Saturday, March 9, 2013

MEN: You Aren’t Getting Enough of This Nutrient!

Americans eat too much of everything, right? Wrong. In fact, a common mineral deficiency could be messing with your mind, finds a new study in the journal Biological Trace Element Research.

Scientists asked post-grads about their moods and diets and noticed a trend: People with depressive symptoms tended to consume lower amounts of magnesium, while happier folks were more apt to hit or exceed the daily recommended intake of 400 milligrams (mg).

It could be that magnesium plays a part in regulating the enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters that are involved with depression, speculate researchers.

Besides not consuming enough magnesium, your day-to-day schedule could be depleting your levels—for instance, the more you sweat, the more magnesium you excrete. And alcohol wastes the mineral, too.

Here’s the kicker: Fifty-six percent of Americans aren’t getting an adequate amount of magnesium, according to the USDA. What’s more, the average adult male consumes just 322 mg a day.

A simple way to boost your intake: Have a daily dose of roasted pumpkin seeds, which contain 150 mg of magnesium per ounce—making them one of the top food sources of the mineral. Look for pumpkin seeds in the snack or health-food section of your grocery store, next to the peanuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds.

Or try a 250 mg supplement, says Dana King, M.D., a professor of family medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. Just check the bottle for magnesium citrate, the form best absorbed by your body.

Additional research by Jason Stevenson

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