Today’s topic is a bit of a smelly one we don’t often talk about, but o so important to our overall health.
When your bowels aren’t moving or your poop doesn’t look right, something is definitely going on. Your bowel movements are telling you an important tale of what’s going on inside your body. While your poop can be a bit off its normal behavior or look after you ate too much spicy food or are sick, if you are struggling to move your bowels daily it’s time to conquer this problem and get back on the healthy track.
If you are a regular visitor of health websites, you already know how important clean, whole foods are for your body. And what comes out of the back is a strong indicator whether you are eating right or not.
That being said, for some it isn’t as simple as eating fresh, whole foods at regular times. Even though some people are drinking plenty of water, eating lots of fresh veggies and fruits, and are getting their fiber through quality whole grains, while reducing or eliminating all processed foods and sugar, they still struggle to make regular daily bowel movements.
Today, I’ll tell you a little secret as to why so many people are struggling with constipation, even though they live and eat healthily. MAGNESIUM!
Magnesium, The Easy, Natural Solution To A Common Problem
Magnesium is an essential mineral that increases water in our intestines to facilitate the movement of waste products through our bowels and to soften the stool. Additionally, magnesium relaxes the muscles in our intestines which help to move the mass.
Next to boosting digestive health, magnesium also plays a key role in many other vital bodily processes such as muscle function, heart rhythm, blood pressure, immune system functioning, and blood sugar level.
Research, however, has shown that about 75 percent of Americans don’t meet their daily need of magnesium partly due to poor dietary habits and partly because our soil is depleted of this essential mineral resulting in less magnesium in the food we eat. Hence why magnesium may be causing constipation, even though you are eating a wholesome, well-balanced diet.
How To Up Your Magnesium Levels
To give you an idea, an average adult needs in between 310 and 420 milligrams of magnesium a day. The easiest and best way to up your magnesium levels and get things moving is through incorporating more magnesium dense foods into your diet.
ALSO READ: Are You In Need Of Magnesium?
Best magnesium food sources
- Almonds — 1 ounce: 80 mg
- Spinach — 1 cup: 157 mg
- Chard – 1 cup: 154 mg
- Pumpkin seeds – ⅛ cup: 92 mg
- Cashews — 1 ounce: 74mg
- Yogurt or kefir – 1 cup: 50 mg
- Black beans — ½ cup: 60 mg
- Avocado — 1 medium: 58 mg
- Brown Rice — 1 cup cooked: 42 mg
- Figs – ½ cup: 50 mg
- Banana — 1 medium: 32 mg
- Salmon — 3 ounces: 26 mg
- Dark chocolate – 1 square: 95 mg
Add Magnesium Supplements
If you are a Body in Balance regular, you know I’m not a huge fan of supplements. If you get your diet right, there is no need for them. Remember, food supplements are also processed items and manufacturers often add questionable ingredients to them. Furthermore, when you get magnesium through whole foods, you get the benefits of a host of other beneficial plant nutrients too.
But if upping your intake of magnesium-rich foods doesn’t work to get things moving, opt for high-quality magnesium supplements instead. Also, if you are taking medication for any other ailment, please check with your doctor to make sure magnesium supplements won’t interact with them.
Also if your stool gets too soft or your bowels are moving again, stop or reduce supplementation.
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Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!
Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.