LexiYoga

Key to a Healthy Heart

The little-known secret to cardiovascular wellness.

You've got a handle on your heart health: You eschew cholesterol, the saltshaker is banished from your table and "bad fats" are verboten. You get your beats per minute racing during cardio, while your work-life stress is so thoroughly managed, you're on the brink of Zen. You wouldn't carpool with a smoker, and aside from the rare transgression, you're practically a teetotaler. You're doing everything conceivable to keep your ticker humming, right? Well, maybe not.

Heart

Even the most scrupulous health watchers are often unaware of the role played by magnesium in circulatory wellness. Research indicates that getting enough magnesium can reduce your risk of heart attack by as much as 25%.

A key mineral, magnesium aids in over 300 internal processes, helping bulk up bones, support metabolism, maintain the immune and nervous system as well as regulate muscles of which the heart is a big one. About half of the magnesium in our bodies is stored in tissues, fluids and organs, particularly in the large, active organs like the heart and brain.

In all muscles - the heart and blood vessels not excepted - calcium and magnesium work in tandem to contract and relax the muscle cells, respectively. Insufficient magnesium can lead to constricted blood vessels, elevated blood pressure, spasms of the arteries, irregular heartbeats, angina and an increased risk of heart attack. Interestingly, magnesium is thought to not only protect the heart by relaxing arteries, but research suggests the mineral can also reduce levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

The recommended daily allowance of magnesium is between 300 and 600 milligrams a day, according to your body weight. By those measures, at least ten% of North Americans are deficient. And our deficiencies aren't slight; in some parts of Canada, residents are only getting 50% of their requirement. To put this in context, in Canada, post-mortem examination of tissues found 24% less magnesium in those who had died of a heart attack than in non-cardiac cases.

So, if magnesium is clearly pivotal in the fight against heart disease - the number one killer in western countries - why are we coming up short? In rare cases, disease and genetic causes are to blame. For most of us though, nutrition is to blame: because of modern farming and water treatment practices, we just aren't taking in enough magnesium. We're depleting it too through the other things we imbibe - large quantities of meat, alcohol and sugar deplete our mineral stores.

Now that you know, start boosting your disease prevention efforts by integrating magnesium rich foods - like seeds and dark greens - into your diet. While digging into that spinach salad, however, recognize you'll need about 12 cups of those raw greens to get just 300 milligrams of the nutrient. Natural Calm Canada's magnesium supplements are a great choice to help to balance minerals and to keep your magnesium levels healthy.

You can find Natural Calm magnesium powder, Natural Calm's Magnesium plus Calcium, Transdermal magnesium chloride oil and gel at all Natural Health Stores and your local Wellness Clinics, including some Yoga Studios. See naturalcalm.ca for more information.

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