Magnesium and metabolism

Magnesium is one of those micronutrients I talk about so much — and it’s so important for your metabolism. Magnesium acts like a light switch in the body, flipping on the production of enzymes (more than 300 different ones!), helping your body produce energy, protecting your cardiovascular system, and balancing your body’s levels of nutrients, including calcium, potassium and vitamin D.

Magnesium helps keep your blood pressure stable and your heart-rate regular. Magnesium, along with other elements like calcium, sodium and potassium, is an electrolyte. If you haven’t been consuming enough electrolytes, you might find yourself with twitchy muscles, an irregular or experiencing dizziness and fatigue after a hard workout.

Magnesium meals

It’s easy to get adequate magnesium through healthy foods. On every Phase of the Fast Metabolism Diet, you’ll find magnesium-rich foods, including dark leafy greens. It’s one of the reasons I’m also drilling you eat more spinach, chard and kale.

Here are some best bets for magnesium on the Fast Metabolism Diet.

  • Raw nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin seeds and flaxseed
  • Brown rice, quinoa and oatmeal
  • Legumes: lentils, peas and dried beans
  • All dark leafy greens, especially spinach and Swiss chard
  • Chicken
  • Seafood, especially mackerel, halibut, salmon, shrimp, cod and tuna
  • Avocado
  • Prickly pears
  • Seaweed
  • Basil and coriander

If you’re struggling with metabolic syndrome, there’s a hidden bonus here: Scientists have shown that getting enough magnesium in your diet can improve your insulin sensitivity.

Looking to up your magnesium intake? Try this Ginger Shrimp and Veggie Stir Fry. Make this simple Chicken and Rice dinner or this reader favorite, Chicken Sausage with White Beans and Kale. Make a batch of Lentil Stew (recipe in the Fast Metabolism Diet book) or whip up some guacamole.