About Magnesium: Why you need it and how to get it

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Did you know that magnesium is an important factor in over 300 biological reactions? This important mineral can sometimes get overlooked, but it’s involved in many essential bodily activities.

Here’s what you need to know about magnesium, including how to ensure you’re getting enough:

About Magnesium

There are many ways in which magnesium contributes to your overall health, such as:

  • Helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
  • Plays a key role in the formation of teeth, bones, and tissue
  • Helps in the maintenance of proper muscle function, and helps prevent muscle cramps and restless legs, an essential process that allows the body to move [1].

Magnesium-Rich Foods

Due to magnesium’s widespread use in the body, it is a good idea to consume foods that are rich in magnesium. Fortunately, magnesium is found in many common foods, such as leafy greens!

TIP: Add a handful of spinach to your morning smoothie and start your day off with 40% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium (1 cup of spinach contains 157mg of magnesium) [2].

Other foods that are also high in magnesium include:

  • Black Eyed Peas: 3/4 cup contains 121mg
  • Dark Chocolate: 50g contains 115mg
  • Pumpkin Seeds: 1/8 cup contains 108mg
  • Cooked Salmon: 75g contains 92mg
  • Almonds: 1/4 cup contains 90mg

Magnesium Supplements

If you suffer from digestive issues or aren’t eating at least 3 servings of vegetables a day, you may want to consider supplementing your diet with magnesium. Magnesium supplements are generally well tolerated, with the biggest side effect being diarrhea if you take too much [1].

A quick and easy way to add a magnesium supplement to your diet is with Magnesium Citrate powder. Available in two delicious flavours – berry or tropical fruit – you simply add a scoop to a glass of water! 

If you are looking for better absorption, without the bowels being affected you may want to consider Magnesium Bisglycinate. 

If you think you may be low in magnesium check out our complete line of magnesium supplements.

Written by Melisa Walczak, HBOR, BEd, ND 

References:

[1] Health Canada. “Drugs and Health Products: Magnesium.” Health Canada, 15 November 2007. Web. 18 December 2016.

[2] Dieticians of Canada. “Food sources of Magnesium.” Dieticians of Canada, 28 October 2016. Web. 18 December 2016.

 

Your Cold & Flu Survival Kit

Nothing brings you to your knees like a nasty cold or flu.

It’s easy to feel powerless, frustrated, and, well, just plain sick. Luckily, between your bed, your kitchen cabinets, and some powerful herbs and nutrients, you can get back on your feet in no time.

  1.  H20: You must have heard it a million times: drink plenty of fluids. Hydration equals health, and drinking enough water (preferably warm) will help you bounce back.
  2. Lemon, Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar: A soothing tea made with fresh lemon juice, raw honey and apple cider vinegar hydrates while providing much-needed nutrients to help you heal. Honey actually helps to soothe sore throats and coughs better than over the counter medications.[1] Add grated ginger for extra relief.
  3. Echinacea: This purple-flowering plant is renowned for its immune stimulating power. Both traditional medicine and the scientific community agree: take Echinacea, and you’ll have fewer symptoms, for less time. Using a standardized extract such as Echinamide™ is the best way to ensure you’ll get better, sooner. [2] [3]  Pull out all the cold-busting stops with Echinamide Quick-Blast softchews for soothing relief of sore throats and sinus congestion.
  4. Zinc: Taking zinc at the first sign of symptoms can help reduce the length of time you’ll feel sick, so keep this antioxidant on hand for emergency cold & flu prevention! Try zinc lozenges to help soothe your sore throat. [4]
  5. Vitamin C: Not only has vitamin C been shown to reduce the duration of cold symptoms,[5] it’s an essential nutrient for optimal health.
  6. Rest: Sleep is the single most effective natural remedy for illness. Take advantage of this forced down time to cozy up with your pillow. The world will wait while you give your body the support it needs to recover.

These are some of my go-to remedies – what works for you? Share your favourite tips for surviving cold and flu season!

8 Effortless Tips to Manage Family & Work Stress

Feeling the pressure of family and work stress?

The stress of maintaining a challenging career with demanding expectations can put significant strains on family life and relationships. If this sounds all too familiar, you aren’t alone. More than one in every four Canadian workers report finding even a regular day “quite a bit” or “extremely” stressful. [1]

We all experience some form of stress as a normal reaction to everyday pressures on the job. The real issue is when it becomes excessive or ongoing, and begins to burden you on a personal level.

Work stress affects family life

After a long and grueling day, do you find yourself taking your irritability, anger, and fatigue out on your partner, children, or other family members? This means that your stress is no longer yours alone. In fact, longer working hours have been shown to increase family conflict, distress, and health problems. [2]

How to achieve a work-life balance

You can achieve a healthy work-life balance by taking small, attainable steps toward reducing pressure at work and managing your personal life.

Reduce stress in the workplace

Here are 8 tips to help ease the pressure at work:

  1. Flexibility – arrange for a more flexible work schedule.
  2. Prioritize tasks – knock off high-priority tasks first and save less important tasks for when you have more time.
  3. Take short breaks throughout the day – even if it’s just a few minutes to stretch your legs.
  4. Set limits that confine your work to specific hours and locations.
  5. Breathe – when you feel overwhelmed, stop and take a few deep breaths to regain focus.
  6. Minimize interruptions – schedule designated times to read emails, take phone calls, and meet with colleagues.
  7. Don’t overcommit – learn to say no when your schedule is already full.
  8. Delegate more responsibility to others – you’ll be much more efficient.

Making a to-do list and prioritizing it not only keeps you focused on your day ahead, but it also helps put order and sense into your actions – which can help you manage stress.

Manage your personal life

 A well-balanced life includes healthy family interactions and lifestyle choices. Here are 8 tips to help achieve this:

  1. Eat a healthy diet – include a wide variety of unprocessed foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean sources of protein, and healthy fats.
  2. Get enough sleep – 7–9 hours per night is ideal.
  3. Decompress – take time to decompress and switch gears after work.
  4. Limit – make time to completely check out and limit responsibilities, such as evenings and weekends.
  5. Disconnect from electronics – including cell phones, tablets, and laptops.
  6. Communicate – talk to your children and partner about their needs and feelings.
  7. Build a strong support network – parents, siblings, neighbours, and friends are often willing to help out.
  8. Stay organized – set daily goals and delegate tasks to family members.

Relieve stress naturally

Natural Factors Stress-Relax line of products are ideal for people looking to relieve symptoms of stress naturally. They provide a comprehensive approach towards calmer days and restful nights. Helpful options include:

    • Tranquil Sleep
      Helps you fall asleep quickly, sleep soundly through the night, and wake up feeling refreshed, without the potentially serious mental and physical side effects caused by pharmaceutical “sleeping pills.”
    • Serenity Formula
      A unique mix of adaptogenic herbs designed to promote emotional well-being and to help the body cope with symptoms of stress naturally.
    • Magnesium Citrate
      An effective way to meet the body’s daily magnesium requirements. Inadequate magnesium intake can heighten the symptoms of stress, including muscle tension and sleep disturbances.
    • 100% Natural GABA
      Fast-acting relief for nervousness and acute stress, this is a superior source and naturally produced form of the important brain compound gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
    • Mental Calmness
      For anyone feeling stressed, frazzled or over-committed in this 24/7 world, this safe supplement restores mental calmness and promotes relaxation.
       
    • Kava Kava
      Modern research confirms kava’s ability to help calm nervousness, relax tense muscles, and improve sleep quality.
       
    • Mind Retreat
      Contains GABA, lemon balm, magnesium, and vitamin B6, key nutrients that help cope with occasional stress. Mind Retreat promotes relaxation, reduces restlessness, and can be used as a sleep aid for periodic insomnia.

 

Find your balance

It can be difficult to balance a stressful job with family life. Finding ways to manage this stress and strike a work-life balance will help you foster healthy family relationships and support your own

 

References:

[1] Crompton S What’s stressing the stressed? Main sources of stress among workers. Statistics Canada, 27 November 2015. Web. 8 November 2017.

[2] Major VS, Klein KJ & Ehrhart MG. Work time, work interference with family, and psychological distress. J Appl Psychol. 2002 Jun; 87(3):427-36.

Written by Patience Lister, Freelance Writer, Natural Factors