So check this out, your body has the amazing ability to take the foods you eat and literally turn them into you. Pretty cool don’t you think! Whether you eat an apple, a steak or a kale salad, your body is able to break that food down into its chemical parts and reassemble those parts into your cells and the energy you use all day. This is flat out awesome considering outside the plant and animal kingdom, nothing else can do that!
Here is the deal though, your body is only as amazing as the material it has to work with, like a fine tuned machine, the quality of the food you put into your amazing body has a huge impact on your overall health. An apple is not just an apple, nor is a steak just a steak. As stated above, your body is able to break those foods down into their chemical parts, like macronutrients and micronutrients. So what makes these nutrients so important, lets take a closer look!
What Are Macronutrients:
Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy. Derived from the prefix makro (Greek), which means big or large, used because macronutrients are required in large amounts. There are three broad classes of macro-nutrients which make up your primary food sources know as proteins,carbohydrates and fats.
The main function of macronutrients is to provide energy, counted as calories. While each of the macronutrients provides calories, the amount provided by each varies. Carbohydrates provides four calories per gram (I think we are all pretty well versed here),proteins;also four, while fats provides nine calories per gram.
Macronutrients also have specific roles in maintaining the body and contribute to the taste, texture and appearance of foods, which helps to make the diet more varied and enjoyable.
Macronutrients broken down:
- Carbohydrates – are required for energy. As diabetics we all have varying opinions on carbohydrates and the amounts that we like to ingest , but glucose, which is a monosaccharide, is the most essential source of energy in the body. The brain works entirely on glucose alone. When an immediate source of energy is required, glucose is converted into glycogen which is stored in the liver. When energy is needed it is converted into glucose again and used to release energy. Carbohydrates provide 4 calories of energy per gram.
- Fats – have the highest caloric content. This means they provide the largest amount of energy when burnt. When measured by a calorimeter, fats provide about 9 calories per gram, making them twice as energy-rich than protein and carbohydrates. Extra fat is stored in adipose tissue and is burnt when the body has run out of carbohydrates. Fat is also needed to take up fat-soluble vitamins.
- Proteins– are the third and last source of energy. They are the last to be used of all macronutrients. In cases of extreme starvation, the muscles in the body, that are made up of proteins, are used to provide energy. This is called muscle wasting. Proteins also provide 4 calories per gram.
There is no doubt that magnesium and other essential minerals are a valued and sought-after part of our diets. Our bodies require minerals for all aspects of life and smooth functioning. Most people rarely get enough minerals in their diet. Essential minerals, like other essential nutrients, cannot be metabolized from within the body; they must be consumed. Many of us are well aware of the sources and benefits of calcium and potassium, but what about magnesium?
Why We Need Magnesium:
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. Two-thirds of it is found in your bones and the rest in your tissues. This amazing mineral is absorbed into the body through the intestines and is then transported through the blood to your cells and organs where it’s stored. Because the body can’t produce it (unlike some nutrients like vitamin A), you need to eat enough magnesium rich foods on a daily basis to remain healthy.
Researchers know that magnesium plays a wide variety of roles in the body. Your cardiovascular system, digestive system, nervous system, muscles, kidneys, liver, hormone-secreting glands and brain all rely on the mineral to accomplish even the most basic tasks. And scientists believe it may play an important role in preventing or treating dozens of health conditions including asthma, autism, heart disease, eclampsia, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, PMS and lupus.
Every organ in the body especially the heart, muscles, and kidneys needs the mineral magnesium citrate. It also contributes to the makeup of teeth and bones. Most important, it activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate calcium levels, as well as copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients in the body.
You can get magnesium citrate from many foods. However, most people in the United States probably do not get as much magnesium as they should from their diet. Foods rich in magnesium include whole grains, nuts, and green vegetables. Green leafy vegetables are particularly good sources of magnesium.
Magnesium And Diabetes:
As one of many individuals who suffer from type 1 diabetes, I was curious to find out how magnesium could help my diabetes management. The health benefits of magnesium extend to diabetic patients because research has shown this mineral helps to regulate the insulin reaction to blood sugar levels. Magnesium supplements are vital for all diabetic patients as many of them suffer from magnesium deficiency. Magnesium aids in regulating blood sugar status, thus promoting normal blood pressure. Hypertension is one of the major reasons for an impending heart attack, and it has been found that many people with high blood pressure also have a magnesium deficiency. Therefore, extra nutrients and mineral supplements with magnesium content are vital in order to avoid any medical complications.
Magnesium And Stronger Bones:
Magnesium citrate helps to fix calcium properly. It may blow some people’s mind that the calcium supplements they’re taking are not only useless, but are actually contributing to osteoporosis! There are actually about eighteen essential nutrients that contribute to bone health; Magnesium citrate is definitely one of the most essential, because it stimulates a particular hormone called calcitonin. And, it also suppresses a hormone called parathyroid that breaks down bone.