health. The problem is that we turn to processed and nutrition depleted junkfood to deal with our emotions sometimes. For the record, I’m guilty as charged. When I hit an emotional low that lasted for several months, I turned to chips and dip as my go-to-feel-better junkfood, which only left me feeling guilty, sad and just plain yucky (and NEVER made me feel better). My weight gain didn’t happen overnight, in the same way that losing that weight didn’t happen overnight, but losing it seemed SO much harder, which is why having accountability and support was such a big help.
So how can we improve our health? Start cutting the junkfood you consume little by little, one thing per week. It doesn’t have to be something hard. If you need help, I’m only an email message away. In the time being, enjoy this picture I created to show some of the great sources of magnesium.